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Day 1:

There’s nothing like a New Year’s Eve hangover to make you hate the world and all things containing alcohol.

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I started the night by pouring airport vodka into various Slurpees. I got what I deserved.

I’ve been in bed watching Australia’s Next Top Model. The 16 year old models who look 30 years old have been doing yoga and posing in coffins. I feel like a worthless blob of cells. We threw away the rest of the vodka because the thought of it going in our stomachs is wretched (money wasted).

I decided to do Dry January because it’s hella trendy right now and I also like physical/mental challenges. I want to prove to myself that I can do it, that I don’t need alcohol in my life, and I’m interested to see how my friends react ie will they be assholes about it.

Day 2:

I wanted to buy real cheap wine at Duty Free, but realized I can’t drink for a month. So, that’s money saved already! But damn, I love me a cheap Pinot Noir.

Day 6:

I haven’t thought about alcohol much today.

I’m not a huge drinker during the week, unless it’s the holidays or I’m insanely stressed. But, my god, I want coffee. I thought I’d had too much of the stuff in Singapore, so I decided to take a week off. It has been 4 days and I’ve been in a foul mood and drinking black matcha tea, which is supposed to be the closest tea to coffee. It has a buffalo on the box, so I expected it to do something.

Anyways, alcohol, who gives a fuck, I’m having a latte tomorrow!

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In my world, coffee is rock n roll. 

On my Facebook page, I posted a status “would you rather go your whole life without coffee or alcohol?”

Responses included:

“Easy..coffee (as I’m actually sitting at a Starbucks having an iced coffee). I do like a coffee most mornings, but the joy that I get from a good beer far exceeds my joy from a good coffee.”

“Its too hard I literally cant decide”

“Coffee in a heartbeat! *drops mic straight into a fresh latte*”

“Coffee. But in the same time alcohol. Hard one. I think coffee is my winner, because without coffee I get headache and without alcohol is just social symptoms. Haha. Good question Hannah”

 “I’ve managed years without alcohol but I can’t imagine the hell of one day without coffee.”

“Need. Coffee. Now.”

Day 7:

I have a Skype date with a friend on a Friday night. We are in the same time zone and it would be awesome to have some wine while chatting. I guess I’ll sip ice water…

Day 8:

Skype date didn’t happen because my friend is drunk.

It IS Friday night, so that makes sense. Some co-workers are going to the movies, but I’m pretty dead from Children’s Day festivities and opted out. Instead I spent the evening watching a cute British romantic comedy, wearing a tea tree oil face mask, and editing my video of Singapore. Now I’m going to go read my book. Not very bothered to not be out on a Friday night. I have a definite feeling of JOMO right now. Joy Of Missing Out.

JOMO

The Oatmeal is my hero (copyright obviously)

I decided to get up early tomorrow morning to get coffee at my favorite café in the area and to try and get some beach time before the swarms descend. I cannot believe I am setting my alarm for a Saturday morning.

Day 9:

I got up at 7:00am and it wasn’t that bad, as I do it five days a week. I thought early bird got the worm, but all of Thailand seemed to be up with me and the traffic down to Kamala Beach was horrendous. Definitely killed my early morning vibe, until I got myself a large flat white and some pancakes at Pal Coffee, which has the best coffee in the area. I had the place to myself and loved it.

pancakes pal

Booze? Whatever, look at these PANCAKES. 

Thanks to not being hungover, I got myself to the beach around 9 am and it was nice and quiet. I slept on the sand a bit and floated on my back in the waves. It all felt very serene. By 10:30 am, the beach was covered in plastic mats and umbrellas though, so I went and got a massage. I passed by a restaurant selling beers for 50 baht and had an urge to buy one, but then remembered I wasn’t allowed to. I felt a pang of annoyance, but I had a lime shake and a papaya salad instead.

It’s now Saturday evening and I’m staying in to do some writing work and travel research. Not drinking is all well and dandy when you’re having a chill weekend, but I wonder how it will be when my friend Marie-Louise comes and I have to take her out to Patong to party.

Day 10:

I went on an adventurous scooter ride to catch the sunset at a beach I’d never been to and it was a hairy ride. My god, would a beer have hit the spot as I splayed on the sand with my back up against a log. Stupid, dry January.

]sunset phuket

Ok, the sunset was worth it. 

Day 13:

Just found out we have a staff dinner on Friday night. AND I CAN’T DRINK. This is the first time I’ve been seriously upset about not being able to drink. I don’t think tea is going to get me through this…

Day 15:

I am halfway through this challenge and I feel light as a feather, healthy, and full of vitality.

JK, I feel like I want a fucking beer.

Day 16:

I went out to brunch with a group of friends who were all hung-over. It felt pretty awesome to not feel like shit, although their stories about dancing the night away made me jealous.

I decided I can’t hide away while doing this challenge, so I went out for drinks in Phuket Town. Part of the reason I decided to do Dry January was because I felt like every social situation I was in had to involve drinking. I wanted to see what it would be like to not have to grab a beer whenever I felt nervous around new people and to just talk to them.

anna and i

Hey, I’m sober! Nice to meet you!

We went to the coolest, little bar full of collectibles, recycled hipster chairs, and 100 baht mojitos. Sadly, I couldn’t have one, but I’d enjoyed a peppermint tea earlier. It sounds lame, but I really did enjoy it!

As my friends drank, their tongues got looser and I had fun talking shit with them, even though I was stone cold sober. We went to another bar and met up with some teachers that I didn’t know. I was worried that people would judge me or bother me about not having a drink in my hand, but no one said anything. I noticed that I didn’t know what to do with my hands without a beer in them, so I kept my arms folded weirdly. It looked super cool.

All in all, I had a fun night, but I went home around midnight because I was tired and there didn’t seem to be a point to stay out any longer. My other friends were out till 3 am and they said they found another cool bar, but I think I didn’t miss out on too much.

Day 17:

I woke up this morning feeling super out of it, like I’d been drinking. The night before felt like a dream and I remember yelling that I was going to drink all the alcohol in Phuket Town on January 29th. I obviously was picking up the drunk vibes from everyone else.

I’m worried that I’m going to have a “Wet February” aka get way too drunk as soon as Dry January ends in an effort to make up for lost time. I definitely don’t want to do that, as I’m hoping to learn better moderation from this challenge.

Day 22:

My friend, Marie Lousie, is here visiting and a sober host seems like a shitty host. I’ve been planning on taking her out to the debacherous hell hole known as Bangla Street in Patong, but doing it sober. That place already makes me hate humanity when I am drunk so, I’ve been considering drinking.

I’m also on antibiotics for a staph infection (am I on the Oregon Trail?) and I probably shouldn’t. Back in my early 20’s, I did antiobiotics and shots of tequila like it was no big deal. I can handle this.

Day 23:

Oh god, it was so not worth it. After the first beer, I felt strangely dizzy and loopy and told my friend that I better only have one or two more beers. Well, I had two more….and two vodka lemonades. I believe I arm-wrestled someone, told South African college boys that they will never see the “real Thailand”, and possibly kept yelling about Kurt Cobain.

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I mean…what is actually happening here?!

Moderation not achieved.

I blame the medication cocktail. Marie Lousie and I can hardly move. We’re going to the beach, but even sitting in a taxi and then lying on a white-sand beach seems like a major struggle.

marie lousie and i

The internet is lies. We are hungover as shit in this photo, but everyone on FB thinks we are in paradise. 

Day 24:

I am back on Dry January. I can make my own fucking rules. No more booze till February because I AM STILL HUNGOVER. Luckily, I went on a boat tour with a group of girls who were also hungover, so I was in fine company and no one wanted anything to drink.

Day 26:

It’s Taco Tuesday aka an excuse to drink margaritas mid-week.

If I lived closer to Patong, I’d probably go, but I haven’t slept well in maybe 5 days, I’ve been eating like a college student due to the lack of sleep and the vestiges of the hangover, and I need to save money.

Dry January started as a way to get healthy and realize I don’t need to drink as much and I’ll tell you, it definitely proved its point. I was working out constantly, eating well, and feeling great until the night out in Patong. Now I feel like a beached whale.

I have no interest in giving up alcohol completely, but I’m seeing now that I’m not made to drink like a college student anymore. Vodka lemonades are the devil’s piss.

Lesson learned: I enjoy a chill beer on the beach, a cocktail with friends, or a drink after a shitty day at work more than I realized, but staying out till 4am and drinking far more than I should is not worth it. It ends up ruining at least two days, where I could be getting writing done, exercising, or exploring.

So, cheers to dry January! We’ll be finished with each other in 5 days and then I’m off to the Phi Phi islands, where I won’t be drinking a bucket of cheap whiskey and pineapple juice, but you bet your ass I’ll be drinking a cold Singha or two. 

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2 thoughts on “My Dry January Diary

  1. Lol. I too contemplated having a dry January after the holiday debauchery, however unlike you I’m not a gluten for punishment and opted for a more reasonable approach called “moderation”. In your defense, I am the older and wiser. Oh if only I were there to show you the way my child. 🙂

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