First Person

Will a sobriety course help me crack Dry January?

Like many people, Lucy Holden doesn’t want to ditch the booze completely, but she wouldn’t mind cutting down. Can a lesson in ‘sober’ wine-drinking help her get through the month?

Monday 01 January 2024 06:30
<p>Lucy Holden doesn’t want to give up drinking completely, she just wants to give up drinking too much </p>

Lucy Holden doesn’t want to give up drinking completely, she just wants to give up drinking too much

There’s nothing like the hungover exhaustion after a bout of festive madness to make you reassess your drinking habits. But, to be honest, it’s a regular occurrence for me – I’m just one of those people who never stops imagining going from a wild party girl to someone who could be completely teetotal one day. I enjoy telling myself that, when that happens, I will be the kind of person who exudes library stillness, and whose skin will glow in the dark.

I always think I should quit booze before January becomes dry, but then all the catch-ups get in the way. The fact that I am fresh off the plane from a wine-tasting trip to Arizona when I hear about online courses that are designed to help you drink less is not lost on me. One is even called “Rethinking your wine drinking”, which makes me chuckle as I have the kind of personality that doesn’t believe in spittoons.

But it’s not all Arizona’s fault. My wine intake has been what I like to think of as “slightly too much”, but what doctors would probably call “alcoholic”, for the past year – a year in which I moved to Glasgow and had to make a new life from scratch. I used to start the night with a few beers, but in my thirties this makes me sluggish, and so I’m all about the wine now. I choose red if I want to keep myself tired, and white if I need to keep lively (some would say too much so, and then it makes me snippy).

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