Alcoholic drinks consumed: 0.
Alcoholic drinks wanted: 6.
Cups of coffee: Infinite.
Takeaways bought: 1.
Money raised for Brain Tumour Research: £295.07.
Having had a week already to get used to enforced sobriety, anyone would think that it would be easier to continue in this vein: well folks, I’m here to tell you that this is not the case. I have fulfilled my prediction of substituting alcohol for coffee and whatever chocolatey goodness I can get my hands on, since my willpower is more like flimsy paper than solid iron. As a result I am over-caffeinated and jittery, my sleeping pattern has gone to hell and my complexion is decidedly spottier, even if it’s slightly rosier than usual thanks to the lack of greying hangovers. So far, not so good.
However, on the plus side, I enjoyed a delightful evening in for my housemate’s birthday drinking a bizarre non-alcoholic wine entitled Belvoir Shiraz without the hangover (verdict: odd but pleasant taste, not remotely wine-like, largely inoffensive, 7/10). The distraction of a slap-up roast dinner followed by Swedish Apple cake meant I barely noticed the wine and prosecco that flowed freely around me, which proves a point that I’d already suspected to be true: it’s not the drink but the company that makes a good party a great one.
Having survived Blue Monday without a slip-up, alongside exams and miserable northern weather and the likelihood that most of us will fail our New Year’s Resolutions pretty soon, I decided I would not feel guilty about my greater consumption of caffeine and what my great-grandmother used to call ‘rubbish’, as in ‘bring them round for a visit and I’ll fill them up with rubbish right before their tea’. Given the pressure put on ‘millennials’ as we’re so patronisingly dubbed by the mainstream media, it’s entirely reasonable to slip up and indulge those guilty pleasures that really we have no reason to feel bad about. My Dry January is not a quest for perfection nor a holier-than-thou judgement on others, but a test that I’ve given myself, for which I make up the rules.
So the next time you’re in the pub and your mate isn’t joining you for your post-exam tequila shots, cut them some slack. Maybe they have another exam tomorrow, maybe their loan hasn’t come in yet, maybe they’re just not in the mood, but don’t pressure them into joining in, as I’ve seen a lot of people doing at work this week. Unless they’re obviously judging you and outwardly spoiling your fun, in which case go ahead and flick your chewed lime wedges at their self-righteous heads and carry on. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
(Image: Evening Standard)