This time last year, when I posted an invitation in The FIX for Dry July, I got a bit of criticism in the comments that was worth thinking through. One of the comments on our Dry July articles suggested that it was irresponsible to cheerlead the idea of taking a month off drinking because stopping and starting and stopping and starting creates a kindling effect that is dangerous. I wasn’t familiar with the term kindling, so I looked it up.
It turned out that while kindling is not a term that I was familiar with it is an experience I’ve had so I didn’t need to do much reading. Basically, the idea is that if you are an alcoholic or have AUD or are addicted to alcohol (call it what you will) if you stop drinking for a while and then start again, you will most likely find that your appetite for alcohol is exactly what it was when you stopped, but your tolerance will not be. Your recovered body will not be adapted to the bottle or two an evening routine anymore, so it’s more likely to hit you hard quickly, and dangerously.
from my experience…
When I was pregnant I didn’t drink at all for about 10 months. I was drinking way too much most nights before I got pregnant and expected the nine sober months to reset my alcohol meter, but within a couple of weeks of drinking freely after I stopped nursing each baby, I was up to my former levels and quickly beyond. I remember feeling shocked and surprised that the period of sobriety had only served as kindling to the fire of my addicted brain.
The interesting thing about the articles I found on kindling was not that they had much to say that was new to my experience, but that they said it in such an inflammatory way. The only articles I could find on kindling were scientific looking posts that linked to rehab centers. They were woven with frightening stuff about the need for medically assisted detox if you’re a heavy drinker and the threat of death if you don’t hand yourself over to an expensive treatment facility because that is the ONLY safe way to get sober.
Alcohol withdrawal can kill you if you are physically dependent. If you think that you might be physically dependant rather than simply addicted see your doctor. But continuing to drink in shame and isolation kills many many more than withdrawal from dependeance does and a safe place to talk it through can be the beginning of happily putting down the bottle for good.
In our community we are not medical professionals, or professional addiction counselors, but simply peers in different stages of dealing with our own issues with alcohol. Initiatives like Dry July, Arid August and Sober October are ways to get a foothold on figuring out what we as individuals need to do and can do concerning our drinking. It’s a goal to set in a community where you can join the momentum of a group. It’s a focus. It’s not about fear it’s about hope. It’s about accepting a challenge rather than feeling defeated and if you like me are addicted / have AUD/ are an alcoholic, the expensive alcohol rehab centers may be a safe, secure way to GET sober but the trick is to STAY sober when you get out …. that is the trick no matter how you stop drinking … and the trick to STAYING sober or actually working out a moderation plan that works for you is figuring yourself out.
So I don’t see any cons to talking about Dry July.
If you’re Drinking too much too often.
We are not here to judge, or to compete, or to impress each other.
We are simply here to support and inspire each other in working through a difficult but tremendously rewarding process. The process of reclaiming ourselves. Each of our wonderful, unique, multi-dimensional selves.
Tell us your story. Ask a question. Offer a resource. Share your experience.
Redicover your voice One post at a Time. That’s Why We’re Here.
With love and in sincere gratitude to those who helped me through my first months sober I built the box that houses this community to reach back.
Reach out and we’ll grab your hand.
Rethink the Drink
Join Us for Dry July and Beyond.
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