I woke abruptly at 9:37 on the 1st of January 2023, with nothing but regret. It was the first day of the new year and I already found myself desperately longing for it to be over. My head was threatening to split itself open, and quite frankly, I felt as though I had been hit by a bus.
As the next hour painfully passes by, I lay staring at the ceiling trapped in this morning’s fit of hangxiety. I was urgently trying, yet failing, to mentally prepare myself for movement. Eventually, I managed to work up enough strength to crawl out from the safety of my bed; producing an aggressive wave of nausea which violently threatened to follow through. I stumble my way to the bathroom and take a long, hard, look at my reflection in the mirror. Makeup half smeared on my face, mascara clumped together on my eyelashes and undereye bags growing darker by the second. Somehow, it was possible that I looked even worse than I felt. There was only one thing abundantly clear to me. I never want to drink again.
As my body crashes back down on the bed my partner looks at me with the same look of regret that I’m currently feeling and groans the words I’m sure everybody is thinking: ‘I think we should do dry January.’.
Now at the time, this seemed like a great idea. The first five days flew by. I was still motivated by the hangover that was all too fresh in mind and determined by the challenge. However, by Friday the 6th of January I had worked out this would be the longest month ever.
Our friends all text to say that they missed us and, the regulars from the pub I work at repetitively asked: ‘Were still doing that crap? You’ve done a week, that is enough isn’t it? Stop being boring’. But we were both determined to go the whole nine yards.
By the 27th we were well and truly fed up and decided enough is enough. Yes, we were saving money. Obviously, we didn’t miss the hangovers, but we were sacrificing much needed time with our friends. We chose to celebrate throwing dry January out the window in our local Weatherspoon’s at £2 a pint and God, was it worth it? 100%.
There isn’t anything wrong with drinking socially and in moderation, so why do we act like there is? Really, we have achieved nothing, and I don’t have anything take away from this experience apart from two things:
1. Non-alcoholic beer doesn’t taste that bad, but it does cost a fortune to drink it at the pub.
2. I will not be putting myself through it again next year.