I’m Taking on Dryuary and Abstaining from Alcohol for the Month

updated May 3, 2019
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Chris Phillips is one of six people tracking their resolutions with Apartment Therapy in real time.

People don’t even agree on how this thing is spelled—Drynuary, Dryuary—so I’m not going into it thinking everyone will agree with my choice. Some experts say Dryuary, as we’ll be spelling it here, encourages binge drinking. Others say it’s one of the best ways to kick off a healthy new year. I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between.

Yes, I’m going to abstain from alcohol for the 31 days of January. I’ll be saying no to my traditional Sunday afternoon Negroni. I’ll pass on the the old-fashioneds, even though they taste the best on a dark afternoon when a little frost is in the air. This will mean no to quiet wine or beer at the end of the night after the baby’s in bed and the house is quiet and clean. I hope some of you will join me.

My History With Dryuary

I’ve marked Dryuary a few times before. In many ways, it felt like a natural balancing to the richness of the holiday season. I was surprised to see the everyday ways that alcoholic drinks were woven into the culture of my life: a little whiskey while waiting at the barber shop, an end of week celebration at the office. A couple of times I sipped without remembering my Dryuary, so this will be something to watch out for. The experience gave me more compassion for those who don’t drink alcohol for religious, medical or just personal reasons.

I’ve worked at Apartment Therapy for nine years mostly on the business side and have written pieces for Kitchn, but never for Apartment Therapy. So good to meet you all from this side.

Why I’m Doing It

I didn’t do Dryuary last year because my son was only a few months old. Alcohol wasn’t really on the table then and I wasn’t up for any new commitments. I’m ready to try Dryuary again this year. I am interested to see if my sleep improves and if I can lose a few pounds.

“Our culture seems especially binary to me right now. Everything is yes or no, in or out, drinker or teetotaler (I’ve always loved this word by the way).”

I’m especially interested in talking about moderation with Apartment Therapy readers. Our culture seems especially binary to me right now. Everything is yes or no, in or out, drinker or teetotaler (I’ve always loved this word by the way). Some religions and philosophers talk about the wisdom of a “middle way” or a “via media” in Latin. Dryuary might be an interesting way to explore living this way. While this seems odd to say, I do think it is important to come right out with it this Dryuary: I am not an alcoholic. I drink in moderation and am friends with people who own bars and restaurants here in Brooklyn. I know my way around a growler and a cocktail menu. I don’t consider myself a problem drinker—and my doctor would agree.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

My Rules

Number one: Don’t make too big a deal of it. I don’t like hearing too much about other people’s self-improvement projects. I think it can become rather indulgent. So let’s do this Dryuary if we’re doing it, but let’s not make too big of a fuss out of this, ok?

Number two: I believe in rewards! A few gifts to myself along the way should help to make this more fun, I think. I have a few surprises for myself in mind and will let you know how that’s going in my mid-month report. January can be a dark downer of a month, so Dryuary can also be a time to create some new ways to find good cheer.

And one more minor point: I’m of a religion that has a tiny sip of wine as a part of the Sunday service. That stays!

What I’m Expecting

What am I expecting? Well, lots and lots of bitters and soda. Faith from Kitchn ordered one at a bar in Chicago after a big work meeting. I’d never heard of it before and it was a great surprise. While we always hear we’re living in the golden age of television, I’d say we’re living in the golden age of bitters too, so this will be a good time to go deep on the mocktails.

Speaking of bitter, I’m expecting a few challenging comments on my Dryuary posts. People have deep relationships with alcohol: fear, passion, betrayal. If I and my fellow Dry-ers do this right, some of these feelings are going to come out here.

I’m getting reacquainted with my Soda Stream and stocking my wine fridge with grapefruit soda from Amazon Prime Pantry. Let’s see how this goes!

Chris will be checking in mid-way through January, and again at the end of the month to share his Dryuary journey. Until then, follow along with our other writers’ resolutions.

(Image credit: Margaret Lee)

Kicking a Coffee Habit

Checking Out of Social Media

Making Meditating a Daily Habit

Abstaining from Alcohol

Cutting Out Sugar

Using Painting as Therapy