From the title you may have guest it. I took part in my own little version of Dry January. I can hear you now. Oh how original Ray. Its oddly predictable isn't it. A dry January, or as I refer to it a dryish January. Alarmingly the name dryish comes from the fact I had little confidence I would be able to achieve it and so didn’t want to set anyones expectations to something I wouldn’t be able to meet. Standard practice by yours truly, I detest failing. First of all, here are the facts. This was my first time trying this. I have no recollection of ever attempting it before or in fact being dry for a month since meeting the legal drinking age requirements. I decided on trying it randomly with not much premeditated thought.
From the haze of a hang over on new years day. It all looked pretty achievable. The first week of January is a easy one. No one seems interested in doing much, everyone is facing the realities of a new year and is on a low after the holiday period. Everyone is busy starting there own new years resolution, such as cluttering local gym in groups, talking loudly, taking photos and generally annoying all regulars. I kept myself busy with work and the gym. First weekend came with the first obstacle. A event in Vauxhall I had planned on going with my friends. Some new age band I was actually looking forward to seeing. I took the easy option that most take when giving the booze a miss. I cancelled. I couldn't face it sober. I am not proud, but when you are newbie to the dry the easiest and best option is to take yourself out of the scenario. The rest of the weekend was used productively completing some personal projects and with no hang over I found I was oddly focused on what I wanted to achieve.
The second week was much the same with one difference. People around me started to notice the change. What I found shocking was the varied reactions to my little temporary hiatus from being inebriated. Some seem irritated that I was doing it, thinking of how it would effect them rather than encouraging me to continue. Some seemed perplexed by it and saw it as some sort of self punishment and presumed I had a really bad experience. Most people encouraged me to drink and break it. This in itself was annoying but helpful. I hate when people try to tell me how to live my life. It made my will not to drink stronger. By the second weekend on the Saturday at 6 o clock in the evening. Bitch. Shit got real. It was like going through the 12 step program. I wanted to get on it, right that instant. Skull gin, do shots, dance like a fool and do more shots. Talk crap, vomit and repeat the cycle. This anxious need to go out and rebel lasted until about 8 then I started to calm the hell down, slowly realising that it was just a few weeks off the stuff, I could handle this shiz. I was just feeling some major FOMO.
by the third week, I was coming around to the idea of not drinking. My personal productivity was on point, I was getting ahead on so much stuff - I was writing so much more, getting started on a projects. I was no longer missing the short term gains of a boozy night out, I was looking at my life objectively and seeing with clear eyes what I needed to change. Oh and the best thing about it, my sleep was off the chain. Seriously. I was getting some fabulous shut eye. The start of the next week I had family over in the city so standardly when arranging a catch up on the Monday evening the plan was to meet up in a Pub. Lads we are Irish. Get over it. Anyways, I arrived in toe with my Cousin Jess. Quickly I announced I was abstaining from drink in a similar manor one usually announces an engagement but with a much less enthusiastic response. It was probably more similar to an announcement of a death in the family. I ordered a coke. Who do I complain to about the lack of good non alcohol options in a pub? We sat, chatted, had a good catch up and a bit of a laugh. Only thing being I felt the effects of my long work day behind me while the rest were urged on by the flowing drinks. bastards. I never checked my watch so much.
Week four I was seeing the light. It was coming to a end and I had achieved already what I set out to achieve. That weekend, I was going to the Backyard Cinema Club’s screening of Sister Act 2. FrankA? Anyone? My good Judy Chelsey was coming with, while waiting for her to make her entrance, I ordered us two Expresso Martini’s. Thats right, Two days early I broke my fast. No one asked me too. No one was around. I done it because I felt I had achieved what I wanted and had nothing left to prove to myself. It was delicious - I adore a good Expresso Martini. Any tips on the best ones in London let me know guys.
So what have I learned? That I can have a good time with out drink. Go figure. That the pub is far more enjoyable with a drink. Who would of guessed it. I am still funny without drink. I knew that one. I am the definition of a hoot. I also learned its not nice to pressure others to drink and that I will no longer do this. Well I will try really hard not too anyway.
P.S - I also gave up coffee Monday to Friday for the month of January. That was a whole different shit storm.