Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My booze-free month

I’ve just completed Dry January, in aid of Cancer Research. A lot of lovely people donated a total of £570, so thank you all (at the time of writing). It’s still open for donations if you feel like chipping in, for a great cause. But this post isn’t about convincing you to donate, it’s more of a reflection on my booze-free month.

Regular blog readers, Twitter followers or anyone who knows me knows that I like a cheeky drink or three now and again, as do quite a few people. I’m not reliant on it, I didn’t face any withdrawal symptoms or anything. But I was surprised to find how much I casually lean on it, habitually.

It’s almost a superstition. Tough day? Cheeky drink. Tough week? Cheeky drink. Watching a fun show or movie at home? Cheeky drink to accompany it. Finished a long project? Cheeky drink to celebrate. It’s a mind-trick a lot of us use to reward ourselves. And when you can’t drink, *everything* seems booze-related. Going for a meal? Have a glass of something with it. Out with friends? Get a round in. And so on.

January was pretty tough due to some bad real life stuff, and the loss of some cultural heroes - David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Terry Wogan. Attending a funeral the week Bowie died, on the *day* Rickman died, I could have happily had several drinks.

I didn’t dive back in as soon as February 1st arrived. But it was good to know that the option for a random drink was always there. We all need to treat ourselves with a variety of things, in moderation of course. But it’s been an interesting, surprising, occasionally frustrating process, which has made me give a lot of thought to this aspect of my life. And anything that makes you think is a good thing.

The best things about it? Raising a chunk of money for Cancer Research. No hangovers. Getting fitter. Although I did tend to reward myself with cake or sweets instead, so I might be the only person who did Dry January and weighed more at the end...

Would I do it again? Possibly. Maybe. I don’t know. If I can have a strict promise from everyone not to die that month, then I’ll think about it. Until then... cheers!