Happy new year!
Like a whole bunch of people this year (and every January) we started off the year full of what we considered to be good intentions. We’d had a drink-heavy Christmas, and we fancied a bit of a reset. We lasted a week, and then found ourselves walking past a new pub that had recently opened up near us. … and over a delicious pint, we decided to downgrade our January from dry… to damp.
Not a failure
We could have looked at this as a complete failure; we couldn’t even go a full week before giving in and having gin. But the reason we aren’t looking at it in this way is that we both know we aren’t going to go permanently sober; alcohol is something we both enjoy (look at how many damn cocktail recipes are all over this blog, for example), but we want to get to a point where it has a moderate place in our lives, not an overwhelming one.
After a leisurely drink and lots of discussion (we’re a lesbian couple; of course we had to discuss it in detail!) we came to the conclusion that sticking firmly to principles that we want to live by in future (dry during the week; moderate drinking only at weekends; no hangovers) would be better for us to do straight off the bat, rather than having four weeks off and then just going back to bad habits at the end of the month.
So that’s where we are now - working on our healthy habit formation and managing our drink well. Since making that decision we’ve stuck firmly to our no-booze in the week rule, with the one exception of celebrating during a weekday evening when our lovely flatmate got some really good news.
How’s it going? Very easily. Over Christmas, alcohol became something we consumed slightly mindlessly and we’re not doing that any more. It’s lovely - at the weekends when we have a drink we find ourselves savouring it that much more because it’s just a little bit more rare at the moment. During the weeks it feels good to wake up clear and focused after a restful night’s sleep. My skin is definitely improving and my bank balance is happy.
Give it a try
Have you found yourself struggling through Dry January only to fall straight back off the wagon the moment February hits? Try moderation, not abstinence.
Important note: if you actually have the symptoms of alcohol addiction, or you struggle to maintain a moderate approach to alcohol, then seek medical or psychiatric help.