Is Dry January Worth It?

Posted on January 9, 2024

Ah, Dry January is in its second week, and I’ve become a detective, snooping around folks who either embrace this dry spell or consider it as relevant as a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest. Chatting with the abstainers and the ‘I’ll-have-just-one-more’ crew has been quite the rollercoaster.

You see, the definition of an alcohol aficionado varies wildly. For instance, an accountant I work with once confessed his nightly glass of wine might be morphing into an undercover addiction. Contrast that with other friends gulping down enough plonk to supply a vineyard who believe they’re the epitome of sobriety as long as there is vodka hiding under their pillow.

Indifference and Medical Opinion

Some people skip Dry January because they claim independence from the bottle, while others dodge it because they’re best buddies with dependency. I appreciate the honesty there – it’s like a no-bullshit policy when discussing this whole booze hiatus. Why fuck about?

Medical experts toss different ideas into the ring, making it sound like going cold turkey from heavy drinking might be as risky as risky to health as challenging a cobra to a staring contest. Gradual withdrawal is apparently the gold standard, but let’s face it, for most drinkers like me, it’s either bottoms up or nothing at all!

Debating With Deniers

And then there’s the joy of debating Dry January with those who find it about as appealing as a root canal treatment undertaken by a nervous dental student. Just the other day, a colleague took a forceful jab at it, calling it a ‘nothing more than a fad.’ I didn’t ask for his opinion while doing a happy dance about my participation but he wanted to have a go at me anyway. As I explained how it helps me dial down my post-January consumption, he suddenly became a self-proclaimed expert on my willpower. Meanwhile, he’s in denial about his own bar tab.

I originally signed up for Dry January six years ago by choice. It was part of accepting I might have a tad too much affection for the happy juice. When first facing these facts it wasn’t a walk in the park. Accepting you are a bit addicted is harder than pretending you haven’t. Previously, I’d justify my ‘controlled’ drinking by stating that I am rarely, if ever, uncontrollably drunk, which is true. But taking a break definitely highlights the perks of abstinence.

From Hangover to Reborn

The first week feels like a hangover marathon—imagine feeling as lively as a sloth’s siesta. However, by week two, it’s like a reboot—better sleep, work efficiency up a notch, and suddenly, even tech gadgets behave themselves. Even the walking the dog feels like…well…a walk in the park.

Every year it gets me thinking—should I just kick booze for good? It’s not just about extending my lifespan; it’s about feeling sprightly enough to tackle life’s shenanigans. Let’s just say it’s an ongoing existential debate. For now, I’ll make it to the end of January and ponder my future relationship with the wine aisle in Tesco’s when February arrives.


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