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    Thread: Dry January

    1. #1
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      Dry January

      It hasn't been so far... but then there is always a Day 1.

      Today. Hopefully. That's the plan.

      There are 24 days left of January. It's been said that it takes 21 days for a habit to take hold. So it would be good to break the habits of old and create a new one.

      A large part of me doesn't want to do this. But another part of me (I like to think the honest part, the part open to the reality of things) says i need to.

      So I'm going to write where I am. It's for me. Selfishly.

      I was thinking back on my drinking habits over the last year and there appears to be a pattern. Put simply: if I'm not working the following day (or running a race), I allow myself to drink in the evening more than is recommended. My drinking has changed a little since I first came here in 2012. Then it was a bottle of wine a night - week nights included and weekends would be topped up with additional pints. Although running had curbed my drinking a bit, it was still excessive.

      Today, I don't drink wine so much - just the beer. But the units drunk would be similar on a Saturday night or nightly if it were the holidays. I still get up early, run and do stuff if I've been drinking the night before, but just that a depressing mist lingers over me. Teaching - work - does prevent me from drinking during the week... or to limit it to a single beer.

      I came back here last summer because the summer holidays had led to daily (nightly) drinking. I looked forward to 3pm which, i deemed, was a legitimate time to head to the pub for a pint. Just the one. I wasn't drinking with anyone. And then I'd wait until 8pm before i opened a few cans. Once school started, I tried to ban AL altogether during the week. Succeeded by and large for the first term, but since the middle of November I was allowing myself a beer before bed while watching the next instalment of some programme or other on Netflix.

      It's not rock bottom. I don't know what that is. But there are some truths that lead me to think "something's not quite right here" - such as:
      - I think about, look forward to and plan for ensuring I can go home and have at least a beer (even if I've been out, such as the xmas nights out)
      - I use it emotionally. Part of me wonders whether I drink deliberately because I can't articulate something, can't open up. (This is a bit of a biggy with me: i have debated with myself daily for years about whether to open up to about historical stuff. Sorry, cryptic that, but I know what I mean.) So i cover it in a halcyon glow of inebriation.
      - I began hiding it again - whenever i visited my folks, I'd ensure I had (at least) a couple of cans in the bag for beer before bed.
      - I remember the clarity i had when I was 9 months AF - I don't have that so much. It can also take until Tuesday for me to feel more awake if I've had a drunk Saturday night.
      - I drink mostly alone... Possible because I live alone. Oddly, the one time I was little tipsy in public was at a work xmas dinner - had 3 pints, (went home to have more alone), yet had that did-i-make-a-fool-of-myself feeling the following morning. Impossible to say whether I would have had it had I not had more to drink when I'd gone home, or whether drinking in company can actually make me feel a bit guilty/down? Dunno... Another two work occasions I was at I either did not drink or had a max of 2 drinks. Survived both. Though to say "survive" seems wrong for social occasions which should be fun and celebratory.
      - I am worried about my physical health - read: liver. I had blood tests a couple of years back. There was a tiny spike or something in one of the tests. Doc said nothing to be concerned about but would like to do more tests. I bolted. Never got it done. Ignored it. I think it's to do with the accumulation of drinking over the last 20 years. I know - I should get it looked at. But I'd like my act to clean up before I get an MOT.

      Another reason giving up would be - i hope - good, is that i eat shit - salty processed meat and pretzels or crisps of some sort - when I'm drinking. Eating is another issue I need to get to grips with. Drinking doesn't help.

      So 24 days to start a new (good) habit. It's actually one of a number of new habits I'd like to create. Dealing with AL is just a part of it, but I think quite a fundamental part as it can affect me emotionally, especially when it's been a heavier evening of self-indulgence. And I can't see so clear. But it is one day at a time. Today my aim is simply to pack for school and go to bed without having had a single drink.

      And so onward with day 1 -

    2. #2
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      Re: Dry January

      What a wonderful, succinct post I do hope that this works for you today. You can remember how great you felt after 9 months also that clarity is priceless.
      Onward and upward RC.

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      Re: Dry January

      Good on you Arsey - the obsession with drinking whether we are drinking or not is half the battle of an addiction.. as you well know - it's nothing to do with the quantity - it's what it does to our heads - never mind our bodies... great to see you looking for the dry Jan -- it'll be a great start and give you breathing space to make decisions down the line xxx
      Contentedly sober since 27/12/2011
      contentedly NF since 8/04/14

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      Re: Dry January

      Thanks for writing that all out. It helps me to read, too.

      NoSugar always says it isn't the quantity of drink, but more how it makes you feel. If it isn't working for you, time to change.

      Welcome back,
      Pav

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      Re: Dry January

      Good for you RunningCourage. Great post, you sound like you are on the right track. Good for you. I was AF for all but 3 years and then my Mom passed and I used that for a 7 1/2 year relapse into binge drinking. I am at the magical 21 days AF now. You can do it too, I know it. I'm relatively new to the forum but I see in a back post here that this is 'Welcome Back' for you. Congratulations and...Keep the strength...

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    10. #6
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      Re: Dry January

      Thank you Pav and Seeker. Welcome Seeker too - good to see you in the army. I was once a regular here, got me 9 months af, but... I suppose I hadn't worked things through quite. So I'm back. To try and work it out proper.

      Day 1 nearly done and dusted. *phew*

      This week won't be too much of a bother - as I say, back to work and the desire to drink subsides - or at least i fear for my life if i ever were to teach hungover. But it will be Day 7 that's going to be hard.

      Saturday. At my folks with a dear aunt - she and I would easily quaff a couple of bottles of vino between us. The plan is simple - just to say I'm doing a dry January. Folks will be pleased - I think my maw privately thinks i'm drinking too much (again)... though this may be my own paranoia and guilt that comes from, well, drinking too much (go figure). And my aunt won't give two figs whether I'm on the wine or not. It seems to be me.

      I was reading Tabs post in his thread about Xmas - the pictures he painted of what he may have looked forward to in previous years but this year he would be doing without. And it reminds me of when I think about going for a good meal at my folks and I think of the comfort of the seats, the candles, the fire, and warm cosy carpets and the beer I have in the pub before I arrive and the whisky before dinner and the good wine with it and I start salivating and something in my brain starts seeping some feel good waves of what a great thing to do that will be and I look forward to it, the same way I looked forward to going to a relative's or friend's house when I was a kid - the food, the warmth, the friends, the play, the talk... And i realise the only thing that's changed (bar getting older, being an adult not a kid) is that i am not just looking forward to all the above but that in parallel I am (probably) equally looking forward to having a drink (or 5).

      Actually much more has changed. That's being a tad simple. As a kid of certain age, there was little to hide from. If i was shy, I had to deal with it. If i was angry with my brother or my folks,I had to deal with it. If i became embarrassed for some reason, I had to ride through it. If i was bored...yep, you get the gist. This is hard work, growing up. So adults protect us from what we don't need to know or do until we're ready. So what happened?

      Why do I see social occasions only through the prism of amber-tinted beer eyes? Of course I can do such occasions AF, but it's as if AL alleviates any boredom, shyness, anger or irritation, embarrassment that such occasions might give rise to.

      Not that this Saturday will be any of that (i just went on a ramble... excuse me, but by this time I'd normally have my beer opened and pretzels poured and I'm just trying to work it out in head.) Indeed this Saturday really ought to be simple - it's just the fight with myself that will be tough.

      And saying I'm doing a dry january to my folks. And thinking my mum looks upon me pityingly... or smiles broadly which is just as bad as it would only confirm (to me) my thoughts about her thoughts.

      But what I WILL gain is waking up on a Sunday, sober. Which, between you and me, I have been wanting to do for quite a while.

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      Re: Dry January

      Hi RC and everyone, I'll do dry January with you. I'm on day 2. Ramble away! I'm all ears. I've also had some extended sober time in my past and totally agree that it feels great. I love that it is January it's a great time to succeed without a lot of social distractions. (At least for me!) I mostly was drinking alone anyway.

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      Re: Dry January

      Hope it is going ok?

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      Re: Dry January

      Quote Originally Posted by Choices View Post
      Hi RC and everyone, I'll do dry January with you. I'm on day 2. Ramble away! I'm all ears. I've also had some extended sober time in my past and totally agree that it feels great. I love that it is January it's a great time to succeed without a lot of social distractions. (At least for me!) I mostly was drinking alone anyway.
      Hop on - glad for the company!

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      Re: Dry January

      Quote Originally Posted by anon View Post
      Hope it is going ok?
      Hey - going fine. At work, and glad of a clearer head. Need it today!

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