Back in 2012 a friend at work was talking to me about detoxing and ‘going dry’ for the new year. A week or two before my boyfriend had jokingly pointed out an advert to me in a magazine advertising ‘Dry January’ – not drinking alcohol for the month and raising money for charity. I spent two weeks in December ‘celebrating’ Christmas – whether with friends or via work/client events – a lot of food and alcohol was consumed.
A lot of questions were asked/discussed – was it possible to go without drink for a month? Were there too many social commitments taking place to avoid booze? Would people give up on me being boring for not drinking for a whole 31 days?
The outcome? I decided in December to commit to Dry January and stop drinking for a month, but for charity. I knew full well if I didn’t do it for a set cause I’d be easily waylaid by work colleagues and friends when they were next going on a big night out or ‘just for a quick one after work’.
The result? I’m now 14 days into ‘Dry January’ and frankly I am wondering what all the fuss was about and feel a tad embarrassed I was so concerned before signing up.
Friends and colleagues around me didn’t last too long on their detox for the new year and have all consumed alcohol (granted, many cases are on a much lower scale than normal though). Me, because I know this is for charity now and isn’t just about me I have stuck to it and I don’t plan to go off course before the end of the month either – how can I when I know I’m trying to raise funds for a worthwhile cause?
My boyfriend – who isn’t a big drinker himself – finds it humorous how I am discovering things now and seeing things in a new light. Some great world-stopping moments for me and a bright light shining over how much better you feel if you don’t drink? He is shocked it has taken me this long to realise.
I feel great. Yes I am participating in regular exercise and eating healthily too which I’m sure have a big impact in themselves. However, I have never felt so alert. I have felt run down for so long (particularly towards the end of last year) and yes while I was a tad grumpy at the start of 2013 (January Blues I guess), I haven’t felt so tired since. I seem more alert, I seem to be more coherent in my writing (you tell me if I’m right here or not!) In addition, I can get more done.
I’m not wasting hours to hangovers and having to break my healthy eating to ‘soak up the booze’ or eat a big stodgy meal to ‘line my stomach’. On a Saturday I go to my spinning class, maybe start some chores beforehand, I then either get lots of chores done around the flat and outside or I have plans with friends/family.
Most of all I am trying new things. Something I wanted to do this year anyway, but I feel I am really embracing now everything is not just about going out for a drink!
So far this year I’ve been to watch a ballet, I’ve finished reading 2 books and am currently a quarter of the way through a third, I’ve written 9 blog posts (10 including this one), I’ve visited a museum, I’ve booked an important health appointment I’ve been putting off since last June, I’ve filled in/sent off important paperwork which has been sitting around for ages in my flat, I’ve been to the cinema, I’ve been doing more running, I’ve done lots of spinning at the gym, I’ve discovered a new way to spend my lunchbreak (sipping skinny mochas in Costa whilst reading my Kindle), enjoyed Italian meals out (with water to drink), been to a pub and had orange juice to drink and I’ve finally organised to get broadband/home phone in my flat. On top of that I’ve booked up to go to another ballet, an opera, a theatre show and an exhibition. Not bad work in 2 weeks!
The only thing that’s lacking is my sponsorship! http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=MelanieShaw1
Although I’m hoping everyone is holding off since they want to see the end result to believe I will last a month. Hopefully this will reassure you how well it’s going so far and how good I feel. Maybe even it might encourage others to try the same?