It is hard to contemplate never drinking again. I always tell people that I am getting back on the gin and tonic again when I am 80. Many of us are not physically addicted, but habitually using, and used to drinking. So it must be possible to moderate. Lots of people do. But just like the planning you did to take a month off, you need to plan your moderation.
Those whom historically would have had a couple of glasses in the evening, were completing Dry January and resuming their original drinking habits, only to find they wanted to drink far more in case there would be no more later on. Creating a lack and scarcity mentality that was proving difficult to break.
It's that time of year again when life goals are set and resolutions are made. Do you want to lose weight and get fit (don't we all)? Perhaps you're about to embark on Dry January or quit smoking. Is your goal to improve your relationships or get out of debt? Whatever your good intentions are, research suggests that only 8% of us actually achieve our resolutions.
Do you say you're a "wine lover"? Or a "real ale enthusiast"? Is your profile pic you holding a cocktail? Is that how you want to present yourself to the outside world now you are aiming at a new and improved you? How about changing that bit to something else about yourself? It's great to remember that drinking is not the most interesting thing you do.
Dry January was never really too daunting, given three-quarters of October, November and December all passed in a state of complete sobriety. My dirty little secret - drinking coca cola at parties and telling white lies by hinting I had already had enough that night - is well and truly and out. I'm as sober as a judge, people.
Before my month away from the tipple, I was very self-aware about how young and immature I was. Now I feel as though I am actually an adult. Someone who can have one drink and mean one, who can have a diet Coke instead of a shot of vodka at a busy venue, who doesn't feel obliged to stay out if in fact they want to go home.
I spent the first couple of days genuinely enjoying my sobriety. Stress levels were lower and I slept like a baby, even rising early doors to hit the hotel gym while my colleagues slept off their hangovers. However, on the third night, our group decided to go out to sample of Manchester's famed nightlife...
I love alcohol. There, I said it. It makes everything more enjoyable. It's been a big factor in some of my closest, most meaningful relationships. In fact, it's the main reason some girls even find me attractive enough to enter a relationship in the first place... So when the people at Dryathlon enlisted me for a month of sobriety in the name of raising money for Cancer Research UK, I felt a tad concerned.
Many people in the UK decide to detox after the Christmas period. Stilton, port and vast amounts of mince pies are all very well, but come at a cost. It's a price some aren't always happy to pay, so they then spend January and beyond moaning about weight gain and their plans to get fit for the summer.