Dry January, or Drynuary (or #drynuary, if you're parading it on Twitter), is pretty much the worst. And yet? Year after year after year, people willingly -- even gleefully! -- participate in the ritualized abstention from alcohol for the first month of the calendar year.
I'm one of them. And I love it. Here's why, along with answers to the questions that everyone asks to help you along the way, should you decide that this is the year you're going to participate in this folly.
WHY would you do this to yourself?!
The most important thing to know about Drynuary is that it's a choice. No one is making anyone do anything; it's an entirely opt-in venture. Given that, why would anyone choose not to drink, especially during the first month of the year, which is long, and (depending on where you live) cold, and distinctly lacking in daylight, and offers a lot of televised sporting events to enjoy while drinking many beers?
The reasons are different for everyone, but some common threads are that it's a challenge, and successfully completing a challenge is a good way to start a new year off on the right foot. There's a bit of spirituality to it for some people, akin to a Lenten fast. For many people, a month without booze has a clarifying effect that can help to offset some of the emotional haze that can occur during the holidays.