On Boxing Day 2013 I decided to stop drinking. I was on the first of my longer-length training walks for the Moonwalk, May’s Charity walking marathon (which, sadly, does not have to be ‘moonwalked’, just carried out with a standard stride). It was a beautiful day, sunny, cold, fresh. I felt like someone had dug me up fifteen minutes earlier, scrubbed me over with rough sand (including inside my mouth) and pushed me off to trundle unsteadily on my way. Everything hurt and nothing felt right. In a searing flash of realisation it occurred to me that if I didn’t drink, or at least, I didn’t drink much, this would not happen any more. It would be easy to argue that I could have figured this out before, but perhaps I was behind the times, or more likely in a state of denial, since I do like a glass of Cava or nine with friends.
I had decided to do dry January anyway (one of my clients is running a Dryathon as a challenge and I do love a challenge); this merely meant starting a week early. Oh, and not drinking on New Year’s Eve, for me, unprecedented. I have to confess, this was a bit nerve-wracking. It’s incredible how I had slipped into patterns of behaviour without registering. Just like my default ‘get to London buy coffee’ setting, I also have a ‘get to party and have drink’ setting. Not any more. This year feels like time to shake some defaults up a bit. I’m committed to regular and intense exercise; I’m committed to freelancing; so I can commit to shifting my mindset when it comes to booze as well I think.
So, two weeks in as of today, how’s it going? Well, New Year’s Eve was brilliant – lovely night with good friends at a house party having real fun powered entirely by alcohol-free Koppaberg. Alcohol-free Koppaberg is a Godsend, since alcohol-free wine – or at least, the one I drank, dealcoholised Torres – tasted, felt and looked like petrol – which is gutting, since I love actual Torres a lot. Ah well – kind contacts have given me tips for other brands to try and I shall be working my way through them.
And yes, I feel really really well. I’ve got more energy (for those forced to spend any amount of time with me – sorry about that) and I wake up easier. The scary thing about this is, I never actually used to drink that much, and certainly not that regularly. Maybe it is simply the thrill of making a decision and sticking to it. I don’t know. But right now it’s working for me.
I love a swift half and I don’t plan to go dry for ever. But for January, yes; then I’ll see how I go.