A Coup Leaves No Room For Dry January

I don’t know when’s the last time I experienced such a quick progression of emotions. I spent my morning crying tears of joy at the fact that Reverend Warnock snagged one of the senate seats for Georgia and by mid-afternoon, I could feel all the muscles in my body tighten as I watched terrorists break into the Capitol building. My nerves felt like they were on fire and I didn’t know how to calm down. I could’ve used my Headspace meditation app but history was transpiring and I didn’t want to turn away.

So what happened? I broke my Dry January challenge. And I felt no shame about it.

It’s a tradition for many people to abstain from alcohol but what is abstinence in the midst of a global pandemic and an insurrection? I don’t know if I believe in challenges when our nation is under so much duress, or, at the very least, make ourselves feel bad if we let our guard down. There’s only so much that our bodies can take.

I’m not saying that I’m a hedonist or that I endorse excessive tendencies. However, I don’t think it’s wrong to indulge in what makes us feel good during these extreme and unprecedented circumstances. I don’t think it’s wrong to mentally tap out for a few hours.

Perhaps moving forward, we as a society will look to develop new modes of moderation after this horrific era. But it’s clear that we can not perform in the same way as behavior when we are in the midst of an incredible upheaval. So for right now, I just want to feel good, and I urge everyone to do the same.

Morgan Jerkins is the Senior Editor at ZORA and a New York Times bestselling author. Her debut novel, “Caul Baby,” will be published by Harper in April 2021.