Hello, friends. Wow, here we are all the way on the last day of January 2020, one twelfth of the way through the year (that’s 8.3% of the way there for all you mathemagicians out there). Get your Christmas shopping done! I don’t know about you, but the last couple of years have really flown by for me. They say that time speeds up as you get older (and finer, of course), and I believe it. Something’s going on, anyway… So here we are at the end of January, and many people are finishing up Dry January. Woohoo, congratulations! And if your attempt ended pre-maturely, even very pre-maturely, that’s amazing, too! Just make sure you know that it’s actually not a mistake or a failure (according to the universe, anyway). It’s all just building momentum, like a slingshot being pulled back more and more, to launch you into the future shifts that are already waiting for you up ahead.
We wrote a long and detailed post earlier this month about what to expect when you go dry, especially for longer periods of time. Now, one month is amazing. Absolutely! But also know that longer than that is when things really start to shift, when your old “stuff” starts to surface, so that it can leave your system – for good. Think of “old stuff surfacing” as a purge of old emotions. It can be shocking if this happens and you don’t know what’s going on! And if you don’t know that it’s actually normal, it can be intense, and it can take some time. But also that it cannot last forever. Thankfully… So hang in there and see it through, because when the old energetic sludge leaves, it’s gone for good. And the light – literally more of your soul, the most amazing and invincible “you” that there can ever be – moves right in to fill the space. And the light already feels amazing on its own, naturally.
It’s also helpful to know that you aren’t doing anything wrong if you find yourself feeling really good for a while and then feeling not so hot, some time after first going dry. The path to peace is not linear; it’s not a straight line upward. There are ups and downs, periods of feeling great and feeling not so great. But overall, how you feel will be trending up, toward feeling better and better. You just have to go through periods of emotional clearing along the way. So when you find yourself feeling great and then not so much, know that you’re actually doing everything right; you’re just being cleared out. It’s a process that takes time, and as I said before, it tends to come and go in waves. You got this! And give yourself major props for what you’re doing, because it’s HUGE for any human to even attempt such an endeavor. So yay you!
After the Dry post, we wrote about what a general process this actually is; it’s definitely not only about alcohol. It’s all about the process of subtraction, which refers to subtracting anything from your life that you feel is no longer serving you. Subtracting whatever you tend to use to “numb out” to some degree, to avoid life or reality to some degree, to cope with the BS. We do all kinds of things to deal with life’s challenges – these are our addictions and dependencies, big or small. And they’re all actually innocent. Because I get it, life can be hard! In fact, it can really, really, truly suck… And “feeling painful feelings” isn’t always high up there on everyone’s to-do-list, especially with the current lack of emotional education and emotional understanding in our society. We use our addictions and dependencies to get a respite from what doesn’t feel good in life, and they work, they really do. But the old painful feelings just wait to come back another day. And at some point, something deeper in us calls out to see what’s on the other side. That’s when we might go dry, from whatever it may be.
So today I’d like to talk about the rest of the year, the next eleven months (the remaining 83.3% of 2020). Of course this doesn’t apply to my friend that’s going dry for all of 2020 – two friends, in fact! That first Dry post was for them. This is for those that did Dry January or any such thing last year or in the past, whether they considered their efforts to be a success or not. And again, I literally believe that it’s all a success, because it’s all a long-term process of learning how to kick ass more and more at being an amazing human being. NOT AN EASY TASK. And if you don’t see things that way, then you really might want to consider reading that Slingshot post I mentioned above. I mean, you should totally read it. Just trying to help.
So today’s post is for those that want to have some sort of a plan for the rest of the year. I’m not talking about anything rigid; just something different than letting it all happen randomly. Because that’s how we can get sucked back into the same old patterns that aren’t totally working for us anymore. And if you’re fresh off of any amount of dryness, then now is the time to think about it! Gently and innocently, of course… So let’s do that now.
The first thing I would do is sit back, relax, and take a look at your dry time (however long it lasted, and however long ago it was). What did you like? What did you not like? Would you like to experiment with this some more? If so, then let’s talk about some options for you. Some people do Dry February, maybe because it’s the shortest month. Others do Sober September or Sober October. Maybe those are just because of the word play, alliteration for September and rhyme for October. February starts tomorrow, and September and October are many months away. Maybe you want to dip your toes in the water again, but is there a middle ground? And is there a smaller amount of time?? Yes, and yes!
My point today is this – you can do Dry Anything. After all, you are in charge of you. You can do a dry month, a dry week, dry weekdays, or a dry weekend. You can even do a Dry Day, Dry Morning, or Dry Afternoon! A Dry Hour or even a Dry Two Minutes, I’m serious. You are in charge; you make the rules for you. And they don’t have anything to do with anyone else; that’s their business, not yours.
For a daily drinker (or whatever your “thing” is, not just drinking), a Dry Day is a very big deal, it really is. There’s a huge difference between consuming whatever you constantly consume, even a little bit of it, and not consuming any of it, on a given day. Just consider that. For many people that have been dealing with life in certain ways for a long time, with their given patterns and habits, taking even one day completely off is not easy. So we respect it, a lot.
Look at us now, folks, we have so many options all of a sudden! Dry whatever, you name it… it has a nice ring to it. When somebody that’s used to you behaving in a certain way asks why you’re not doing it, you can just say, “I’m dry!” And if they say for how long, it can be anything. “Oh, just today.” Or this weekend, weekdays, week, etc. It’s so easy. You can even say something like, “To be honest, I’m not exactly sure right now.” After a while, they’ll get used to it. They might fight you on it at first, though – that’s normal. So let’s cover that real quick (and I’m guessing there will be more on why this happens in a future writing, because it’s good stuff).
I remember when I first started to awaken and make some changes back around 2003. A good friend had said before that, “I don’t know how to evolve, but I know how NOT to.” And that always stuck with me. Then sometime after that, all of these wild and freaky synchronicities happened in a short period of time, and it really got my attention. It was as if the universe was saying, “Hey Math Boy, you don’t know jack. So stop thinking you know everything, relax, and let me show you how things work. Because I DO know.” I started inhaling spiritual books. And I stopped drinking and partying like I used to.
By the way, in all the various cultures that I come from, that’s what everybody does, and that’s what they’ve always done. Pensacola has been a wild party town since my grandfather was a boy. And he’s 100 now… Same with my high school culture, college culture, my 20’s, 30’s, etc. Same with the Southern culture that I’m deeply rooted in through my family, generation after generation on pretty much all sides. I’m not judging any of it, literally not one bit; I just want you to have some context, that’s all. So that you can see how it could be a big deal for me to suddenly start to change. And quite shocking to many of those that knew me!
When this shift began to occur, I was around thirty years old. And suddenly I just didn’t want to drink or party as much. It was really interesting how natural it was, too; it wasn’t anything that I really had to try to do. I was still very social, though, I had lots of friends, and I still wanted to go out and have fun. So I did. I’d go to the same bars and concerts with the same people, and I’d have an amazing time. But I wouldn’t drink (and I’d definitely go home earlier – like clockwork, you could feel the vibe get dirtier as 11 or 12 approached).
At first, my friends didn’t know what was going on. And they’d buy me drinks anyway. So I had to be a bit forceful at first, letting them know I didn’t want it and therefore wasn’t going to drink it. But sure enough, it didn’t take long at all before they learned. Because who wants to waste money? I’ll never forget one of them saying once, in a packed bar with a big crowd of us, and somebody probably buying a round, “When Ashley says no, he means no.” When I heard that, I knew I had arrived.
I say all this to let you know how innocent it is when people act like that. You see, when you change, it might trigger something in them (again, this will probably be a future writing). But it’s all unconscious, and therefore it’s innocent. Still, you have to be strong at first with your boundaries (like, “I don’t want the drink you just brought me, even after I already told you I didn’t want it, and you still bought it for me anyway, as if you are on charge of which liquids I consume and when.”). No worries, though, because they should get it pretty quickly. And if they don’t, I’m sorry but they might not be a resonant match for you at this particular time of your life. They might have some shifting to do first, and you never know if you all will reconnect in the future. Just stick to your intuition and your path, and you’ll be fine. And know that new friends will come into your life if that’s what is needed. But know that for the most part, these people don’t even know why they’re triggered. And that’s good to know when you’re first dealing with it. You just do you. And breathe a lot, feeling really good about your choices.
So there you go, folks, you’re covered for life now as far as engaging in certain habits or behaviors, and putting them down for a period of time. Wait, for life? Yes, for life! Now you have options that you might not have had before. Dry Anything! And why is this important? So you can be a bit more intentional about how you want your life to unfold. Otherwise, the years tend to fly by and all of a sudden a long time has passed and it’s been the same old, same old. No worries, though, because even if this happens, you can rest assured that the universe will have no problem getting your attention if it needs to! That can be the rough way, though…
Also know that if you really like your life and your patterns, then that’s great and you don’t even need to be reading this! But for everyone else, this is all about giving you some tools, a fresh way of looking at things, in case that inner voice has already started to speak up. So I wish you the best on your journey, dry or wet or damp or whatever it is! I respect it. And I respect you. Why? Because you’re here. And this place ain’t always easy. But you got this, it’s a done deal, and I’m here to help if I can 🙂
P.S. Thank GOD January is finally over… I’m never doing THIS again!! Good lord, what a train wreck, what a total waste of a month. This. Has. Sucked. At midnight, I’m going to pour a huge drink, light a cigarette, hit the vape pen, and binge watch some Netflix while scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit, all at the same time… and with a huge tub of ice cream, too. I am so excited for this!! Only a few more hours. I might just take a nap until midnight. Wait, did I say that out loud… Damn, I didn’t know the mic was still on… Never mind… Okay, umm, see you later…