Why I’m Doing Dry January and Beyond

Happy New Year!!

So in 2018 I had been aiming to cut down on my drinking. It was giving me bad anxiety, mood swings, a rather large belly, and well, it was sort of taking over.

Not taking over, in the way that I would wake up needing a drink, or downing a bottle of vodka every night. But more in the sense that I certainly would never be the one to drive back from anywhere which involved drink, pre drinks were always a must when going out out, weekends without booze were unheard of and I always finished the bottle of wine once opened, and I most certainly did not share!

I was getting really fed up of the same old routine, falling to sleep early on the sofa after a few, not feeling 100% the next day, getting really stressed through the day then using it as an excuse to have a drink after work. My life was becoming like groundhog day and I knew I had to change.

Around January last year Ii decided I was going to try cutting down. I would do a few dry days here and there each week, sometimes even a full week! Only drinking low 5% percent wine, which would slowly increase to 7% when buying the next bottle, then 9%, then by the end of the weekend a full-bodied bottle of 14% red wine to wash down the roast dinner.

I tried to only drink beer, only drink when out, track my drinking on an app, sticking to the government guidelines etc etc. It always ended up with me eventually going back to my usual habits and drinking around 4 to 5 bottles of wine a week

My last alcoholic drink was on the 13th of December. My original plan was to get sozzled over Christmas, have fun, make the most of it, drink like everyone else then attempt dry January, and probably fail, again!

But I knew what it would really be like from the previous Christmas’s.

Full of hangovers, headaches, drunken nights (or days, after all its Christmas!), bad moods, regrets, forgetting important things like putting Santa’s magic key out, falling to sleep halfway through polar express, and over eating on junk food (I didn’t manage to tackle the last one)

So I challenged myself to make the most of this Christmas and do it booze free!

Day one…

was a little hard. Karl was going out for “Mad Friday” (it got pretty mad) and usually this would mean a bottle of vino, junk food, chocolate and a crappy film for me at home. Instead I had a hot choc, read a magazine, got bored and got in to bed by 9pm. The next morning I felt very smug though, springing out of bed, feeling fresh, while Karl hugged the toilet!

Week one… 

was ridiculously hard. This week included a weekend, a hotel stay in Nottingham, Christmas market, Christmas eve, Christmas day, boxing day, stress, fun, celebration, family gatherings and keeping a 5-year-old entertained. I was exhausted and woke up most mornings feeling hungover! What the hell is that all about? I had to literally run to the tiny alcohol free section in Morrisons to stock up on beck blue and nanny state, while putting blinkers on and ignoring the 100s of people stocking up on their favourite tipple, well maybe not 100’s but the isles were crammed! However I enjoyed my Christmas, even more so than had I been drinking!

Week two…

 was very up and down. I was starting to feel some benefits from not drinking, a clear head, clearer skin, more time in the day as I was waking up earlier and staying up later. But then I had the feelings of jealousy “everyone else is drinking why can’t I?”  Deep down I knew why, because I can never have one and that wont ever change, I’m an all or nothing girl, always have been always will be! But I was still pissed off!

Week 3…

Well hello motivation! This week was a lot easier, I hardly thought about drinking. We went to the seaside on New Years Eve so we were still doing something fun, then on the evening we had a little buffet and fireworks. I honestly enjoyed the night for what it was without a drop of booze! This week my energy came back and I actually started to enjoy not drinking. There was the odd thought about having just the one, but it soon passed.

Week 4 I’m halfway through week 4 and hand on heart I’m loving it. I’m the happiest in myself then I have been in a long time. I’m free from anxiety, I feel I have loads more time on my hands to do things I love and I’m feeling a lot healthier. I have been to a family’s 80th birthday meal today. Most people were drinking and there was free prosecco, It didn’t even pass my mind to have one. I sat and had an orange juice, alcohol free beer and water, I talked, laughed ate healthier foods than I would have done and enjoyed every minute! 

So this is why I am doing Dry January and beyond. Right now I cant see why I would want or need to drink again.

Let me know in the comments if you’re doing dry January and how your finding it. Will you carry in on in to Feb? Are you feeling the benefits? Or ripping your hair out and counting down the days? I hope this post shows that if you stick to it, its gets easier and easier. 

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8 thoughts on “Why I’m Doing Dry January and Beyond

  1. Wow well done on being dry over Christmas with everyone else around you drinking. That must have been so tough, but now you’ve done that you can certainly keep it going. you’ll save a fortune too!!

  2. Good on you! I would join you My Husband bought me a gin advent calendar for December but I only drunk 3 days! So I have 21 little bottles waiting for me! I don’t tend to drink very often and when I do it’s a G&T or 2. Gone are the days of wanting to get sozzled, I hate the hangovers. I’ll certainly be cutting down this year though.

  3. I cut out drinking for three years when we were trying to conceive, then through pregnancy and nursing. After a while, I didn’t miss it at all, and now I just take the occasional drink on special occasions. You can do it!

  4. I don’t drink that much so Dry January isn’t a thing. I occasionally have a glass of wine with dinner (maybe twice a week) and on the weekends I buy those small Kahlua mudslides and a couple of hard ciders. Actually I still have one left and it’s Tuesday lol. I used to drink more than this when I had a very stressful job a few years back. I would down a few bottles of wine a week. I definitely don’t miss that job. I hope January stays dry for you.

  5. Well done! I know I need to do this, if only for pure vanity but mainly because I am so tired. Your diary is very inspiring and I don’t think I’m someone who will manage cutting down. January is almost done and it has been far from dry.

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