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.
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.
New Year's Resolutions seem to revolve around abstinence. Don't do this. Don't drink that. Don't you DARE eat that, else you will be this... It's actually a very negative concept if you approach it in that manner. The words 'don't' and 'shouldn't' aren't very helpful to anyone, let alone an anxious girl. I've learnt lately how powerful language can be.
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.