Across 2017 I was found that I was spending an increasing amount of my free time in pubs. Coming from the girl who had never set foot in any of her hometown pubs before starting university, this is quite an ‘achievement’; or at least that’s what I’ve been led to believe.
When I first started drinking with my mates, I couldn’t keep up with them. After one or two pints I’d be full and wanted a coke to recover. Yet if I stated this I’d be criticised for being a ‘lightweight’. Some weeks, particularly during the extended ‘summer’, we’d spend consecutive nights out until closing time. In December I was reaching up to 6 pints and could easily drink a bottle and a half of wine at a house party.
However, this was making me extremely emotional during times of stress and was burning holes through my purse. The final straw was the morning after a party which had ended messily in both a physical and emotional sense. Time for a period of sobriety, something that has not existed in my life for a good year and a half.
Seven things I learned from ditching the booze for January:
- You save money! Pints (of cider) are more than double that of a coke. Yes, coke costs about 7p for the retailer to produce only for them to sell it at £2 of more, but you’re not ‘needing’ several pints of it, because you’re not intending to get any satisfaction from it other than hydration, and embracing the social atmosphere of the pub setting.
- Your skin improves. Partly because you actually remember to wash your make up off and use your moisturiser before you go to bed, instead of just getting in and slinging your coat. And secondly, you’re cutting out the high levels of sugar found in most alcoholic drinks.
- Waking up is a lot easier because you’re sleeping better. It’s great to not need to get up every couple of hours for a pee!
- You feel happier. Gone are the mornings of waking up puzzled, trying to remember whether you drunk texted your ex.
- You don’t need to impress anyone by consuming as much (or some more) alcohol than they are.
- Not everyone teases you. This is especially true of dry January. If you’re wanting to try ditching the booze, this is the time to do it as you might find quite a few of your pals are doing it too. Not that this seems to last very long…
- You feel in control. If you want to start drinking again, you’re no longer afraid to say “Actually, I think I’ll have a cheeky lemonade this round”.
Words by Rachel Deakin