Do This Don't: Give Up Drinking in January

This will be the first time in 15 years I've gone for a whole month without drinking. My liver and I are relying on you to keep us honest.
Publish date:
December 13, 2012
drinking, new year's resolutions, dry january

As I write this, I feel great –- I had 7.45 hours of sleep last night, which is pretty amazing. I had one solitary glass of wine, as a treat, because I’d remembered to eat both oily fish and greens for dinner. Jesus, I’m boring myself now. Are you still awake over there?

Anyway, feeling this great is a definite novelty right now. Because it’s December, and I work in the media, which means I’m contractually obliged to be pissed or hungover 30% of the time. Well, guess what, world? I want out.

Despite (or because of) my conviction that I was going to be the office party tit, I managed to behave myself fairly well last week at the Say Media UK Christmas Party. I was in bed by 1AM, didn’t use up all of my drink tokens, and remember everything. I left my purse in the back of a taxi, but that’s because I was stupid, not drunk.

It did mean that I was much more aware than normal of how hammered everyone else was, and it wasn't a pretty sight. Random guy who nearly knocked me over at the bar in the rush to get to your tequila shot, which you then chucked down my arm, I’m talking to you.

Of course, my all-time Christmas party hero is now none other than Miss Mandy Stadtmiller, who, at a New York Post Christmas party a few years ago, drank five shots of whisky before sitting down next to her boss, biting his finger, falling off her chair and vomiting. Spectacular work, Ms S, I salute you. Also, check her out on ABC offering pro Christmas party boozing tips. If only I’d had these earlier.

That said, despite not being as big a prick as usual at our Christmas party, I still had plenty to drink. And combined with every other Christmas drink, Christmas lunch, Christmas house party I’ve attended/hosted in the last 12 days, my body and my brain are sending me some clear signals that it’s time to give it a rest.

My skin is dry and flaky, and covered in spots. If I’m in bed after midnight right now, my eyes feel so scratchy and sore the next day that I can’t see my computer screen without my glasses.

On Saturday, I hosted a relatively tame house party (where everyone else was asleep or had gone home by 2AM and I was still drinking punch out of a large Tupperware box).

I then spent most of Sunday on the couch, alternating between total despair and anxious panic, for no good reason at all. In the end I found a fluff-covered diazepam a friend once gave me for a long-haul flight, which I consumed with a glass of bucks fizz and some Quality Streets. Happy Bloody Christmas.

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