Sober Living

Sober curious? Read on to hear about our editor’s Dry January experience last month…  

December for me is always a whirlwind of parties and work get-togethers, not to mention the New Year’s Eve frivolity. By the end of last year I was absolutely exhausted, anxious, and slightly depressed with zero motivation. 

I felt 2024 was not the year to swerve Dry January. I usually curse sobriety and all its dry participants, but this year I decided to commit. My other job as bar manager dictates long hours and late nights and this routine and after work drinking a few times a week (not even every night) had clearly caught up with me. 

Week one was horrendous. I was lucky enough to secure two weeks annual leave and all I did for those first seven days is the bare minimum and catch up on sleep. I had zero energy or zest for life, a shadow of my December self. This was the fallout. 

During week two a miracle occurred. I found myself wanting to get out of bed in the morning (yes, morning as in before 11am) my energy levels surged and I completed tasks I’d been putting off forever. The gorgeous (expensive) wallpaper that’s been in a box for months, is now on my bathroom wall. Also, I started feeling happy. I think it’s the first time I’d felt genuine bowl-me-over happiness in months. 

My hangovers are notoriously terrible, and upon reflection I know during 2023, unless I was drinking, the smiling wasn’t always genuine. The cycle was; party, die of a hangover for at least four days, feel better, party again. My life resembled a version of that famous Fatboy Slim track. 

I did some googling to find out what was happening sans alcohol and according to the NHS, week two is when the clinical detox period comes to an end. What this means is that all bodily functions return to normal and your liver starts to recover. No wonder I was feeling happier and more energised, my body wasn’t fighting anymore. 

Now I’m not saying I’ll never drink again or frowning upon anyone who does – but the savings for me are mental, physical and financial. I’m proud of myself for making it through Dry January and I’ve made the decision to let those good sober vibes spill over into February. Watch this space. 

Steven Graham
Author: Steven Graham

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