Dry January – Claire’s Story

This is a Guest Blog from my friend Claire, who invited me to join her online support group for Dry January, even though I didn’t know any of them apart from her and even though I didn’t do Dry January myself.

I’ve been tracking their progress – you can read about the ups and downs, the struggles and the wobbles and the successes here –

And now we’re at the end of the month – so what will happen next? Back on the booze? Or continuing into February and beyond? Here’s Claire’s story –

Dry January… like the Sahara Desert? Or more like a Tropical Rain Forest?? – by Claire Sheffi

I’ve never successfully completed Dry January and this year was no different. There’s no need to dwell on the fact that 2021 got off to a predictably rocky start. Despite this I felt more focused than ever to complete Dry January. But here’s the difference, while before it has been an epic failure within the first 10 days, this time was very different… read on.

Setting up a small and willing group of Facebook pals was Step One. After all, we all need a network of friends who will talk you down from pulling the cork or unscrewing the cap on your favourite red wine.

There were other goals sat in the background for me too: fitness, health and most importantly my own mental well-being.

Step Two was writing a message to myself on the kitchen wall ‘Will this help or harm?’, this mantra is applied to many areas of my life now.

Step Three… get a routine and a back-up plan in the way of San Pellegrino, those cans of blood orange are addictive…

Week one, all good in the motivation department with very little desire to have a tipple.

Week two, the odd moment of temptation, more out of boredom, which was cured by joining a dating website for the first time in my life. That is a whole other story though!

Week three, damn it! This is where I made a conscious decision to have half of bottle of red wine on the eve of my 46th Birthday. I’m not going to call this an epic failure though, and here’s why: I realised very quickly that going upstairs to the loo was an effort, my muscles felt like lead! I had a totally shit night’s sleep, full of night sweats, dehydration and strange dreams about money laundering (I kid you not). I woke up on my birthday feeling utterly crap!

I believe that sometimes you have to take a step back to take one forward and this is exactly what Dry January has been for me. I realised that my love of red wine is a one-sided affair, the berry-coloured nectar doesn’t love me back. It robs me of my energy, my mood, my sleep, and increases my appetite to graze on food I wouldn’t normally entertain.

Not drinking has made my skin glow, my thought process is sharper, my energy levels are seriously increasing day on day and I’ve lost weight, not sure how much but my clothes are looser.

Here’s the big thing, the unexpected, the left field moment I never anticipated. Come February 1st, I’m carrying on. I can’t actually think of a reason to go back to drinking, not one. I’ve realised that much of what we do are simply embedded habits, and raising your conscious awareness is what Dry January is really about in my opinion.

So, my question to you all is this: Will it help or harm? Maybe ask yourself this question every now and then with all aspects of your life.

Thanks for reading.

Claire is constantly curious about life, her health and what her body is capable of at the stupendous age of 46. She’s a mum, works full time, is single and embraces life. When she’s not working she can be found wandering on the moors, cycling or pottering about in the garden.

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Photo by Amine M’Siouri from Pexels

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheila says:

    Well done to all who completed dry January.
    I have, and I realise I don’t miss alcohol.
    I don’t feel any different physically. I have not lost weight or have more energy, but I know I was on the brink of it becoming a regular habit. It was something to look forward to on dark, lonely evenings. Surprisingly, I found it very easy to walk past the alcohol aisle in the supermarket, and now don’t even contemplate buying a bottle of red.
    Now, if I can just do the same for so called “ healthy snack bars”, which have sneakily replaced the wine, I will be fine!


    1. Well done, that’s amazing!!


  2. janeyjump says:

    Well done Claire for not only achieving so much yourself, but for helping others too and well done Sheila for continuing your inspirational blog which has lead to so many good things as well as being thoroughly interesting and entertaining. I read it aloud each morning. Breakfast wouldn’t be the same without it.


    1. Thanks Jane!! I love that you read out to himself. xx


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