• Gabriela Dittrichova

Dry January: let's stay sober a little longer

On the last day of 2019, I was sober. Because I had some responsibilities and couldn’t drink up until 1am on the 1st of Jan 2020, I decided not to drink at all. I continued without alcohol throughout the month and completed 30 consecutive days with a single glass of Aperol.



The decision to stop drinking didn’t come out of nowhere. I have had a problematic relationship with alcohol for a while and it led me to regret drinking on multiple occasions. Having an alcoholic in a circle of my closest friends, I experienced first-hand how tragic this addiction can be. It is often caused by a mental problem, which I haven’t solved yet, but at least I can have a clear mind and focus better on what it is that led me to drinking.


I’m becoming more honest and less afraid of what [people] will say or think about me. I’m not careless, I just care less about things I cannot change.

My problem is that I never knew where my limit was. Instead of trying to find it, I just stopped. It’s now been a month and I didn’t feel a single need to go back. Did I slip? Yes, of course (hello, human). Whilst on a skiing trip, I had a glass of Aperol. Afterwards, I felt sick and dizzy. This was a sufficient reminder that my body is really doing better without alcohol and it doesn’t want me to go back. Lesson learnt!



Having completed a month doesn’t make me proud. I haven’t been faced with any tricky situations yet when drinking was ‘expected’ from me (though this seems absurd, you can’t force people to drink). When I met up with my friends though, instead of a glass of wine or beer, we went for tea or coffee. It helps that some of my friends are pregnant too (haha).


Of course, I am afraid what I’m gonna feel like when I’ll go celebrate my brother’s 30th and everybody around me will be drinking. Same with celebrating my quarter of a century. Same with my best friend getting married. The list goes on. But not drinking might be another thing I’ll just be recognised for as ‘being special’. It won’t be as complicated as being vegetarian because I simply just go for the non-alcoholic option, which tends to be often less dull than the sides of a meaty dish. Fine...


Maybe I’ll go back to drinking in a month, maybe a year. Maybe never (I wish). I’m learning to discover myself and find courage when talking to people. I started saying things I wouldn’t normally say unless tipsy. I’m becoming more honest and less afraid of what they will say or think about me. I’m not careless, I just care less about things I cannot change and focus more on myself. A little self-care never killed nobody.


Don’t feel the need to congratulate me or to convince me that I’m crazy (I already know). But if you’re a good friend, you will respect my decision, welcome my fresh approach and maybe enjoy a sober night with me. Cheers to that!



Photo credit: many thanks to Angi Wang.

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© 2020 by Gabrielle Ditt.

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