Dry January is a time when many people challenge themselves to go a month without alcohol. After the excesses of the festive December, it can be, for many people, a change to give their body and mind a break, and to enjoy a healthier month. It’s not that much of a big deal. It doesn’t change their life that much. And it’s not a struggle.

For many others, it can be more of a challenge. And a chance to go inward, and examine your relationship with alcohol.

I’ll admit in all the years I was drinking, I never did it. I got sober before it was really a big thing, but even so, my friend and I would often talk about how we were going to have a dry January. I don’t think we ever managed it. I generally failed at the first hurdle, with a New Year’s Day pub quiz getting in the way of my good intentions.

And once I failed once, the whole month was abandoned.

I was probably never THAT committed to it if I am honest. I needed it, but I couldn’t do it, didn’t want to do it, didn’t have the capacity to do it.

Now of course, I don’t need to. I will celebrate 10 sober years later this year, and haven’t needed to worry about Dry January in a long time.


I’ve given up many things over the years. There’s the obvious alcohol, cigarettes and weed of course. And diet wise, I’ve gone from meat eater to vegetarian to vegan and now to whole food vegan. No more Ultra Processed Food for me… apart from the occasional lapse. And I’ve created a healthier relationship with caffeine now with a mix of full caffeine, decaf, herbal teas and vast quantities of water to lubricate my days.

But I still have one big addiction.

Admittedly, it’s not likely to harm my body, but tit does take a toll on my mental health, and impacts my life quite a lot.

You might have the same problem.

Hello, Facebook doom scrolling…..

I’ve always loved digital time wasting. When I did my degree, I would pass many unproductive hours playing Solitaire, back in the days when the closest thing we had to social media was Friends Reunited, and it took 5 minutes for the site to load!

And there is no denying that as social media has become ever more omnipresent in society, I have been sucked deeper and deeper into it. I have many friends I only know through the internet. I promote my recovery coaching services on social media. I find events to go to. I learn about what is happening in the world and in my community there.

It has many uses. There is no doubt about that.

But that’s not all I use it for.

I also use it to distract me when I’m overwhelmed. I used it to give me dopamine when my supplies are low. I use it to pretend to myself I’m doing something constructive. And I use it to avoid my feelings when I’m feeling down.

This has always been the case to varying degrees, but since my Mum died, it’s got worse. In many ways, I need the connection it offers me even more since then. But that’s not what  I do. I scroll and scroll and don’t interact with anything or anyone. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling…..looking for something I’m not going to find there.

Not always. Sometimes I really do interact in the groups I’m in, and with the friends I am connected to. But sometimes, I can look up and find half an hour has passed and I couldn’t tell you a single thing I’ve read, learned, or enjoyed.

I gave up drinking so I could stop living my life like that. I enjoy living, experiencing the world, feeling and being. Not numbing out and letting it all pass me by.

So when I saw, ironically, a Facebook post announcing that one of my FB friends was doing a social media Dry January, I leapt on the idea. That’s what I need to.

So later today, I’ll be getting my son to change my Facebook password. The last time I did this, I ended up unexpectedly writing a book, and only returned to Facebook because I was told I’d need to promote the book. I didn’t want to. I’d enjoyed my time away far too much.

I’m going to use the time I would have wasted scrolling to do what I really want to do when I’m at my computer. I’ll be writing here, on my Substack, on the Sober Business Network, and for other websites.

I’ll be available for recovery coaching, and will be using my PEACE method to help me in my own Dry January experience.

And who knows. I may even emerge from my FB detox with another book…. it wouldn’t be the first time!

Are you doing Dry January? How is it going for you?