To ditch or not to ditch? My experience of Dry January

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By Tshokey Mindara, Third Year History

The Croft Magazine // Wanting to try a month without the booze? Join the club!

If you looked up the Oxford Dictionary definition of frenemies you would find Tom and Jerry, and of course the Mean Girls, but alongside you would also find me and a glass of wine. In truth, I’ve never been able to complete a whole month without a glass of wine in hand. Unless you count the years I spent drinking Shloer until I was brave enough to have a sip of my father’s whisky.

Each year I vowed enough was enough and attempted to last the whole month without alcohol passing my lips. But I would always falter, be it at a club or a house party. It was always just a little sip that would escalate to me drinking a whole bottle of wine.

Epigram / Tshokey Mindara 

This year, however, is different. Before I knew it, I hadn’t had a sip of alcohol since Christmas. Well. Kind of. I did sneak a splash of rum into my pasta a few days ago. Cheeky, I know. But it was for the flavour and technically I was sober after my meal. As Hannah Montana once said, ‘Everybody makes mistakes.’

It definitely beats my summer though. My love for a glass of rosé was even more dangerous than me sitting out in the sun in a bikini for hours on end. My purchases probably made up for half of Barefoot Winery’s summer sales! I mean don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t an alcoholic. I enjoyed a drink just as much as any other student. But it was bordering on the unhealthy side.

Epigram / Tshokey Mindara 

So, I bet you’re all wondering how I managed to stay sober during this new lockdown? Thought so. Well, I guess it’s all circumstantial. Back in November, I was told by the doctors that my blood pressure was unusually high for someone my age. My summer romance with rosé had compromised my health. Without any social events, I found it easy to avoid buying alcohol using wine only for cooking purposes. Although, I did have a soft spot for mulled wine. Then on Boxing day, tragedy struck. My whole family caught Covid-19 and we abandoned all the bottles of alcohol to collect dust.

Epigram / Tshokey Mindara 

Without these reality checks, maybe I’d still be having the odd glass or two. Certainly during these times, we could all do with a drink. Who’s to say that I won’t have a drink before January ends? Personally, I think putting pressure on yourself to change within a whole month is where our weakness lies. Change needs to happen gradually for it to be sustainable.

Featured Image: Unsplash / Zan


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