Friday 23rd January.

Remember the friend from the previous week who had joined me on my sober challenge? Well sadly this was the week that she would leave me hanging… Perhaps she left herself hanging when she gave in to temptation and enjoyed some well earned drinks.

It’s been a balance of ease and annoyance whilst I’ve taken this journey but the variety of reactions towards my dry January has kept me motivated. This evening me and my two gal pals headed to a bar in Putney where the ratio of men to women was beyond what I had seen for a while. The thing about alcohol like me and my friend had discussed is that although some obliterate the bottle, some on the other hand and like us used it as Dutch courage aid. I’ve seen first hand that friends and myself can be more confident with the opposite sex and a lot more chatty. I’ve since discovered that I’m just as chatty, if not a bit more selective of who I speak to (we wouldn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up.)

In one scenario me and my friends were approached by a man who was clearly more interested in them than me. He asked us how our night was and with my friends not replying I answered “brilliant thanks,” to which he assumed I was being sarcastic.. Hmm well no, I was just being polite in answering your question.

After this initial hiccup and awkwardness I continued with my mocktail espresso martini and even more pleasing was that my drink of January (soda and lime,) was always free.

Having been approached by a flurry of gentleman, dancing and yelling to the sounds of the noughties and people watching for the majority we had narrowed our male friends to a select few and high on alcoholic fumes perhaps I went kinda crazy, dancing as if I were Phoebe from Friends.

Saturday 24th January.

On this night I was out with my non drinking friend Corall who lovingly gave me the wink that I could have a sneaky drink if I wanted (love her for this but don’t worry if I took the moral high ground.) Decided to switch it up to diet cokes, whilst she was on the cranberry juice which looks undoubtably like you’re drinking alcohol. What I’ve noticed over the last few weeks is that I seem to get really dehydrated but I never noticed this when I was sipping whisky and cokes, maybe because I was drinking like a fish I never had time to notice. Unexpectedly a fight broke out which in any normal nightly situation would result in me standing between whomever and trying to draw it to a close. Being sober meant that I didn’t have the drive and stupidity to waste my time breaking the pair of lads up. What was I going to get from it at the end of the day? Plus it doesn’t help the girly image does it?! A slow start to get my dance on, eventually I was busting moves like the rest of the them… Believe that we were owning that dance floor. Once you get me on the dance floor its a struggle to get me off but there’s always that brave person who stars the chain reaction of movers and shakers and that usually me. Without the drink inside me, I wasn’t as keen to get up and go but let’s say that we were third to cut shapes.

With only 4 days to go until I’m allowed that thirst quenching sip of alcohol in excited but not desperate. It’s been a great experience proving to myself and others that I can still be me without having the Dutch courage I believed gave me my confidence and chatter. With my health a top priority I can solemnly swear I won’t be going back to my wild wild ways.

Also, I was pretty ecstatic that kopperberg Pear comes in a non alcohol version… I give it the seal of approval.

Vanessa has been raising money for Cancer Research’s Dryathlon, to sponsor her you can donate here: