On 100 Dry Days, and Rising into my Own Voice

“For the first time,

I was beginning to see that for a woman to speak her mind

in any clear way, unassailable, unapologetic way,

she must first possess it.” 

Last week I wrote a post about my long and arduous journey with red wine. I promised to let people know what I was going to do besides doing a Dry January. It’s January 10, 2018 and I haven’t had a drink of any alcohol since the week after Christmas and it’s a huge relief. I just feel relieved. Some evenings, a glass of red wine sounds perfect, but I go to the refrigerator and pull out my favorite La Croix and drink that instead.

One of my Facebook friends, Kristi, wrote a few things to me about my post and somehow or other I found out about a 100 dry days that she did at the beginning of her journey into sobriety. Right when I saw the 100 days, I knew it’s what I wanted to do.

So, no alcohol for 100 days. 

I haven’t gone without alcohol for 100 days in almost thirteen years, right after my second baby was born. It feels like the right length for now. It feels challenging, but it also feels freeing. The whole subject of drinking and how-much-is-too-much is off the table. It gives me time to make new habits, which for me, is a huge part of the problem. Drinking wine in the evening has been a long-time habit that I’ve grown accustomed to, and I’d like to break it.

Here I am on day eleven. The landscape feels spacious and hopeful and a little emotional.

A year ago, when I did a dry September, I did not feel spacious and hopeful on day eleven. I felt sad, and irritated, and I craved sugar. So, when September finished, I knew I wanted to do another season dry. That’s why I gave up alcohol for Lent.

Now, it’s time for something longer, something that fills out an entire season and then some. I won’t be having anything to drink until April. That feels like a long time.

Someone might ask, why don’t I just quit altogether?

I don’t feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do right now. Maybe in 90 days, I’ll wake up and feel something different, but for now, I’m going to stick with 100 days. And take it from there.


The quote I have at the top of this post, about needing to posses my own mind before I speak in any clear, unassailable way … this quote, speaks volumes to me.

It has a lot to do with why I spent the better part of my thirties drinking wine every evening, or while I penned my novels, and always drank when I got together with girlfriends, and after I got together with friends, and when I sat at home alone watching television.

I was afraid. I was afraid of owning my thoughts and my right to speak them without any need for defense or backup. So I wrote, and self-soothed. I spoke out and found ways to numb myself into a quiet place. It was a knee-jerk reaction. Step out, and step back. Speak up, and then sit back down. The problem is we don’t get very far when we keep sitting back down.

Now, truth be told, I might still be afraid of those things, but I’m done giving those fears and insecurities so much room. I’m ready for things to be different in this next sacred decade of my life. After all, it’s the only life I’m ever going to get to live.

Like I wrote last week, if I keep doing what I’ve always done, I’ll keep getting what I’ve always gotten. I haven’t done 100 days alcohol free in over a decade. It think it’s time.

What about you? What do you want to do differently? 

With you on the journey,






Tina Osterhouse is passionate about living deeply and authentically. Through fiction, blog posts, and creative essays, she writes about ordinary life and the way God meets us in our everyday circumstances and creatively weaves the sacred into them. She studied ministry and theology at Northwest University, most recently lived on thirty acres in Southern Chile, and finally returned to the Seattle area in June of 2015.

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