Dry January III
I once again completed Dry January this year, largely as part of my training for the EUT this summer. I am considering abstaining from alcohol entirely until after that race (but if I complete it, I will have well and truly earned a pint), and I rather like the whole Dry January thing as a means of succintly explaining to people why I’m choosing not to drink. Before leaving Guernsey for London back in May my GP - a frequent benefactor of sage wisdom - advised that I refrain from alcohol permanently, on the grounds that it’d be the best thing for my mental health. At the time, I tried various mental gymnastics to persuade myself that she wasn’t right and to enable me to keep drinking socially, but on some level I knew she was right, and it’s become progressively more difficult to ignore that.
It’s been about six weeks since I had my last drink, and like I wrote about yesterday, I am feeling fairly physically and mentally healthy at the moment. While I still believe that the odd drink wouldn’t have too much impact on that, it is clear to me now (apparently unlike at the time of writing the other posts in this series) that being teetotal simply removes any risk that one drink turns into one drink too many, which is ultimately what damages my health (and what I seem to lack the ability to moderate). There have only been a couple of times I felt like I was missing out this past month, once when I was at a fancy Italian restaurant with my partner and felt like a glass of wine would’ve completed the meal, and another when meeting several new people and a friend’s birthday where he was the only one I knew. Now I am more settled in London, particularly socially, the prospect of socialising without alcohol seems a lot more viable, and I expect that in another couple of months, I might never find myself thinking that I’d feel better with a beer in my hand.
With all this being said, I am notorious for falling off the wagon at this kind of thing, so we’ll see how it goes.