Dry January

Many years ago, I’d go out drinking with my family, my friends and work colleagues. I stupidly kept all groups separated in case they didn’t like each other.
The shocking result being that I’d be spending around 300 days a year drinking socially.
I hate to think how much money I’d spent on alcohol during those years and sometimes, I wasn’t even enjoying it but going out through obligation. But it was hard to say ‘no.’
The situation got so bad that I resolved to give up alcohol every February. The shortest month and consequently, the one to cause least offence.
Ideally, people would’ve respected my decision and not invited me out but even knowing of my abstinence, the invites still came and I reluctantly still went out.
I’d defiantly stick to my vows, making some feel uncomfortable. After a couple of pints of diet coke, people would still ask if I wanted a “proper drink?”
Sometimes, they’d buy me one and I’d leave it untouched because I was doing this for me, not them.
It didn’t take willpower because when you’re no longer enjoying something, it’s easy to abstain from it.
So, I’d sit there, stupidly until closing time, having drunk 8 pints of soft drinks. I’d watch soberly, as my circle of friend’s behaviour and stories that I’d normally think were funny, now seemed embarrassingly idiotic to the point where I’d wonder why I ever mixed with them in the first place.
I did this for a few years until the circle diminished when people left jobs, moved away or somehow grew up and settled down. Luckily, I was never alcohol-dependant.
Now, I drink when I want, have control of my alcohol intake and am much healthier and happier for it. I don’t need a designated month of abstinence because those heavy drinking days are thankfully over.
But for anyone half way through committing to Dry January, I salute you.
And for those of you not doing it, be respectful to those who are.

Categories:Food, Pubs

Tags: , , ,

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