*Short disclaimer: I drank three times in January, technically a failure but also still of an achievement – 3 isn’t 31 people! Okay, it was four.*
I can’t be the only person that has woken up at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon, dribble down my face, a hazy memory of the evening before and a strong will to leave my own body. Manically googling jobs in Canada because the hangover guilt is so terrible that I never want to speak to anybody I may have seen again, right?
It’s no secret that Drunk Claire is ruining my life, so after the Christmas binge – I decided to embark on the daunting adventure that is Dry January. I’ve learned many things, most of which are trivial but also some important lessons that will stay with me in the future (we hope).
Here are the things I’ve been mulling over, in this DULL and HOPELESS month:
- I am offered an obscene amount of free alcohol – IT’S EVERYWHERE.
- I get drunk for the sake of it so often – Every Friday night I leave work moulding my plans around drinking. It’s been nice to wake up feeling fresh and actually be productive on the weekend.
- We’re all aware that drinking is expensive but nobody seems to mention the cost of a hangover! Pot Noodles, cheeky takeaways and cherry Tango add up you know.
- Breaking the seal is nothing compared to drinking two pints of water. This entire month has been a constant trip to the bathroom.
- With that being said, we drink an excessive amount of liquid during an average night out. In what world would you drink 6 pints of juice in the space of four hours? (Worried about exposing my binge drinking to the world – obviously, have never had 6 pints in one day😳)
- Cooking is more fun with wine and The Pointer Sisters. That is a fact.
- Hangovers have a much bigger effect than I’d ever thought. I found that I still feel horrendous on a Wednesday if I’ve been drinking Friday and Saturday and I’ve found a definite improvement in my sleeping pattern and energy.
- AND my mood. I’m sure many of you have had a grumpy moment during a night out or woken up in the morning hating absolutely everything about your life. I think we often forget that alcohol is a depressant and it does have negative side effects if abused.
- I was excited about losing some weight with ease as this is supposed to be one of the perks of putting down the drinks. This didn’t happen, but with that being said – I have replaced drinking with eating great food 6 times a day soooo…
- Whilst we’re on the subject – I’ve realised this month that I am never going to go to the gym. This was my chance to finally step on a cross-trainer (or whatever it is that you healthy folk do) and I just didn’t. I’ll just stick to always choosing the stairs I guess.
- Loads of TV shows revolve around dating. I’m putting this in here as I’ve spent a small sum of this month filling pub-time with The Naked Attraction, First Dates and One Night with My Ex. In hindsight, drinking is probably better for my health.
- There is plenty of time in the day, I am just failing to be productive.
- When I have made it out to the pub, I’ve found that it really is no different. I just tend to sing ABBA slightly less.
- I’ve always thought that I’ve relied on alcohol for confidence and although I think this is absolutely the case in some situations, this month has given me the understanding that there are social situations in which I am completely comfortable sober. It’s reaffirmed my knowlege that there is no point in me getting blind drunk just to have fun – which is something that I will be trying my very best not to do from now on.
- I remember the first time I ever tasted vodka – I was convinced that I’d never drink because alcohol tastes RANK. I’ve found that this is no longer the case and I actually enjoy the taste of some alcohol. Particularly; red wine, prosecco and a chilled Red Stripe. (Check me out being so grown up)
- My final lesson has to be that January 2018 has lasted for ten months. I can’t be the only person that has been counting down the days of Jan and honestly, I don’t think it’s because I haven’t been drinking, it’s just a dreary month in general.
This has definitely been a positive experience, particularly as I’ve found it much easier than I thought I would. It’s a work in progress but it has improved my attitude towards alcohol which can only be a good thing. Alongside this, it has also urged me to try and keep trying to better my health and wellbeing where I can, so maybe you will see some gym selfies on the old gram after all.
I find that we have an unhealthy drinking culture in Britain, we’re encouraged to drink from such a young age and the idea that it is directly linked with having fun is instilled into us from the very beginning. I’m not saying that we should be alcohol free health nuts that eat hemp seeds and spend their weekends at craft fairs (actually me tho) but I think there could be great benefits from cutting down and improving our approach to drinking.