I woke up on the 1st of July this year with a nasty, nasty hang over, threw up, then asked my boyfriend to “help me” because I felt like death.
At some point later that day I read a tweet from a close friend in Australia who had decided to do Dry July, where you pledge to not drink for the month of July and raise money in the process.
I decided it was time to accomplish that goal of mine to stop drinking. I decided to have my own dry July. Luckily for me, I don’t often go out, so I am not that tempted. I also don’t lead such a stressful life that I ever feel like I “need a drink”, so I found it pretty easy to avoid alcohol.
My first time at the pub with friends, I laughed at how I had no idea what you drink when you don’t drink! I ordered a fruit juice and enjoyed it.
I found it hard when other people offered to buy me a drink. People don’t seem all that comfortable around people who aren’t drinking when everyone else is. I felt like they were feeling like I was judging them and had to deflect a lot of cajoling to try and get me to drink.
Being strong enough to say no to alcohol while out with my friends and some people trying to get me to join in with the drinkers made me wonder what else I could be strong enough to give up. Like sugar.
I’ve been a lifelong sugar addict and it’s something I really would love to cut out completely. Sugar is a poison causing all kinds of issues not to mention creating fat!
By the time August rolled round, I still didn’t feel like I wanted a drink but I had an expensive bottle of 1998 Veuve Cliquot champagne and some hand blown champagne saucers that had been given to me so I decided to celebrate with some girlfriends.
Every drink I have had in the first week of August I have not enjoyed. I’ve tried all my usual favourites, cider, Jack Daniels and coke, red wine, I just don’t enjoy the taste.
After a night out on the town with my man, while he stumbled home at 3am alongside me, I felt sober and decided that drinking was no longer my thing anymore.
I felt I had wasted money and put unnecessary levels of sugar and alcohol into my now healthy body without even getting drunk or really enjoying the drinks.
While I’m no teetotaler, I feel good that I know when I go out now, I wont order an alcoholic drink, I wont feel run down, I wont wake up tired and be tired for a couple of days after a night of drinking, my skin will be brighter and clearer, my body will thank me and so will my wallet.
There will always be a time and a place for a really good cocktail on the beach or glass of wine over a romantic dinner but as far as drinking for the sake of it, not my bag anymore baby!
Giving up drinking taught me to be more in tune with my body, to respect myself more, to have better self-discipline and gave me confidence that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
Have you ever given something up? What was it and what did you learn from it? Tell us in the comments!