With Dry January already in swing, most of us are starting to feel either pretty darn good about ourselves or panicked about how much longer we've got left to go.
If you have friends participating in Dry January, consider yourself lucky because the decision not to drink for a full month is a lot tougher to stick to when you're going it alone.
However, if you happen to be making Dry January a solo endeavor, there's an entire subreddit dedicated to people trying to stop drinking that could help keep you accountable, and it's full of great advice.
The forum houses everything from people struggling to get sober for good to people just aiming to cut back. Regardless of their personal goals, they've created a kind of community with zero-judgment and tons of support.
Most importantly, there's advice about how to handle it when (or if) you do slip up during Dry January, which is usually what causes people to throw in the towel:
1. How to move on after a slip-up
What if instead of thinking of yourself as a failure or a screw up for drinking, you forgive yourself, move on, and resume not drinking? I think it's a kinder way to look at it. -anywilldotoday
...So, don't beat the crap out ourselves for making a mistake, get up and keep going? Now that is reasonable AF!
2. What to order if you want to stay sober and not attract attention
I went to a bar in order to keep my routine minus the alcohol and see what would happen. Ordered two plain sparkling waters with lime squeezed in. It felt great and was way cheaper! -catghost666
3. What to tell yourself when the fight to stay sober has completely left you
Promise myself I'll drink tomorrow (the craving usually passes in an hour or so). -MetalZeroSix
4. What sober friends can say to each other every day to stay strong
I won't drink with you today. -BillySami
5. How to reward yourself when you've stayed sober for a week
I treat myself with a massage or dinner out at a favorite restaurant. -sickmomma Because I decided to train for a Half-Math to run parallel with my sobriety, I tend to enjoy a 'cheat day' and eat whatever I want for dinner. -VincintQuiSeVincent I buy myself little things. A new lipstick or some new knitting odd or end. I've got my eye on a mini interchangeable set coming up soon. -not_today_0418
Sure, there are plenty of people on the site who are looking for advice about AA, or people handing it out.
Mainly though, this is just a thing that can get you through the month without feeling like you're insanely alone in a world of people having fun without you.
Remember that not drinking is hard to do, even for people who aren't alcoholics. And just because you're having a tough time with it doesn't mean you have a drinking problem.
If you've set a goal not to drink for the first month of the year, it's fine to use whatever resources are available to you to help you achieve that goal.
Good luck and Godspeed to you!