I did it…I completed Dry January!

I also managed to raise an impressive £642.19 for my chosen charity CLIC Sargent who work tirelessly to support young people with cancer, and their families, during their cancer treatment and beyond, including bereaved families living with emotional pain.

There were so many advertisements about Dry January that the finger tapping thoughts began. A repetitive ‘Hmmm that’s not a bad idea to do’ thought. One of my New Year Resolutions was to be healthy and I had a few inner battles thinking really, can you do this, why the hell do you even want to do this, are you mad? And what was all the fuss about? Lots of people were doing Dry January so surely 31 alcohol free days isn’t all that hard and I was definitely up for feeling invigorated as the advertisements laid claim to. If I also did it for a good cause then I would most definitely abstain and simultaneously raising money is one hell of a feel good factor. So that was it. Decision made. The announcement in the office seemed to be one of shock horror, wide mouths and nervous laughs. Determination factor #1.

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Photo Cred: Oscar Soderlund

I have to say it has felt like the longest 31 days…EVER. The journey hasn’t been easy but the benefits have been amazing. Let me explain.

For the first couple of weeks oh man it was hard, I was having real cold turkey moments. What’s that all about? It’s not as if I constantly drink or drink every day and I certainly don’t drink copious amounts. But it was the realisation that there was no glass of wine with dinner, it felt boring socialising as drinking diet coke just doesn’t cut it when everyone around you starts slurring their words and then when you feel stressed but only vino is required, then what to do? I’m happy to report that this did ease off, towards the middle of the month I kinda forgot about having a drink after work and I was busy doing other things, I had way more energy. Towards the final couple of weeks I saw the countdown looking much smaller and almost more achievable that I thought oh my god, you really can do this!

As with everything, there is an app for this. It keeps you focused each day with a report card to track your progress. Initially you plug in the average amount of wine you consume each week, it then calculates your calories and cash saved, now is that motivational or what? My favourite bit is that it displays how many days you have completed and how many days remaining until the finish line. I’m not convinced that I have only saved £93 throughout the entire month. Debatable.

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I won’t lie, I have struggled. Those late Friday afternoons where we usually gather for some wine became like hell, I even started sniffing my colleagues beers as some kind of freaky compensation! Yeah I know, don’t ask, they also looked at me strangely. It wasn’t just the social aspect either. You know when you are having a really rough day and that glass of wine seems like the ideal therapy to take your troubles away? Just for a while? The hardest time for me was hearing news of a death in the family, a very special Uncle. Usually at times like this I immediately want to forget, I want the pain to go away. But you know what, this month has made me understand that I have to just get on with shit, I have to face things and not rely on that glass to make things feel better. I just realised that made me sound like an alchie (I’m not by the way) but you know where I am coming from right?

On a positive note (there are a few more, bear with me) I have been introduced to Becks Blue, the non-alcoholic beer. I am not sure if it is because I haven’t had a drink for so long but it really does taste like beer! It is low in fat and it messes with your head thinking you are actually having a drink when you’re not. What I also love is that it doesn’t give me a bright red face. Ok let me rewind, so I am a Britsian (my slang for being a Brit and part Asian). For some reason Asians can’t process alcohol enzymes so we go bright red, sometimes purple! You can actually feel your blood pumping round your face, hands and body. For me it’s uncomfortable and I am paranoid about ‘the rash’ so having Becks Blue has been nice to kid myself that I am having a drink and not have that horrible redness to deal with. Another nice tick in the box. The point is, I have found an alternative and I am going to always have a mini stash in my fridge moving forward!

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Photo Cred: Quentin Dr

I have to say it is the first time I have done this and it is also the last. Not because it was a terrible experience but I actually don’t believe I need to do it again. It has been a fantastic learning experience. I have learnt about my real needs, how to actually deal with certain situations and the world is my oyster, there are so many other ways to socialise. The most incredible feeling has been the overwhelming support from my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me. I couldn’t have done it without you and I am sure everyone will now be relieved (especially in the office) that I am now allowed a glass of wine!

11 THINGS WHICH NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT DRY JANUARY:

  • Your skin will look amazing, dark circles be gone with you.
  • You will sleep better, uninterrupted long hours of good quality zzzzzs.
  • You realise there are so many other things to do in life, and lots of people actually don’t drink as much as you probably do!
  • You save a HEAP of money.
  • You have tons more energy.
  • It helps you lose weight, red wine calories aside, it’s the carb cravings that come after that glass that can cause the problem!
  • There are some great alcohol free beers out there to help get you through.
  • It teaches you to deal with things rather than be stressed or upset and think immediately I need a drink. I now feel stronger, more clear and level headed.
  • You are surrounded by some encouraging and supportive people. The knowledge that people are right behind you and are willing to sponsor you with their hard earned money really does make you feel amazing.
  • It makes you realise you don’t need alcohol to socialise.
  • YOU FEEL GOD DAM AWESOME ONCE YOU HAVE ACHIEVED IT.

So although I found it tough at times I am so glad I did this and I am super proud of myself for achieving it.

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Photo Cred: Quentin Dr

A big shout out to everyone else who has achieved Dry January…cheers!

N x

Thankyou heaps for reading my blog, I really appreciate it. Please feel free to leave a comment or to share with your friends.

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