Why Dry July? Everywhere you look lately there seems to be a good reason to pour a drink or two. During this extraordinary international health crisis, people are justifying lifting a glass at every opportunity. With alcohol deemed essential during the Covid lockdown, it is decidedly un-cool to step back and say
“No Thank You I Don’t Drink”
I stopped drinking permanently a bit over four years ago because my drinking was setting a terrible example for my kids. They saw me drinking almost every night and often way too much. Although I handled my responsibilities, I realized that my children almost always saw me with a wine glass in hand at the end of the day. Wine o’ clock meant checking out for me and I eventually lost control of how checked out I got. It was an Australian website, Hello Sunday Morning, where I found the support I needed to stop drinking, and that was also where I first learned about Dry July.
A lot of Australians will walk away from wine o’clock this month and model a different version of grown-up down-time, while continuing to add to the millions of Australian dollars raised for cancer patients care through previous Dry July’s. Australia is starting their Dry July campaign tomorrow and even if you’re not down under in Oz, July is a great month to grab a hold of the momentum in our online community BOOM Rethink the Drink, and try a month-long alcohol detox.
We’ve been told for years that drinking red wine and alcohol in general, can do everything from lower our risk of heart disease to help us control our weight. Maybe you cheered with your friends when liquor stores were deemed essential and kept open at the beginning of the Covid-19 lock down. Or maybe you rolled your eyes at the hypocrisy of deeming alcohol essential, when just a few months ago, statistics were published showing that alcohol related deaths have increased 100% since the turn of the century. The recent reports that alcohol actually contributes to the development of 7 types of cancer has done little to hinder the marketing of wine and alcohol as healthy, essential, and fun.
Dry July turns the whole shebang on its head by making it healthy, essential and FUN to NOT drink for a month while raising money to help people with cancer in the process. When the community around you routinely insists that you need to drink, it’s great to have a team behind you helping you see that you don’t.
It’s been said that paying people pledge money to take a month off alcohol encourages us to glorify drinking and see it as an essential part of adult life. It’s also been said that setting up a month off alcohol as a marathon, and offering “gold tickets” to take a night off here and there for emergencies like weddings and office parties, re-enforces the idea that even short term sobriety is near impossible.
But I love the Dry July tradition and think that the Australians who came up with it are visionary.
Dry July is a brilliant initiative that should be international. It raises a lot of questions about why it’s so hard to take even a temporary break from drinking. In a world full of conflicting messages about how and why we should drink, a world where health-conscious people are encouraged to continue choosing alcohol no matter what the possible health risks, a world with products like spiked sparkling water, vegan wine and red-fruit infused gin, and a world where Mommy’s Time Out wine is drunk at Wine O’clock, there is a drink for every occasion and every occasion requires a drink. In that world, where there is tremendous pressure to drink daily and see that as normal, Dry July gives us another focus for thirty days. How to enjoy life WITHOUT the booze.
Does this sound familiar?
Sometimes it helps to see things differently :
I’m fugly when I drink
U Understanding goes out the window
G Gratitude for what I have doesn’t exist
L Laughter is too loud & inappropriate
Y You get the picture?
My mind is beautiful sober!
Come try out a month alcohol free. Join us for Dry July.
If you’re “sober curious” … If you are drinking too much too often and want to stop or take a break…or if you have stopped drinking and are trying to stick to sober! Talk to Us.
We are an independent, anonymous and private community who share resources, support and talk it through every day. It helps to have a community behind you in a world where alcohol is the only addictive drug that people will question you for NOT using
community support 24-7 or sign up and sign in here
Don’t let the shame of the stigma keep you from saying
“I think I have a problem with drinking”
How do you go Sober? ( more reading in blue titles)
B Be accountable Talk to Us We Understand
A Avoid alcohol like the plague Ideas Here
L Let yourself enjoy regular sober treats Ideas Here
A Allow yourself to cry when needed Ideas Here
N Nourish your body with good food Ideas Here
C Create happy & fun memories Ideas Here
E Enjoy the precious moments in your day Ideas Here
W Work hard to get what you want Ideas Here
O Organise things for less stress Ideas Here
R Realise you can’t control it all Ideas Here
K Keep going & prepare for success Ideas Here
S Sleep enough for body & mind rest Sleep
Today I am 50 days sober thanks to the support I found in this online community. I never expected that joining an online community was what I needed to help me stop drinking. As a secretive and deeply sensitive person, the social nature of this community, Boom Rethink the Drink, has provided a completely new approach to healing: to post daily, to commiserate, joke, relate…to rework my stories about my own drinking through communicating with and providing support to others. I am shocked when I look back at even a few months ago and remember how many negative side-effects I was ignoring, how isolated I had become, how protective I was of my drinking, how desperately I didn’t want to identify alcohol as an issue. Until I started talking about my perspective on my addiction, I didn’t understand it at all.