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I’m hoping Dry January will help me sort my sh*t out

I’m hoping Dry January will help me sort my sh*t out

January 1, 2020 - By Sam Mann

I’ve been dreading Dry January for the whole of December. Now it’s finally here, it’s time to remove the Sauvignon Blanc from my ‘favourites’ list, order in the elderflower cordial and put my willpower to the test. So long loyal friend, see you on the other side. 

You’re probably reading this and thinking, get over yourself, you’re not the only person kicking off 2019 with a month of sobriety. I know that, of course. Around a whopping 3.1 million people in the UK attempted Dry January last year, according to a YouGov poll. The number of people who resisted temptation for the whole 31 days is harder to pinpoint. I for one wasn’t one of them. 

Past failed attempts aside, this year feels different. I feel a need to prove to myself I am not reliant on booze. In the past I’d have laughed off the suggestion that I couldn’t last a whole month without caving in. I’d have argued that, while I could easily survive without alcohol, a little of what you fancy does you good. So this year, determined to accept no excuses, I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.

6 reasons why I NEED to do Dry Jan 2019

1. I don’t like the idea of a habit having a hold on me

I drank every day throughout December and pretty much November and October for that matter. Drinking just a glass or two has become a habit. I don’t like the thought of any habit having a hold over me. I want to be in control. 

2. I want to make goals and smash them

I made umpteen grand statements to myself and my partner throughout 2018. ‘I’m only drinking when I go out, so I wont be buying wine for the house’ was a reoccurring theme. I need to prove to myself that I still have the willpower. The popular adage ‘use it or lose it’ certainly applies here. Over the years I have exercised like a Tasmanian devil, run a marathon, smashed a triathlon as well as putting my body through various detoxes and fasts for days on end. Probably the most severe was putting on a stone in weight in a week and then losing it the following week to emulate celebrity yo-yo dieters (God knows the damage I did to myself all in aid of celebrity light entertainment). Anyway, my point being I used to be able to push my body and brain to do a lot more, and I want that back!

3. I’m curious about being booze free

I am not an alcoholic. Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not. That said I have recently become increasingly intrigued and envious of those who have given up drinking for good. I have read and listened to ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’, I follow Bryony Gordon on her journey of sobriety, and I’ve secretly been envious of friends and acquaintances on social media who are now reaping the rewards of a booze-free life. 

4. I want to look healthy

Make up has been my friend and trusty disguise for far too long. My morning face is a true reflection of the state I’m in, which to be honest currently doesn’t look great. 20 minutes alone time with my dear friend Charlotte Tilbury and I’m ready to face my public. Time has it’s own plans for my face, but I shouldn’t be giving it a generous helping hand. 

5. I want my brain back 

I have been feeling foggy for as long as I can remember. Running at 60%, I am happy to bumble along and not look for new opportunities. I want to push myself to achieve the kinds of things I did in my early career, things that I can be proud of. 

6. My mojo is a no-go

I also can't remember the last time I woke up and sprung out of bed. Most mornings I could happily pull the duvet over my head and snooze my way through half the day. As I write this I realise how sad that is. I am blessed with a spirited, delightful 8-year-old daughter who is high on life and thrives off social interaction. I have an amazing, supportive and handsome (just in case he reads this) partner. Then there’s Harvey the crazy cockapoo who worships the ground I walk on. I am blessed and have more than most to spring out of bed for.  

6 steps to winning at Dry January 

  1. I’ve made signs and popped post-it notes in tactical places reminding me to lay off the booze. I remember visiting a friend’s house and seeing her house full of similar memos - stuck all over the cupboards, on the fridge, reading ‘no booze’ ‘no chocolate’ ‘no sugar’. I laughed at the time but looking at her now it doesn’t seem so silly.  
  2. I’ll continue to read and follow people who are reaping the benefits of being sober and pick up as many tips as possible.  
  3. I plan to exercise and meditate everyday in the hope that the endorphins I get will replace the need for a glass of wine.  
  4. I have my alternatives at the ready - elderflower cordial, Horlicks and hot chocolate are readily stocked in my kitchen cupboard so I don’t feel like I am restricted to plain old water. 
  5. I’ve teamed up with my family - my sister Nikki who has recently done a blinding job of slimming down which involved cutting down on prosecco and my mum who has a big operation on the horizon. We plan to encourage each other to stick to not drinking for as long as possible. 
  6. I’ve made a promise to my loved ones. My super supportive partner and my number 1 girl really want to see me healthy and happy which means a life with less booze. And of course now I've told the world, I've got to stick to my guns. 

Thank you for reading - any suggestions, advice and words of encouragement would be gratefully received. 


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