10 February 2017

i failed at dry january, but i don't feel like a failure.

dry january learning

So I didn't quite manage to complete Dry January. In my defence, I'm not alone. Apparently, something like nine out of ten people who take part don't manage to finish the whole month. Well, oops, I've joined those nine out of ten and become that statistic. But actually, you know what? I'm not all that bothered. I only broke it twice and I was never overly sure that giving up something when you're not even sure why you're giving it up was the best of ideas to start with. I don't drink that much! 

So I failed, but I won't berate myself. Plus, I've learnt a few things in the process:

I actually felt guilty.

Seriously, pubs across the UK are closing at a ridiculous rate and I felt bad about not helping them out. Early on in January, I went to my local with a friend and as both of us were on Dry Jan, it was diet cokes all round. And I noticed that everybody else at the bar was ordering soft drinks too. And yeah, it was cheaper for me but how can I pay for the barmaid's wages if I'm ordering just a coke? I know it's a slightly stupid way of thinking, but still! 

On a side note, if you're meeting a friend for a drink at 8 pm, where else do you go apart from a pub?!

I'm not sure there were all that many benefits.

Realistically, I probably did save money. But any benefits from my skin were probably thanks to the overpriced skincare routine I've just implemented for myself and the stupid amount of water I've been forcing myself to drink. I didn't notice any difference in my sleeping and as for my weight, I've got no idea. I try not to weigh myself as it is, plus I've been trying pretty hard with my diet since the start of the year. So who knows?

I'm just not sure it was all that worth it. 

I don't actually drink that much anyway. I probably get drunk once or twice a month and very rarely drink at home, like I never come home and decide to buy a bottle of wine for my tea. I might have the occasional Malibu and coke (no seriously) but nothing too crazy. I never felt all that bad about it. I'm hardly worried about the amount I need to drink, so half the time I did question why on earth I was doing the whole month at all. 

But I do drink too much after work.

I don't know whether that's because I work in politics which is well known for being one of those careers, a bit like journalism, which relies on its drinking culture and gossip to keep everything turning. It doesn't help that I have access to a pub in Parliament where I can buy a round of drinks for five people and have it come to under £15 (pretty unheard of in central London) and it doesn't help that going to one of the many pubs in Westminster is just "one of those things you do" after work every day. But I have learned that I don't have to always buy alcohol. 

And I might rely on alcohol a bit much when I'm in a scary social setting.

This makes me sound like a complete alcoholic, but I think a lot of us would admit to being guilty of occasionally using alcohol as a crutch in a setting where we don't feel entirely comfortable. I'm very guilty of having a drink to help me through a work event (not pissed mind, it's work after all). I couldn't face the idea of a house party without having some alcohol because I knew there wouldn't be a huge amount of people I knew there and I'm just not an overly confident person. That's something I probably do need to address away from the Malibu.

Sometimes, alcohol is just nice.

On one of the occasions I broke dry January, it was because my friend had won tickets to a gin tasting session. It was an experience, I learnt a lot about gin that I didn't know and was introduced to some seriously awesome small gin brands which I'd love to try in the future. I don't see how that could be a failure just because it took place in one month of the year, rather than in some time in February. 

Finally, mocktails are shit.

Seriously, it's just juice. Overpriced juice.

Did you take part in Dry January? How did you get on?

Annie x

1 comment

  1. I haven't heard of Dry January. Maybe I will try it for this month, though. The pub on my university's campus is soo overpriced. I would save a lot of money... That I could then waste on something else.



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