“Do you want a drink?”
“No I’m good thanks.”
“Not drinking tonight?”
“No… not drinking this year actually! I’m doing Dry 2017.”
The first (and my favourite) reaction is usually: “Good on you!”
The next comment is either “God, I could never do that!” or “But, wine?!”
Because not drinking for a year is a big deal in 2017. Because not drinking makes you a bit different and a bit weird and a bit confusing.. “Like, how do you have fun when you go out?”
And then of course comes the inevitable: “But, why?”
For me it’s so simple. I dislike how alcohol tastes, how it makes me feel and how awful hangovers are in my old age.
But more than that – I just don’t need alcohol to have a good time. I enjoy every night out (or in!) stone cold sober because I enjoy the natural high I get from the people I surround myself with.
The catalyst for this year was obvious for me – after a particularly rowdy New Years Eve that left me in bed until 7PM on New Years Day, I made the choice to stop drinking for a while.. and at some point I realised I could do this for ages. A whole year if I wanted. So that’s what I’m doing.
The side effects are numerous and include:
- Strange looks
- Interesting (remembered) conversations
- Saved money
- Productive weekends
- A healthy liver
- A clear mind
The most interesting part to me though is the permeation of the idea to the people around me, an osmosis-like acceptance of the ‘dry’ approach.
My best friend and my boss have both launched into varying degrees of dryness, from a successful month to their own year long attempts.
To me this is by far the best part. Because it means I’m living breathing proof that you can have fun without drinking. That’s not to say I’ll never drink again or that I dislike or judge anyone that chooses to consume alcohol.
Come Jan 1st 2018 I may feel completely differently!
For now though – it’s just not for me.
Could you do a whole year, completely dry? Or am I totally crazy for even trying? Tell me what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org