January 31st. I did it. I’ve been sober for an entire month. As I stated in my kickoff article:
I reflected on my “sobriety” and I don’t think I’ve been alcohol-free for a whole month since probably my junior year of high school. And I’m not sure if I’ve gone a week since graduating college without a single drink. And honestly, I don’t think there’s been a day since Christmas that I didn’t have at least one adult beverage. Maybe I do need sober January.
Did I need it? Need is a strong word. I really just wanted to test if I had the self discipline to resist the temptation of going buttons deep for an entire month. To see if I could endure four weeks of birthday celebrations, snow days and playoffs without drinking. 31 days later, here I am, and here are five things I learned.
1. Right idea, wrong time
It’s a good idea to take a break from anything you do regularly. That’s why there’s vacations to get away from your job and business trips to get away from your family. I will definitely continue an annual dry month, but January is the wrong time to do it.
The longest month in the coldest time of the year? C’mon Jack. That was an amateur mistake. New Yorkers use alcohol as an asset in the winter. I can feel the current air temps leaking through my walls as I sleep, I shouldn’t be awake for that. That’s why there’s bourbon, it’s a tool, and January is what it’s made for.
January is also host to many buttons deep-worthy events like my girlfriend’s birthday, NFL playoffs, and snow days that allow ample opportunity to bar hop in the snow, one of my favorite past times.
I think next year I will do sober February, short and sweet. Anybody who says “bUt ThE SuPeRbOwL” clearly doesn’t know I am a Cowboys fan. I don’t need to worry about celebrating the Superbowl.
2. Nothing Changes
Everyone kept asking “how different do you feel?!?!” “Do you have like WAY more energy?!?!” “How GOOD do you feel”
Nope. I felt exactly the same as I did December 31st. The only thing that changed was the fact I could rely on getting up at 7AM without a hangover. I’m at that weird adult phase where even a few drinks is starting to take its toll the next morning, so knowing I could damn well get up and at em without question was a benefit. But that’s not news.
The one noticeable difference was that by day 2 or 3 my dreams were crystal clear. I’d wake up emotionally driven by my dreams and it’s been fun to get to know the places my mind travels when I’m zonked.
3. The worst part about sober January are your friends who think sober January is the worst
I figured I’d get some peer pressure to drink as the people with whom I associate myself with like to drink alcohol. Luckily, most weren’t bothered nor even aware that I was downing Tonic and limes in lieu of my regular choices (shout out Joe Bo for the recommendation). But there were a select few friends who took my commitment to S.J. as a red flag that I wasn’t down to have fun. I was written off by a few friends (Taylor) to “oh, enjoy being sober…” rather than “you’re my uber driver now, let’s roll.”
4. It’s fun to Juber (Jack Uber) your drunk friends around
Unlike Taylor, I had many friends take me up to be their exclusive Juber for the night. Like the time we went to Syracuse just for dinner? That’s the type of stuff you can do when you’re not downing 3 glasses of wine with your meal. Driving to Amsterdam at 1AM just because you want to see what it’s like? You can do that too. Driving home immediately because it’s terrible there? Not a problem. The Juber is full of possibilities, and flashing lights don’t make your palms sweat.
5. I’m ready to go buttons deep again
Although I was much more entertained enduring my regular nightlife sober than I anticipated I would be, I’m ready to go buttons deep again. There’s nothing better than hopping around Troy hitting all the regular jaunts and seeing familiar faces and downing a concoction of drinks you’ll regret some hours later. Above all, it will be a hell of a lot easier to navigate these winter winds when a couple buttons deep. Luckily, 2BD has teamed up with Labatt just in time to kick off what I’m coining Extra Fun February. They dropped off the goods and I can see the light at the end of the sober tunnel.
Also, catch the squad up at Caroline Street Pub February 8th as we host the frozen springs classic after party. Win some NHL tickets, Labbatt hockey jerseys, and you know, have a drink with me.