Debs' story: Dry January was the reset button I needed 

March 2023 | 7 minutes

After drinking regularly for over 25 years, Debs has reset her relationship with alcohol after signing up to Dry January with Alcohol Change UK.

I’m 52 and have probably been drinking socially and at home, regularly for over 25 years.

It started when my kids were small, and it would be a Friday afternoon with other Mums or socially with my husband at home or out with friends. I loved wine! It was a real treat and a highlight of any occasion. I was always the one who could never turn down a glass!

I honestly never thought I could do Dry January, although I’ve always wanted to, and I envied people who did.

I just never thought I could. For a few years I’ve had a little voice telling me I really need to rein it in as that glass of wine quite often would be a bottle shared with my husband on a Thursday, followed by a bottle each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Recently my husband had a health scare last November as his blood pressure went through the roof and we had to go to hospital unexpectedly. This became a game changer for him, but I still wanted a few glasses.

ON December 29 2022, I woke up as usual at about midnight after a few glasses and knew I wouldn’t get back to sleep again until around 4am. This was my usual sleep pattern and I hated it! I decided to search for articles about a month off alcohol and what it could do for you. The more I read, the more excited I became at the benefits I could feel from a month off drinking. So, I downloaded the Try Dry app and started on January 1 2023.

The first thing I noticed almost immediately was my sleep! I slept for hours and if I did wake up, I’d go straight back off. This was a huge bonus and the more nights I had of proper sleep, the less I was tempted to drink.

This followed by more energy, not falling asleep on the sofa but actually properly watching something on TV from start to finish. My skin and eyes were brighter and healthier, I lost the puffiness around my face, the chattering mind or worrying at night had completely gone and I had a steady weight loss. All big wins that far outweigh what drinking did for me.

I got through the whole month without a drink and then realised it was the big reset button I needed.

I didn’t want to go straight back to drinking just because it’s February. I now won’t drink at home at all and have found some fantastic alternatives. If I’m out with friends I may have a glass, but I can honestly take it or leave it now as the benefits of not drinking are just too precious to lose. It’s given me freedom to go anywhere as I’m not worried about getting home in a taxi. I honestly can’t believe what I’ve achieved, and neither can my friends. Some of them now tell me they want to do it after seeing the positive results for me. Thanks to the app and the encouraging emails I feel like a new person!