A year ago I was in a very different place. My marriage was in a really bad way, my weight had spiralled out of control and my blood pressure was dangerously high.

I knew I had to do something, I’d tried moderating and it lasted two days, hiding alcohol from my wife had somehow become part of the norm and I had virtually lost all conscience doing so.

I glanced at a reflection in the mirror and spoke out loud, “Who are you, what have you become?”

You see, I had completely lost all respect for myself. I knew I was better than this, yet the liquid devil had its evil control over me on a daily basis.

I began the year the same as ever, drinking like a fish and very much still in denial but equally being aware that the party was coming to an end.

I was driving to work on the 7th of January 2019, hangover from hell completely present in all forms and I received a text message. It was from a very close friend of mine. It read ’Do you want to give up alcohol for 3 months with me, to see where you are with your health and your marriage?’

I chucked the phone on the seat and laughed out loud. Three months! I can’t even go three days ffs. However, the message trickled in throughout the day and later that evening we met up, talked, I shook his hand and said “Deal.”

I was very lucky in some ways that it was Dry January. I did lots of googling and found the Alcohol Change website which had lot of online resources. I created my instagram page @soberdave and decided to share my journey, the highs, the lows, the complete truth. I was amazed at the support I was receiving. I could see immediate results. My marriage began improving overnight – the fact we were sleeping in the same bed overnight was a start rather than falling asleep pissed on the sofa!  My sleeping pattern was all over the place but at at least there were no hangovers.

After a couple of weeks, I had to be honest with myself. What would happen after the 3 months? I knew I would be right back where I was before and so I made the life changing decision to quit forever.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing, spring was difficult as we had a mini heatwave and it seemed like wherever I looked people were drinking. I had to dig in and take each day as it came, some were easy, some were tough but I just knew there was no turning back.

In a few days time I will be celebrating my first soberversary. I’ve  lost 10kg, hosted two sober events, spoken on several panels about my sobriety and, most excitingly, I’m about to embark on a course to train as a recovery coach. My life has changed for the better in every way. I cannot wait for 2020 – my sober vision board is huge!

If you are considering doing Dry January, I would encourage you to visit www.alcoholchange.org.uk and check out all the resources they offer. Read all the tips and download the app. Follow as many sober people as you can on your desired social media platform and tell everyone you know that you are doing it – you never know it may even encourage them to join you.

Dry January is a real opportunity to start to change your lifestyle whether it’s being more mindful with your drinking habits or deciding to abstain completely.

If you haven’t already seen it watch my IGTV video on Instagram for some of my tips for Dry January, it can be totally life changing for you, whether it being more mindful or even giving up altogether.

Being sober has opened up a whole new world for me. I feel very blessed, very lucky. I cannot wait for all the amazing opportunities that are waiting for me in 2020.

For further support for Dry Jan:

https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/dry-january

@alcoholchangeuk

@dryjanuary