Here we are. 6 months since I last drank alcohol – at that fabulous new year’s party at Chi’s house. At midnight, my husband and I decided to join Dry January and after the month was over, we felt great and set a new goal: Dry until July.
It’s now July – so were we counting down the seconds with a big bottle of Champagne, ready to drink again?
The answer is no. Going back to drinking alcohol would just feel a bit silly after such a long break. I’d likely fall back into old habits again because, as I’ve said before, moderation is not my strong suit. But, more importantly, I’m happy without the booze.
Good things I’ve learnt
Apart from the physical benefits of quitting the booze (better sleep, better skin, 4 stubborn kilos lost and the overall great feeling of never having a hangover), I’ve discovered so many things the past six months.
Here are a few of them:
Life without alcohol is possible and not boring
It was much easier to quit than I had expected
There is a huge, supportive alcohol-free community out there
Where I’m still struggling
Alcohol-free life can be a bit lonely – you’re sometimes the “odd one out”
I have experienced sober shaming
It’s hard to find really delicious alcohol-free alternatives (although the market in some countries is growing)
I often find myself having to justify an obviously healthy choice
My alcohol-free communication goals
I aim to share, write and publish about alcohol-free life - both my own journey and the people/products/events that inspire me. I aim not to judge.
I aim to organise more alcohol-free events! The next one will be another round of Classy AF cocktail making masterclass on 25 September!
I strongly believe in "never say never" - but for now, I'm convinced that alcohol no longer serves me and that I'm living a really good life without it. When I interviewed Janey Lee Grace for this piece, I asked her whether she ever sips or tastes alcohol. She said "why would I"? "That's like asking if I'd ever take a bit of cocaine"? Though I agree that alcohol is toxic, I don't quite see it the same way. I will not let the occasion be the exception because there are simply too many lovely occasions to celebrate! So, for example, I stuck to alcohol-free when I toasted to my son's graduation and my parents' arrival in Malaysia. But, should a completely unique tasting opportunity arise, I might have a sip. Say I find myself on the green plains if the Faroe Islands and a local farmer offers me fermented meat and tells me I should try a special local akvavit with it. But it would a really unique product in a unique setting - as you can probably tell :-)
Thank you for following! Thank you for your support! It really means a lot!! Here's to going Dry Until July - but July of what year?
Should you be tempted to try out alcohol-free life, here is a reminder of how you could start out.
Lise & Francesco's tips on going sober:
Find a partner - it can be your friend, partner, spouse - anyone. But having a companion is important.
Download the Sobriety Counter app! It counts the days sober but you can also track cravings and health improvements here.
Take it one day at the time. Breathe. Enjoy. Be proud - and reach out if you're struggling
Went sober recently? How to be confident in your sobriety. Tips by Janey Lee Grace, BBC Journalist, Author and Founder of The Sober Club
When you arrive at a party and someone offers you a drink, say “Thank you, I’d love a drink, can I have something non-alcoholic please?”
Don’t go into panic mode and don’t start explaining.
Be confident and make your sobriety non-negotiable.
For the first two months, do not discuss your decision to give up alcohol. Change the subject if it comes up.
Do not share too much information about your lifestyle change until you feel strong in your sobriety.