Trish's story: "this time, it's about February onwards."

Trish | January 2020 | 6 minutes

Trish has done Dry January for many consecutive years, but this time she wants the change to last. This is her story.

This quote from Charles Dickens just about sums up my drinking, and trying to quit: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.”

Every December at various events and parties, friends and strangers would be discussing how much alcohol had been consumed during the festive period. There was always an excuse to drink for me. During Halloween, I would put together a party for the children and invite the mums along for a drink. Bonfire night, Christmas parties, girlie get-togethers… the list goes on.

For me, the ritual of 'enjoying' a few glasses of red wine Thursday to Monday from 5pm, which increased to a few bottles from Thursday to Sunday evening, is such a negative process. Monday morning, waking up after a sweaty nights’ half-sleep, deciding not to drink until Friday (which only lasts until Wednesday) and then it starts all over again. Feeling tired, anxious and moody the following Monday, and the Monday after that, and the one after that. It’s a vicious cycle.

"I, like many people, will be doing Dry January again this year. But this time, it's about February onwards."

I have been doing Dry January for a while – even before it was an official campaign. And I, like many people, will be doing Dry January again this year. But this time, it's about February onwards. Things have to change. I think it's almost a waste of time abstaining if all I do is revert right back to the 'all or nothing' rut I was in the month before. I need to be going somewhere with my Dry January: either changing my weekly intake or cutting out alcohol altogether. There needs to be a plan – an endgame.

The positives once you’re in the midst of Dry January are almost unbelievable. I started to feel more than pleased with myself. A bit cocky, even! Better sleep, more energy, improved mood swings, and the icing on the cake? Weight loss! But it was hard at times – I missed the weekends where we would go for a long walk and end up at the pub with a roast dinner and a few large glasses of Malbec, Saturday nights watching telly with a G&T and a bottle of red, cheese and port…

"...ultimately, Dry January is your own. It’s your journey. If you’re worried you can't even do one day without a drink, you may be surprised!"

Did complete the month? Yes, I did. And on the first of February I actually didn't want a drink. I poured a glass of my usual Malbec (I had moved every bottle of alcohol from the house into the garage on 2 January) and I stood and looked at it. Eventually, I tasted it. Yuck. Tasted horrid. But I carried on tasting it and here we are 11 months later, back to the old routine. So this time around, things are going to change!

My advice below, having embarked on Dry January a number of times, might help you stay on track:

  • Embark on Dry January in a group, so you can support each other
  • Don't keep talking about drinking, it doesn't help
  • Even non-alcoholic drinks are full of sugar, so be careful if you’re using these as a substitute for your usual alcoholic drink
  • Change your routine around when you would have that first drink
  • Start a hobby (I took an upholstery class)
  • Go to the gym, join a local exercise group or start your own exercise routine

But ultimately, Dry January is your own. It’s your journey. If you’re worried you can't even do one day without a drink, you may be surprised!

Have you downloaded our Try Dry app yet? It's the perfect way to track your drinking throughout Dry January, and beyond!

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