Dry January 2021 – The High’s and Low’s

Last Update: Jan 31, 2021

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Part of me regrets not posting on this topic each and every day through January but on some days it would just be a few lines expressing my feelings, therefore I though best to write a post documentation my sober journey through the month on what will be the last day of what feels like a very long month.

During what ended up being quite a drink fuelled December, daily Jack Daniels, sometimes before lunch time / late morning most of the time early evening and whilst debating which brand of bourbon to invest in for New Years’ Eve, I actually decided to start my dry January a day early on 31st October.

I actually couldn’t be bothered to drink on New Years’ Eve, I mean this was an NYE like no other.

Nothing was open, so pub, no club, no house parties, no going round friends or family for drinks. This type of evening has never been experienced before.

I don’t smoke and I don’t do drugs so my weapon of choice normally is a home measure (large) Jack Daniels and Coke. Sitting at home during the Summer in the garden might be a few bottles of Bud or Stella and if I’m in the pub for the evening, a few pints of ice cold Guinness.

January is a five week month and as of 6th January, just 2 days into the new year, I’ve been working from home for the foreseeable due to the UK Government advice being to work from home if you can.

I live in a house share with several other people so my time was now spent solely in my room, be it working, eating, sleeping, relaxing! Literally grounded like a child. Much like the rest of the country I guess, self isolating to stop the spread of the virus which has now become very much a buzz phrase.

I don’t mind this so much anyway as over the last few months my anxiety about catching this disease has gone through the roof like I guess many people’s have. Thankfully and luckily I’ve avoided this and sincerely hope I continue to do so .

Anyway, remembering week 1, I thought after the first few days Christmas was still very much in the air with left over booze and food and at that point I’d grown bored of drinking anyway. During December I’d consumed several litres anyway so a break was in order.

Week days would be relatively easy because my working day starts at 730 in the morning and finishes around 6pm but my brain rarely switches off from work before 9pm anyway so the week nights would fly by and the uncertainty around job security due to COVID meant that I found myself working even longer hours to keep busy anyway.

I remember the first weekend of no booze, I thought Friday night and Saturday felt definitely like something was missing, normally I’d get a takeaway from the local chip shop on a Friday and slurp down a big Jack and Coke but this time it was just water.

Saturday night was the same though I can’t remember what I ate but it would have been washed down with water and tea and because it was my first weekend I forced myself through it and by the time Monday morning arrived I was fine again.

This is the 1st time I have intentionally done dry January and I think it is the intention of avoiding alcohol which is adding to the pressure, I think it is far easier to avoid alcohol if you’re not intentionally trying to avoid it. I think it would be easier to stay away from it if I opted for a “take it or leave it” attitude.

In some cases I think it is easier to avoid drinking because the country is in lockdown so nothing is open anyway and we are in the depths of winter, I am not sure how I’d cope if in the Summer and countryside pubs and the like were open and I’d be able to visit my parents.

So, what have I done to occupy myself during the weekends then? I’ve done a few 5k walks, for some reason I still can’t get my mind set back into running which is frustrating because I want to get to that stage. Some of those walks have had intermittent bursts of running mixed into them, mainly because I want to run and because I am wearing an expensive pair of running shoes which so far have only seen walking mileage.

Exercise wise, I did set myself a challenge on 1st December to do 100 + push ups a day for 30 days every month for a year and although December and January’s total have been well over 3100 for the month there’s been several days where I haven’t achieved 100 so on other days I’ve had to do more to make up for it. 19th Jan I did 239 but throughout the course of a day instead of several sets in one hit which I think would be more effective.

Recording these efforts on an excel spreadsheet on my Mac has been very helpful to ensure I keep going and will continue to do this throughout the year.

I’ve also read a couple of books during January, I want to read at least pone a month this year and I have so many to choose from and enjoy it so much that I can get lost in a title for hours. Claude Littner was the first book straight after New Year followed with Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes both excellent titles, and hugely inspiring.

One negative I have noticed is the increase in my consumption of crisps and chocolate, I can quite easily smash my way through a few packets of crisps and a couple of chocolate bars in one sitting and although it’s not done much to my weight over the month, I can’t actually do my jeans up. I think I’ve been snacking as a replacement for the booze.

Anyway, as I write this it is the afternoon of 31st January and I have achieved what I set out to do and that is go the whole month without alcohol.

You may say I haven’t seen the day out yet and although this is true, I know I won’t be drinking over the next 12 hours.

Will I have a drink on 1st February? I might do, I might not do, that’s for me to decide at the time with the knowledge that I can if I want to and if I do it is likely to be just a bottle of beer and nothing else.

We shall see what happens

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Recent Comments

11

Good for you! It's a difficult challenge, but you seem to be doing well. Be careful of sugar, too, because when you cut down alcohol your sugar consumption can get 'way out of control. You have done so well with your challenge. Hope you can continue.

I have always had a sweet tooth, I can't just have one chocolate bar, I have to have the whole pack which is why I wont have it in the house

Same here. If I buy a candy bar, I make sure to get just one, because if I got more, I'd eat them all at once.

That’s not an easy thing to do. Thanks for sharing your recent circumstances. All the best in the future.

Actually, it wasn't as easy as I thought it might be

Best continued success this in endeavor!

Jeff

Thanks Jeff

You're very welcome, Dave!

Well done Dave for being dry throughout January
I know that it was not a easy thing for you to do
It would be quite challenging
Congratulations, on sticking to your guns and completing what you set out to do
Hoping your Saturday will be more positive

It's actually less pressure knowing that I can now do it if I choose to.

I'm continuing with my 100pd push up challenge now

Way to go!
Continue to make positive progress and you will see your way through

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