Day 31 – Mission Accomplished!

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Just over an hour of Dry January to go…

And I’m happy to confirm that I’ve survived 31 days without alcohol and raised £505 for Alcohol Concern, which I reckon is a result!

I’ll be having a drink, and a meal out, tomorrow night to celebrate, but I honestly don’t feel much of an urge to drink alcohol as soon as I’m “allowed” – technically, midnight tonight.

In fact I’ve been surprised at how little I’ve missed it. Yes, there’ve been a few times when I’ve fancied a drink this month, usually on a Friday night, but any mild cravings have been fairly fleeting and hardly overwhelming. It’s just felt different, rather than difficult, to be abstinent.

I would recommend Dry January, or having a break from alcohol any time, to anyone. If nothing else it’s an interesting experiment that makes you notice and question your habits and lifestyle. I think it’s good to reflect on your life and also to test yourself sometimes. It’s reminded me that I have choices, am in control, and that change is possible.

I’m confident that I don’t have a problematic relationship with alcohol, and am able to enjoy it (fairly) responsibly, but Dry January has made me focus on the fact that regular drinking even slightly over the recommended limits carries an increasing risk to my health in many ways, and made me want to reduce the harm.

When I go back to drinking, I plan to have more alcohol free days, and limit my consumption on the days that I drink to 1 or 2 drinks as the norm. Will I still have the occasional binge and get drunk? Probably. Drinking is a pleasurable experience for me and helps me let go of my inhibitions, relax and have a laugh. I don’t need it, but it’s undeniably fun. I’ll always be mindful of the fact that, for many people, it goes beyond that and isn’t fun anymore, and I don’t want my drinking to ever get to that point. There’s always that potential for it to escalate so I’ll continue to monitor it throughout my life.

I’ve said I might post the occasional blog update in February and I’ll be leaving the donation page open for another month, just in case anyone else wants to contribute.

For now all that remains to be said is a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who’s helped raise £505. I never expected to get anywhere near this amount and I’m proud to be donating it all to Alcohol Concern.

Thanks for reading.

Total £505 (£592 including Gift Aid) http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bethanfisher

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