New Year’s Day feels like the start of a new term at school, pencils sharpened and a sense of hope and promise. I am holding on to this feeling. Today is my brand new Day one, and I felt excited waking up to Dry January, hopeful that I can get more days under my belt and get some serious sober momentum.
I am taking this seriously. Dry January is a great idea for people to have a month off booze, and get healthy, but for me it’s got to be more than that, a longer-term view to being sober. Over the past few months, I have barely been able to string together more than one or two days without drinking, and the habits and patterns of behaviour were becoming engrained in my daily life. The grip it had was scaring me.
I know it won’t be easy. After the first few days of Dry January novelty, the old voices will still be there, nagging at my intentions. But I’ll work on it hour by hour. Alongside the motivational emails I’m being sent from Alcohol Concern (who are running Dry Jan), and the general air of abstinence which greets the UK over the next few days, I will still be addressing my problems with alcohol – I think what I’m trying to say is that I know it’s not a quick fix, a gimmick. I’ve struggled with this for so long now.
My self-esteem is pretty low at the moment. My husband – who is kind, and who I love dearly – said I’d put on quite a lot of weight from my drinking. I felt sad to hear it, and to think that he thought it, but it helps me to see that I can’t ignore the health problems I’m developing because of the drinking. And inside, I knew I was getting really out of shape, and as I squeezed into party dresses through December, I felt horrible, kind of ugly inside.
Happy New Year to you all – and thank you for the strength and hope you give me.