I’m very proud of myself.

I am.

I’ll tell you why.

I’ve just completed Dry January.

I’ve never been a big drinker – rarely more than 14 units a week and usually just weekends – in fact the pathological control freak in me doesn’t actually like the feeling of being drunk. I tried Dry January last year and it ended up being quite damp, so I thought I’d have another go.

There were some potential pitfalls that I managed to avoid.

It nearly became Moist January when my future in-laws came round, but I survived that.

It also threatened to become Biblical Monsoon January when my brother turned up after a course I’d been on in Nottingham, but I survived that too. (he did cheekily slip some Kahlua into a tiramisu he brought round, but surely that doesn’t count?)

I learned a few things along the way:

• I did fancy a beer to wash down my Nando’s the other night, but I managed without. Similarly I fancied a glass of red with my homemade hummus and French bread last week, but was able to abstain. Middle-class problems.
• My family and friends have been incredibly supportive and certainly no-one made me feel pressured into having a drink.
• I don’t need alcohol for a good time. That surprised me. The fact that it surprised me surprised me. Some good friends came up from Birmingham, which usually predicts a hangover the following day. However I had just as good a time drinking mineral water. And in unrelated news, my Brummie accent was on top form.
• Alcohol-free beer is generally dreadful. Brewdog’s “Nanny State” is drinkable (“snowflake beer”, as my fiancée’s Uncle Tim calls it). That’s 0.5%, which I think is a little more than the other low-alcohol beers and lagers. Does that count? I still needed approval to buy it in Sainsbury’s.
• Talking to people breathing alcohol breath over you is horrible.
• I’ve slept better. My nearly 36-year-old bladder and fussy disposition usually wake me up after a few hours of sleep – not sure if I should be concerned about that – but less so since I’ve stopped drinking alcohol. Waking up early on a Sunday morning with a completely clear head has been great.

As I said, I haven’t missed it. I don’t think I’ll ever be teetotal but I think I will cut down.

You should try it.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is for entertainment purposes only and any opinions contained therein do not necessarily represent those of the author.

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