Booze Control: 30 Days Alcohol Free
14 Dec 2012

The Author

Profile photo of Jessica Dugan
>>>Dream Chaser Activist * Live Music Enthusiast * Cannabis Industry Expert *Sparkle Spreader * Mindfulness Teacher * Yogi Artist with a Mermaid Soul <<<


In an attempt to cleanse my body of its sometimes-excessive behavior, and for a much-needed moment of clarity, I challenged myself to give up alcohol for the month of November. This challenge derived from a yearning to explore my relationship with the substance, find comfort participating in social gatherings soberly, and to better understand my true self unmasked by the superficial layers alcohol tends to dress on. This isn’t about alcoholism, but more so the largely uncharted territory of total sobriety.

Let’s take a minute to look at a popular phrase that comes along with American partiers, “Let’s get fucked up.”  Sure, indulging here and there can be fun and, if used responsibly, enhances our experience, but if you go down the main street of any popular city the majority of people spending their time and ALL of their money at bars are getting dangerously fucked up.  I, like many, have been down this road before, but why has this routine become a habitual pattern for our generation when most of us know very well that this is not where we’d like to be?

The times of today have become tragic for our Nation’s youth. Jobs are about as rare as non-GMO labels in the U.S., and high-ranking networks, like MTV, heavily promote the over consumption of booze. Our society, in its current state, has allowed this ridiculous behavior to become socially acceptable. We laugh at our friend’s drunken mishaps and fail to recognize the repressed side of regret spoken with every story, because we’ve told the same stories, too.

How many blackouts made these people famous?












I currently work in a restaurant where 32 delicious brews flow like water around me three times a week. Jupiter, the Bay Area’s eighth best beer on tap, would soon become my danger zone.  Quarter times (daily employee drinking opps.) tested my will power to avoid a brew throughout November. Believe it or not, the hardest part about not drinking was the act of saying no. Every time I turned down a beer, brandy with cider, or glass of wine, a sense of insecurity attacked my healthy choice. Upon my refusal, I found the chatter of the mind suggesting that others were judging me for not drinking. The sober state I was trying to embrace was tainted by the ego.  It was here, early on, that I learned the ego thrives in an intoxicated state.

Once I crossed the bridge of explaining myself to those offering me a drink I discovered the gift of support. Although some people frowned upon my absence from a round of sake, most individuals admired my ambition.  The respect from my decision empowered my motives, which drove my sobriety successfully through all 30 days. To demonstrate positive actions to a network of people lifts the spirit in ways words can’t describe. This experiment soon became not just for me, but also for the futur reader of this account.

The second roadblock I ran into throughout No Drink November came with my emotions. To give up alcohol is to be reintroduced to the self. Alcohol, whether we want to admit to it or not, is a depressant that numbs our reality.  After seven days without a drink a wave of repressed fears splashed over me. Suddenly, I found myself facing unresolved dilemmas some years old, stunning me with their still existing presence. Recognizing these old wounds was an unexpected and very daunting transition.  However, confronting these issues with a clear head was absolutely liberating.

Yes, this place does exist. I drove past it a million times when I lived in South Carolina.


Refraining from ordering a delicious Mimosa was not something I necessarily looked forward to, but this restraint was something I’d casually brushed aside too often. As the month progressed, abstaining from alcohol became easier and easier though. Life without hangovers harmonized balance in my schedule and naturally reduced unwanted stress.  My daily work became more enjoyable, and the ability to connect with life around me was effortless. My commitment had turned into a realization; being sober has its own high.

Prior to this obligation I was probably consuming alcohol 2-4 times a week. Although I put back plenty of booze in my college years, I would consider myself a moderate drinker these days. With 30 days of sobriety under my belt and two weeks into December, my alcohol consumption has been reduced, fluffing up my wallet and leaving my hangovers near non-existence. I don’t know why forfeiting a bottle of Crown had been such a challenge, now that I see how rich the rewards are.

Giving up alcohol for an entire month is not an easy task, especially when most people’s social lives revolve around a beverage. For the sake of potential experimenters out there, I have to admit that I attempted this cleanse on two occasions. My first attempt lasted 25 days in April. Over that time period I learned so much about myself that I felt safe aborting the mission. Although insight was gained the challenge was not complete and I could not yet pass on my experience .  When summer’s festivities came to an end, I decided that I would give it another go, so that I could faithfully report back with the full experience.

Nonalcoholic Sparkleberry drinks do exist! (just add frozen strawberries)

How many of us can remember the last time we went an entire week with out drinking?  Are we thoroughly enjoying the consumption of alcohol every time we drink it? Occasional unwanted repercussions suggest not.

The absence of alcohol in your life, for just 30 days, will work wonders on the soul. If we all take a moment to cleanse our bodies, our minds will detoxify, too.  My hope is that this article and my positive experience will empower your own experiment. Try trading in cocktails and become the privileged designated driver. It feels amazing and is well worth the effort.

Sparkle on my Lovers,



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