Men drinking outside

Stag do hangover

One month in since I last had a drink.

The whole process has been utterly painless. I can think of one or two passing moments when I thought it would be cool to have a beer, maybe passing that curry house on Quebec street the other night.

One month on from the Rob Jones Blackpool stag do, since I last clutched onto a can of Stella in the freezing cold watching the dishwater wash in an out of the shoreline that was intended to house the beach games, I’ve toured through wine country, been to a friend’s wedding, dinners, meetings, been to pubs, I’ve had every demon through the booze gauntlet down in front of me and I’ve said NEHHHHH. So here are my Top tips on how to give up alcohol in the first month.

iphone texting people

Let your mates know

1# Tell your triggers.

What is a trigger? The people who you associate alcohol with. Perhaps a relationship that is dependent on alcohol, fundamentality centred around alcohol. Have a think on the people you enjoy drinking with. Most probably your best mates, your missus, your family.

They might have heard this rhetoric from you before, perhaps you’ve been the boy that cries wolf one too many times, always after a heavy night. But this time it’s for real baby.

2# Banana Smoothies

I can’t tell if this is the best solution or not, currently I’m looking into the science of banana smoothies and I’ll be talking about this more on the podcast shortly. But I do now that giving up booze will affect your sugar levels. I’ve counter acted that with banana smoothies and currently, I’ve been blitzing about 4-6 a day. But smoothies in general are a much better alternative, your body can do something with fruit. It can do fuck all with alcohol.

Making banana smoothies

Get creative – More so than just bananas and strawberries

3# You’re not missing out

So most of it is a mindset. If you feel like you’re giving up booze and missing out, then you’ll struggle. I’m 38 out now, so I’ve had 20 years + of drinking and I feel like I’ve been on the merry go round long enough. Alcohol has no more surprises for me. I know exactly what it does to my behaviour, I know it like a Bond film I’ve watched a 1000 times.

I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything anymore. I don’t miss the tiredness, sleepless nights, the retching, the brain fog, the jumped up obnoxious confidence and faux-swagger it gives me. I don’t miss apologizing to people the next day for my drunken behaviour. I don’t miss the black outs. The absent-mindness. Losing wallets, phones, keys. Those are the things I focus on. Not the feeling of missing out on that taste of piss-lager, or that meth-like taste of chilli shots or whatever generic bullshit shot you’re asked to down under peer pressure.

beer bottle on building

Want to emigrate?

4# Write a blog/diary

This has been a great cathartic release for me. I get to compartmentalize areas of my life, see where I’m going, where I’ve been. I enjoy writing, I do it for a living and I like running my mouth. So this blog fills ticks all my boxes. I don’t spell check or re-draft these detox diaries because I don’t have the time. It’s just a way for me to unload and luckily I’ve got an awesome platform from which to do it.

Laptop and cat

The silent partner of Human Research

5# Through the WHY back?

People have no argument when it comes to drinking. They’ll often ask, WHY have you given up drinking? I’ve had that asked loads. I just ask them straight back WHY do you drink?

I’ll probably write another article on this but their rebuttals will often be:

  • I like it
  • It relaxes me
  • It helps me unwind
  • It’s good for socializing
  • It helps me (fill in the blank)
  • It’s fun

None of those arguments hold water. Not for me at least. But immediately when people find out you don’t drink you feel like you’re on the defensive. Which is actually insane if you think about it. If you’ve just found out your missus has been cheating on you with your best mate, how stupid would it sound from her to say

Ok so I’m shagging your best mate, but more importantly, why aren’t YOU shagging MY best mate? Huh?

On that note I’ll leave it there. I’ll be interested in hearing from you if you have anything to add to these tips. Especially for the first month. If you’ve given up the booze how did you tackle the first month?

Savoy cocktail in beaufort bar

Maybe we like drinking ‘cos it looks cool

Not all the detox blogs make the homepage. Make sure you’re following Human Research on Twitter where I post all the blogs about alcohol awareness.


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