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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Avoiding Dry January

    ...a little moderation goes a long way...I wonder how little...

    Why I'm Swapping 'Dry January' For A 'Damp 2019'

    By Rob Crossan, Esquire




    I was on a bus in South London a couple of days ago when I decided to eavesdrop on two men in their early 30’s sitting opposite me.
    They were both sporting obligatory unkempt post-hipster beards and were wearing painfully thin looking plaid shirts. I’m 40. So I now worry about things like the thickness of cotton and polyester.

    But that wasn’t the only thing that was concerning me.
    "Yep, going well so far", one stated in a manner befitting a true patrician. "Nasty at first. But reckon it’ll be easier now."
    "Good work", said his friend. "Not sure I could do it."

    They were talking about Dry January of course. The worrying bit was that the pride and triumphalism of the first guy befitted the bravest of Dunkirk veterans, yet was based on the fact that he had gone, at the time of the conversation, roughly a day and a half without alcohol.

    Thirty six little hours. An achievement hardly worthy of an emoji, let alone talking about out loud. But he is far from alone. Alcohol Concern, the charity who gave us the concept of taking the longest and coldest month of the year off from booze, estimates that five million people took part in 2017, with two thirds of participants making it through to the 31st.

    I am not a part of this five million group and never have been. Because January is the month of the year that I want a drink the most. It’s cold, I’m skint, I have to pay my tax bill on the last day of the month and the cost of flights to anywhere even remotely sunnier climes are astronomical. So: hello, bottle opener my old friend…

    But am I really missing out on anything that life-changing? According to research by the psychology department at UCL, it takes an average of 66 days to form new habits, which means a 30 day abstinence is likely to be just that: a one off.

    And while there’s clearly nothing wrong with wanting to cut down on the grog, there’s compelling evidence to suggest that doing it in such a fist-bumping, ‘take the challenge’, over-sharing way can actually be counter-productive.


    “Cold turkey is not necessarily the solution,” says Dr. Sam Hastings, an NHS registered psychologist based in North London.

    “You need a positive reason to take on a challenge. Otherwise a ‘new year, new year’ agenda can be a very damaging, and very false, premise.”
    Dr. Hastings points me to a review of 129 different behaviour change studies which was collated by the Economic and Social Research Council in 2017. The conclusion was that the least effective change strategies were centred around notions of fear and regret.

    "I’d say that the basic problem is that people set goals that are too big and too general, and without being clear about why they want to achieve them. They then fall at the early hurdles which feeds back into a negative sense of self and often ends up giving psychological permission not to change: 'I’m useless, I’m weak, it’ll never work, there’s no point trying... sod it, might as well finish the bottle.'"


    If you really are the kind of drinker who can easily finish off a bottle of wine each evening (and I count myself as being one of those), it would appear that, according to Alcohol Concern’s website I shouldn’t even be attempting Dry January at all.

    The charity’s website states: "If you regularly drink more than the government’s recommended maximum of 14 units of alcohol per week, you may be alcohol dependent, and in this case Dry January is not for you."

    My God, I’m suddenly feeling like Charles Bukowski in his ‘boils on the face’ period. Pink elephants and spiders crawling across the ceiling can only be a matter of time.

    Except of course, as we all know, alcohol dependency doesn’t work in such binary terms. A rough totting up of my alcohol units consumed each week puts me at around 40-45. Way above the recommended 14 units but nowhere near the 60-70 mark which is where, according to most studies, liver damage and serious health problems begin.

    So I turn to Dr. Hastings for advice. Surely I can’t be the only man in Britain to feel that I need to cut down on the booze but yet doesn’t want to take a ‘challenge’ which seems horribly close to the kind of ‘zany’ group challenge that staff at provincial buildings societies do together for Red Nose Day before the giant cheque photo shoot for the local paper.

    "I honestly don’t think there’s anything wrong with 'Dry Jan' per se", Dr. Hastings tells me.
    "But if I was helping someone try to cut down their boozing, I’d start by: 1) getting them to work out clearly why they want to; 2) have them write down specific and personal reasons, linked to hopes about the way they would like life to be better; 3) think through specific scenarios that are likely to come up and plans how they’d deal with them."

    And that’s what I’ve decided to do. I’m rejecting Dry January in favour of an entire year which I’m determined isn’t going to be as consistently sopping wet as the year before.

    So let my ‘Damp 2019’ commence. I won’t get any ‘go team!’ messages on Instagram and Twitter for it. But I might just be saving my liver. And, most importantly of all, I’m being immeasurably less boring about it.


    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat
    NamPikToot's Avatar
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    Its been pretty sopping in my house.

  3. #3
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    Farang think too much.

    'Tis wonder why your so unhealthy.

  4. #4
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    Orrens's Avatar
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    You're dead an awful long time. I've noticed that. So abstinence from the joys of living is to me pointless.
    Unless an anchorite or cenobite in which case denying yourself such pleasures gives you an economical hard-on.

    Orrens
    Not dead.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat

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    Haven't you heard? Januhairy is the thing, not dry January.


    https://www.rt.com/news/448155-januh...ponse-twitter/

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Dillinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    that wasn’t the only thing that was concerning me.
    "Yep, going well so far", one stated in a manner befitting a true patrician. "Nasty at first. But reckon it’ll be easier now."
    "Good work", said his friend. "Not sure I could do it."

    They were talking about Dry January of course.
    I'd say the were most certainly talking about quitting smoking.

    The guy who wrote this piece also wrote about how to drink yourself slimmer and has a bit of a drink problem I reckon

    https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/articl...-gin-wine-beer

  7. #7
    or TizYou?
    TizMe's Avatar
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  8. #8
    Thailand Expat
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    I can honestly say I don't have a drinking problem.

    How deep is the well, how wide is the river?

    Admittance they say is the the first step to recovery of that lost balance of work, drink, play and rest.

    Ok, to rephrase, I don't have a problem drinking.

    the fish.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat
    fishlocker's Avatar
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    I'll be working on the "rest" portion of that equation tomorrow morning. I can't seem to scoot down the block without folks flagging me down and offering me beers.

    I'm not certain this is the best environment for.....

    the fish.

  10. #10
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    Binge not drinking. Whatever next.
    Deny yourself nothing. Just choose your poison carefully.
    Measure twice, cut once. Job jobbed.

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat

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    Quote Originally Posted by fishlocker View Post
    I can honestly say I don't have a drinking problem.



    Ok, to rephrase, I don't have a problem drinking.

    the fish.




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