Dry January- Part Three

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(This is a four part series on dry January; if you want to see how it’s gone so far, click here, and here)

So…I drank alcohol. And it’s still January. I could just end this entry here, but that would be kind of lazy, and I feel that I should justify why I fell off the wagon.

Night nffsnfnb?- Saturday, 21st January

I felt good about getting over the hump, and under different circumstances, I think I would have probably would have stuck it out, whatever plans I made over the weekend. This changed when a friend, who I haven’t seen in over a year, was visiting for one weekend only. I knew this was coming, as the plan was actually made the day after I agreed to go sober for this month. I know – great timing.

I can’t pretend that any drunken guilt I felt stopped me from having a good night though; it was great to catch up with my mate, and I would imagine that it would have been fun whether I was sober or not. Despite my best intentions to stay away from the sauce, my willpower crumbled fairly rapidly, as the playlist of the night was fifteen second snippets of early 00s pop songs, and various people going “WOOOOO” at the top of their lungs. You gotta have some kind of special potion to get through that shit. A few immediate downsides to the night-

  1. On Sunday, I was so hungover that all I wanted to do was throw up, and sleep. Not sure if it’s just because it’s been a while since I’ve had a hangover, or if it was the Long Island ice tea punishing me. Probably a bit of both.
  2. I have no idea how much I spent, and I’m still too scared to check. This probably tells me that I spent too much.

In my previous post, I mentioned that it was nice to be in control of my actions throughout the entire night, and while I don’t think I did anything too stupid, I had crossed a line by the end of the night where nothing I said made any real sense to anyone apart from me. Actually, I tell a lie – nothing I said made any real sense to anyone, including me. But, a few of my other friends slipped up on their dry January challenge too, and while I don’t believe I was influenced by this (I found out the next day), I don’t feel so bad about getting shithoused.

When it comes to writing about failure, it’s difficult to emphasise the importance of the challenge you are trying to undertake, without sounding like you are fishing for sympathy. Up until the last paragraph, I deliberately stayed away from the ‘F’ word for that reason; I don’t really see this weekend as a failure, more just a setback. While that sounds like denial or something I read on a motivational poster (it probably is), I’m choosing to see it that way because if I see it in a negative light, I would think that the challenge is as good as over.

If willpower alone isn’t enough to pull me over the finish line, I can’t pretend that I haven’t noticed the health benefits. The fact that I’ve lost about half a stone in weight is something I’m pretty happy with – I wasn’t too worried about my weight before this, but at times I felt a bit doughy and bloated, and I think drinking played a part in that. My skin is also a lot clearer, which is quite a big thing for me, so this is a good incentive for me to change my attitude towards drinking in the long run.

One step at a time though; breaking a habit that has been learned over time, and reinforced by British culture, isn’t gonna happen by magic. Speaking of one step at a time, I have five days to go before I am allowed to have a guilt-free pint. I probably won’t get completely smashed on the first day of February, but the jury is still out on that one.

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