The fad, the myth, the legend: dry January

The fad, the myth, the legend. Dry January is something I could never do in a million years.

If you’d have told me to give up alcohol for any amount of time, I probably would have bought a drink then and there just to spite you – my role for Concrete is mostly to organise socials (drinking).

January is understandably the month to refresh, to take a step back and decide how you want the year to go and what you’re going to do to achieve it.

Ultimately, Dry January made me think of those twenty something cleanse addicts who love a detox of anything but probably only drank once in a blue moon anyway. It would not be much of a challenge. One of my favourite things to do is to prove someone wrong, to come out on top – be the best.

So, as January the 1st began to roll around, I thought, why not? I drink on average three nights a week, and I don’t mean just a glass with my friends.

The idea that I had to go out without a drop of alcohol in my system was absolute madness. Going to the pub was not such a terrifying idea but the idea of a sober LCR? Petrifiying.

Now, credits to those that do this on the regular. It is completely eye opening to me that I could have fun without a vodka Coke or five running through my veins.

Instead, I downed lime and sodas (40p!) and Red Bulls on a night out. FYI, there is definitely such thing as a sugar hangover. One of my favourite anecdotes of the month was when, after telling a friend I was attempting Dry January, she said, “Oh I thought you ordered that drink because you were hungover.” It was 7pm on Tuesday, I guess I didn’t look great.

Aside from this, a good support system is encouraging in any situation.

If my friends hadn’t let me smell their drinks to live vicariously through them, I would have failed within the first few days.

By the end of the month I had come to the remarkable conclusion that actually, people liked me without having to be drunk, I could have fun and still remember it, and I was enough without alcohol.

I am happy to say that I have cleansed my liver for a full thirty-one days and am safely, and more moderately, back on the lash.


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August 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

If you would like to get in touch, email the Editor on L.Hargreaves@uea.ac.uk. Follow us at @ConcreteUEA.