Dry January saved me

Published on: Wednesday, 23-December-2015

A Knowsley woman is encouraging other people to sign up for Dry January 2016 after she took part earlier this year and used it as an opportunity to turn her life around.

This time last year, following a messy divorce and money worries, Amanda* was drinking at least half a bottle of wine a night as the only way to help her sleep.

It was during one of Knowsley Council’s Dry January workplace presentations that the employee decided she would benefit from taking the challenge.

She confided in the officer delivering the presentation. Occupational Health and HR services at the company offered support and Amanda tried to abstain from alcohol during January.

Amanda said:  “It was really tough. Without realising it, drinking had become part of my daily routine so cutting it out completely was hard.

“I did slip up but felt so ill after consuming the drink that I decided I was going to give up for good. It’s now been over 11 months since I’ve consumed any alcohol.

“I feel much better in myself and more able to cope with my personal circumstances. I’ve also lost a stone in weight and I’ve taken up several sporting hobbies.

I’ve come a long way since this time last year. I realise now how close I came to becoming dependant on alcohol and potentially losing my job if my drinking got worse.”

This year Amanda is actively promoting the campaign within her workplace.

Evidence shows that six months after completing Dry January participants are drinking less frequently and consuming less when they do drink.

Cllr Eddie Connor, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing, said:

“The New Year is the perfect time to sign up to a holiday from alcohol. Dry January is an opportunity for people to reflect on their drinking patterns and to give their body a break from alcohol after the festive period. We know from previous years that people who do Dry January will feel better, lose weight and save money. For some people, like Amanda, it could turn into a life changing experience.”

Lots of support is available throughout the challenge – not only from Dry January but also from the thousands of other participants taking part search for Dry January on Facebook or Twitter and join in. To find out more and sign up, visit www.dryjanuary.org.uk

* the name has been changed to protect the woman’s true identity