I am going to stop drinking alcohol in 2024

If I say it now, and on my own blog it basically has to happen… right?

can of Dt Pepper with a narrowboat stern in the background
Just the soft stuff from here on out

I feel like my life can be summed up in some pretty clear chapters, and the latest one has been getting to know and understand myself better. One thing I have always said I couldn’t do was stop drinking, I would mock those doing dry Jan with the likes of ‘What are you doing stopping drinking in Jan in the hardest month of the year, you will clearly need a drink!’ And here I am now, gearing up early in Nov/Dec to try and cut out alcohol all together in 2024.

So why the drastic decision? For roughly the month of July this year, I trialled a month with no caffeine and no alcohol, and thought it was going to be incredibly difficult. The height of the summer, narrowboat culture also goes hand in hand with pubs, I have a working fridge for cold beverages and long summer nights, not to mention summer parties and BBQs. But this was exactly the time to try, and become even more aware of how much I rely on drink to get me through socialising, feeling more relaxed and confident. Being honest I could do with having those things without the need to drink first, and regardless my impulsive nature leads me to drinking non stop, which isn’t good for me, my bank balance or my brain the next morning. All of the above does makes it sound like I have a problem, I see that as I write it down, but I wouldn’t say that is the case, more just ingrained and assumed norm to have drink as part of both my lifestyle and the British culture.

Myself and Beautiful making the towpath our workshop, shed and garden all rolled into one this past summer

The initial reason was trailing a medication, and with it being seen as ‘more important’ and ‘official’ as such to me, it made it easy to make it a challenge and it was only starting at one month. But it felt the cold turkey circuit brake I needed, and when I came off the meds and could allow myself to drink, I didn’t feel such a strong pull as I knew I could ‘do it’ without having a drink. I even went on a few nights out without drinking, which I dreaded, but also confirmed for me its possible, I can still have fun with the added bonus of driving home at the end of the night. Not to mention learning half of the problem with hangovers is actually the lack of sleep! Thank goodness I have never had sleep issues -touches wood-.

So next year, I am challenging myself to a full year without a drink. The issue I foresee is the social and cultural moments where having a drink just fits right in. A glass of wine with a meal, a group of friends all together and having a drink, doing rounds, work events, whatever social pressures there may be. I am also hopeful my bank balance will thank me, and it can be a good first step towards taking my physical and mental health more seriously. But lets not jump the gun! One thing at a time, and we are starting with this.

apple, pork pies and juice drink
My go to snack of choice between boat work in the summer

In getting to know myself better, I am also trying to challenge myself in more ways than just not drinking, such a learn Spanish, have savings, have better habits and routines and continue to work on the boat to make it my perfect little space. While there has been some progress this year, there really hasn’t been much, but I am over telling myself I can’t do something for whatever reason. Maybe try and lead my impulsivity into something positive, and not just a cheeky takeaway, holiday or pub drink!

I will try and keep this up to date with progress reports, as this space is basically my not so personal diary anyway, for me to look back at what I have done over the years, fairly sure I started it in 2016. It could all go to shit, but lets wait and see, and have a little more hope and accountability to myself.


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