Still doing Dry January five years on 

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As February arrived, I thought why go back on the booze? I didn’t fancy it anymore.

Davina de L’amour (not her real name) talks about finding it surprisingly easy to take up the challenge of not drinking for Dry January, the benefits of abstaining and the joy of still being alcohol free after five years. 

It seemed like a near impossible challenge – to give up that comforting and welcome glass of wine in the evening after finishing work.  

What was the point? I felt I was totally in control of the habit so what good would it do to kick it?  

But I like a challenge and, after reading how easily and insidiously one or two glasses can become a bottle, I decided to give it a go. After all, a month without a chilled glass of Sauvignon was hardly much of a sacrifice. 

And just think of all those empty calories – plus the cost and the ever-present chance that a regular drinking habit can spiral into chaos. 

It was surprisingly easy – multiple-factor times easier than kicking smoking. And the benefits became apparent after a few days – better sleep, more alert and rediscovering the joys of a cup of tea in the evening. 

As February arrived, I thought why go back on the booze? I didn’t fancy it anymore. The months rolled by – sadly the rapid weight loss I had stupidly expected failed to materialise. A few pounds dropped off, but that was all. 

My Dry January challenge started in 2017 and I am happy to say that I never looked back. It suited me to stop altogether, and I really did not want to rediscover my taste for a drop of the hard stuff. It no longer appealed. 

So, whatever reason you may have for giving Dry January a go, don’t be daunted. The benefits are enduring, especially as you get older and less able to process alcohol.  

You don’t have to give up that glass of wine or pint forever. But it will help recalibrate your relationship with alcohol and be more conscious of your intake. Cheers! 

Those who take on the official Dry January with support are twice as likely to stay dry throughout the month and to enjoy all the benefits, compared to those who try to do it alone. You can sign up for the brilliant Dry January coaching emails or download the free app, Try Dry. Through the app you can track your units, calories and money saved throughout the month and set your own goals year-round. 

If you drink very heavily regularly, Dry January may not be for you, check with your GP or local alcohol service before you start – help is available locally at:   

If you experience physical symptoms when you stop drinking (which may include but are not limited to shakes, sweating, restlessness, insomnia, nausea, stomach cramps or hallucinations) you should seek medical help urgently.