Not drinking for One Month – What’s in Store...


You want to try Dry January for the first time? Here’s how it might pan out.


1st Jan: You wake up with a massive hangover. Pounding head, sweating, shivering – you commit to never drinking again. This alcohol-free thing will be easy.2nd Jan: Still not fully recovered from NYE. You "work from home" and have a day in bed watching all 5 seasons of Stranger Things again. No alcohol – no problem.

3rd Jan: Back to work. Hardcore want to go to pub afterwards but you’re on Dry January. Not difficult to turn down booze on day 3.

4th Jan: Normality returning. Check bank statement for first time after Christmas – never mind wanting a drink, you can’t afford a drink.

5th Jan: Can’t concentrate – because you've committed to not drink it's weirdly become all you can think about. Even dreamt about a drinking a cold beer on a hot sunny afternoon last night.

6th Jan: It’s Friday. Wouldn’t mind going out, but can’t drink. So stay in and get really bored – never realised Friday night TV was so bad. For the first time, second thoughts about doing Dry January start creeping in.

Watching TV

7th Jan: Invited to bottomless brunch with friends. Waste of money if not drinking. Is now the time to give up Dry Jan? Spend an hour deliberating but hold your nerve and turn down invite. Irritable for the rest of the day – especially when you see Insta posts showing how much bottomless-brunch-fun everyone is having.

8th Jan: Wake up early on Sunday with no hangover. Feel good. Go out for walk. Meet friends for coffee. Fresh air. Maybe go for a run later. This is not how Sundays normally feel. 

9th – 12th Jan: Work, work, work. Pretty productive though. You go to one work social and get harassed for drinking orange juice – you really need to find a better non-alcoholic drink.

13th Jan: Friday. Stay in. Miserable. “Why am I doing this?” spinning through your mind all evening. Sleep deeper than you have done in weeks.

14th Jan: Try something different. Joined mates for a game of football. Enjoyed it (and scored 2). Couldn’t join them down the pub afterwards though.

15th Jan: Join a gym, paid for by your booze savings.

16th – 19th Jan: Week shoots by. Find an excuse not to go for birthday drinks with Alan from accounts and glad you didn’t have to waste your evening.

20th Jan: Third Friday in Jan. You really wish you could have a drink alcohol, but can’t lose face by giving in now. Spend the evening in the pub with your mates drinking alcohol-free beers. Don’t taste that good but gives the fidgety hands something to do. Strange incident at the end of the evening. One of your mates gets very drunk and is really annoying – talking rubbish about politics and winding up everyone else unnecessarily. You’ve never really witnessed this sort of behaviour whilst sober. It’s embarrassing. Spend the night worrying if you have ever behaved like that.

21st Jan: Pack the Saturday with non-drinking things you wouldn’t usually do. Have brunch without prosecco (why do people drink prosecco anyway – it’s horrible), play golf in the afternoon, go to cinema in the evening, followed by a comedy club.

22nd Jan: Up early, meet friends for lunch, afternoon in gym, evening planning next holiday.

23rd – 26th Jan: Working hard. Long hours, but sleeping so well don’t notice. More energy than usual – productivity is getting noticed. Even go out for a couple of socials without being self-conscious about not drinking. Discover ZAG.

27th- 29th Jan: You do new stuff over the weekend. Friends commenting on your loss of weight, glowing skin, vigour. You feel …..Good!

30th Jan: Penultimate booze-free day. A Monday. Easy.

31st Jan. Last day. Meet up with an old mate who is visiting the UK for the first time in ages. Go to pub. Get pissed. Dry January – failed (or maybe not?).

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