Dry January Download the Dry January App About Dry January What is Dry January? Our story Support and policies Our partners Why do Dry January? Get involved Resources Charities In your community In your workplace Fundraising Blog Stories from Dry January 2018 Thank you all for the most successful Dry January ever! We couldn't have done it without you. It's been wonderful to see everyone tracking their progress on the app, supporting each other on Facebook and most of all, to hear from participants about their own experiences of Dry January. Today we'd like to share some of these stories from the Dry January class of 2018! "A healthier 2018" Joanne: "I have tried to have a break from alcohol before and failed, but with Dry January it has been a really positive experience. I really hope I can now readdress my relationship with alcohol and have a much healthier 2018." “The grey clouds appear to have lifted” Jon: " I feel so much better in myself – generally much less stressed and anxious and the previous grey clouds of depression appear to have lifted. Also, being able to go out to a pub and NOT drink alcohol has been empowering and reassuring. I am more productive in the evening and morning. I plan to make drinking an exception rather than the rule. I am looking forward to seeing how long I can keep this going and make it part of a healthier lifestyle." “I feel like a whole person again” Anonymous: "I was drinking a bottle of wine a day. I couldn’t wait to get rid of visitors, family, friends so I could settle down with my wine. I looked forward to it all day. It came before everything. I was overweight, desperately unhappy and utterly alone. I used this app and soon realised I was addicted to my habits, not to the wine. I haven’t touched a drop all month, fired on by my report card. I’ve lost half a stone, I’m using my gym membership again and I’m also using my evenings much more productively. I feel like a whole person again. Roll on Dry February. Again, I can’t tell you how my life has changed with your help." "The odd slip-up or lapse isn't the end of the world" Nathan: “I'm an alcohol nurse who assists dependent alcohol users to get "dry." I thought I would give Dry January a go just to see what it's like when I'm telling people they need to stay alcohol-free due to physical and mental health complications. To be fair, I know myself I drink a little too much. “Initially this was not as easy as I thought and I was counting the days. I messed up on the first two days, and that made me realise that when detoxing someone the odd slip up or lapse in use isn't the end of the world. I've changed my perception on challenges that people may face. “Dry January has made me focus on my own alcohol use rather than being complacent – hopefully it will help me change my own relationship with alcohol permanently, and help me continue to help others address their own relationship with alcohol. Without Dry January I would not have contemplated being dry for a month or two or six, or maybe a year. I would recommend this to anyone.” “We are spending a LOT each month on booze” Kaye: "I am someone who probably has been drinking every week since I honestly can’t remember when. I’m 55 next month and have an 18 year old, so probably since I was pregnant with her. The overwhelming difference is in our bank balance. We are spending a LOT each month on booze. We do need to re-evaluate our habits." “I look forward to updating my progress each day” Abraham: "I am feeling a sense of achievement, knowing I do not really need alcohol. I AM getting older, and have read up and seen the bad effects alcohol does to the body. “The app has helped me a lot. I look forward to updating my progress each day, and feeling good for it. It's something to spur me on. My blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol have decreased." "The opportunity to reassess why I drink" Gillian: "Like many other mums, I found that I began to use alcohol as a reward to myself once the kids were in bed. I first felt that I needed to address how much and how often I was drinking when during a check up with my diabetic nurse I fessed up to drinking a bottle of wine each and every night with my husband. We would also go out on a Friday night each week and often consume a bottle each. The nurse told me in no uncertain terms that this was too much and that I should cut down. I had the intention to address my drinking, but sure enough I continued in the old routine. It had become a habit and what I most looked forward to at the end of the day. “When Christmas arrived I was the usual enthusiastic party host and provided endless bottles of booze to entertain my guests over the festive period. As January approached I decided enough was enough. I needed to address this habit of nightly drinking and prove to myself that I was in control. “Dry January has offered me the opportunity to reassess why I drink and implement my own controls over whether I choose to drink or not. Cutting out alcohol completely has helped me to break the habit of 'Armchair Drinking'. In February I will use the control I have found within myself to stop the regular wine night Monday to Thursday. “I have noticed many positive outcomes including better sleep, bags more energy, weight loss, glowing skin and a feeling of control over my own decisions and actions." “This may be the future!” Phil: "I passed a big test last night! Went out with a couple of mates to see a local band. I’m sure I have never gone to see them and not drunk. I figured I would need ‘insurance’ so took your advice and said I’d drive my mates to the pub. It was a late night but I woke up this morning clear headed and much earlier than had I had a session and am ready to fully enjoy my weekend. “Did I miss the alcohol? No not a bit and to be honest this may be the future!" "I never thought in a million years I'd be raving about sobriety" Jess: "I never thought in a million years that I'd be raving about sobriety. “I decided to do Dry January to kick-start a lifestyle change; not give up alcohol completely, but prove to myself that I don't need it every weekend, or to wind down after a stressful day. “One week into January, I actually felt worse than ever. Week two was when something changed. I was a lot more alert at work, especially in those early meetings and my Fitbit was recording that I was having 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. 9 whole hours! “By week three, I had a glass of wine. I do not regret doing so, it actually reminded me that it's not really that good, not as good as I'd been imagining for the past three weeks and after that I wasn't bothered about wanting wine anymore. “I've learnt that alcohol doesn't have to be part of my weekly life, which honestly I didn't think was possible. I can save it for special occasions and what's more, I can enjoy special occasions and meals out without booze." If you'd like to share your story, whether publicly or not, send us an email. As you probably know by now, Dry January is run by us, Alcohol Concern. We're a charity who work all year round to reduce the harm caused by alcohol. Every hour, someone in the UK dies as a result of alcohol. And it's not just those who drink too much who suffer; alcohol is a factor in 1 in 5 of children in need of social care in England, and costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion each year. Anything you donate, big or small, helps us work to save and improve lives. If you feel great, why not donate? Donate now.