Things that will most certainly happen while you play at being a non-drinker for the month of Dry-July.
- You will still wake up with headaches. I can only put this down to dehydration. Ever since I caught my pesky cat lapping from the glass of water I always have beside my bed; I’m afraid to. I know caring is sharing but there is Toxoplasmosis to consider. I mean if you think YOUR cat is too posh to lick its bum you’re mistaken. (1)
- If you are not a morning person, you will still not be a morning person. (2)
- Your brain will not suddenly become full of amazingly unique and stunningly creative ideas wandering along yet unused synapses and culminating in you giving a futuristic TED talk resulting in a multimillion dollar book deal. Although it may be a little clearer. (3)
- Friends will be more put out than you that you are not drinking and will offer helpful advice like, - ‘you could have ONE’. Or, ‘it’s nearly the end of July’. (4)
- The first four days are the hardest. Stay strong. (I REALLY wanted to suggest to The H on the first night that we ought to swill the already opened half full bottle of Pinot Noir. Only because it would have gone so nicely with the pasta Puttanesca with lashings of parmesan I was making - of course. But who wants to look like the weak one? Instead, I saved myself and the vino by putting it in the next nights venison casserole – alcohol evaporates during cooking. No worries.) (5)
- You will not lose weight. In order to make up for the calories you are suddenly lacking (a 100ml glass of white wine = 400 calories), you will eat truckloads of high calorie puddings because you deserve them. 5 nights in I made a 9 egg, 400gram dark chocolate mousse. Last night I made a 6 egg lemon cake with lemon syrup drizzle, guided down my gullet with coconut yoghurt and runny cream. (6)
- After one week you will be in the habit of having a lime and soda, instead of an alcoholic beverage of an evening. They’re both sugary after all.(7)
- If you’re lucky your hair may have growth spurt. I’m talking the hair on your head, not your eyebrows, mo or beard. You have to envisage enjoying kale and chia seed smoothies for this to happen mind. (8)
- Don’t expect to be lauded for you excellent role modeling because the teenage members of the household whom you think you are setting a-fine-example-for will not notice you are stone cold SOBER. Yep two weeks in, my three sprogs were none the wiser. (9)
- You will NOT have to consider your evenings drinking regime, when taxi-ing teenagers to and from parties. This part is very liberating and you might wonder why you drink and drive within the limits of the law on these nights at all. (10)
- You will not feel relaxed in the evenings. So you may want to take up meditation or go to evening sessions of pilates. Tick. Better still, take up a foreign language, embroider a quilt for your new great grandnephew or take up sheepskin moccasin making classes at your community college. Because you will be wide awake 2 hours passed your normal had-a-wine-I’m-quite-sleepy bedtime. (11)
- Despite going to bed a lot later you will wake early. Smack on five o clock for the first week. Use your time productively. Checking in the mirror to note that the whites of your eyes are definitely whiter. Or that the longer breed of eyelashes you’re farming by way of Lash Amplifier is working, is not productive. (12)
- Three weeks in you will be as bored with your partner as he/she is with you. You will probably at this point also count how many Fridays you have left where you won't be able to wind down with wine time and remain awake through the whole Friday night DVD session. (13)
- You will probably plan what you are going to drink on Friday 1st August, well before Friday 1st August. I fancy a sip of bubbly. Thanks. Although, I know part of me after five weeks, will feel like I did when I was pregnant and want to remain sober for eternity in order to protect my hard working organs and internal bits. (14)
NB: Dry July is in its 7th year and was started to raise money for adults living with cancer. The writer, a moderate drinker, did not knock on her neighbours’ doors and ask for sponsors for her period of sobriety. That would have made being alcohol free for five weeks like an excruciatingly long Forty Hour Famine. A 936 hour famine to be precise (she started on 23/6). The boredom from being in a state sameness is pressure enough.
She did however donate some doe-rae-mee to - The Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand - in celebration of her friend Michelle being five years clear. YAY.
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And if any Dry July-ers want to add to this list feel free to do so in the comments section.