• Paul Burston

Ten weeks sober

Updated: Mar 27


Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

It’s ten weeks today since I last drank any alcohol.


Here are a few things I’ve discovered -


It’s been far easier than I anticipated. I’ve been drinking since my early teens and have rarely gone longer than a few weeks without alcohol of some kind. I expected it to be more of a challenge.

But Dry January ran into booze-free February and now it’s almost the middle of March. In all that time, the thought of a drink has barely crossed my mind. Of course it helps that I haven’t been in any social situations where booze plays a part. But for someone who mostly drank at home, it still feels like an achievement.

Anyone thinking of stopping or reducing their drinking should read a book called This Naked Mind by Annie Grace. It was recommended to me by a friend and I’ve since discovered that others have also found it helpful. It certainly helped me to rethink my relationship with alcohol and to see not drinking as a positive choice rather than an act of self denial.

Alcohol-free red wine is fine for marinading meat but not fit for drinking. You might as well drink grape juice instead. It’s cheaper.


Downloading an app can help you to stay motivated and keep track of all the money you’ve saved by not drinking. I’ve saved over £500 so far. I plan to spend it on something unnecessarily self-indulgent in due course.


My sleep patterns are far better now than when I was drinking most nights of the week. I sleep deeper and wake up less during the night (again, there’s an app for that!)


I haven’t seen much improvement in my skin yet. All these hours in lockdown with the central heating on don’t help. But I have lost a lot of weight. No more “corona baby”!


Last but not least, my anxiety is under control. I still have bad days. We’re living through a pandemic, after all. But I no longer wake with a crushing sense of self doubt or panic at the thought of another day wasted recovering from a hangover.


For me, that’s the greatest saving of all.


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