I was at work yesterday and saw a flyer for Dry July in the tea room. I can't believe it's nearly a year since I first saw that flyer and thought maybe, just maybe, I could do that. I had been trying to cut down on my alcohol intake for a couple of months and when I saw it, it was like it called out to me, like it was a sign. I know how silly that sounds, but it's how I felt.
So, when I got home, I secretly signed up. I didn't tell hubby and I'm not sure why. I think I wasn't ready to put a voice to how I was feeling. That I needed a break from drinking. I guess I didn't want to have to admit that I had a problem.
In the end, I had to tell him of course. I can't remember exactly what I said. Something about having a break and raising money for charity at the same time. We were at mums in the country with 2 of my 3 brothers and their kids, and they were all so proud of me for doing it. Especially mum. She knew I drank too much and she welcomed the fact I wouldn't be drinking for a month.
I LOVED doing Dry July! I've spoken about it before in my blog, but it's so true. It gave me permission to not drink and the relief was HUGE! I didn't have to explain to people why I wasn't drinking. I didn't have to go into any in depth reason and no one questioned it. Not a single person. Well, that's not really true. My friend C asked me why I was doing it, but in a curious way more than anything. So I just told her that I drank too much sometimes. That sometimes, before I knew it, I had had the whole bottle ha ha! But only occasionally of course, not everyday. I couldn't tell her that. And she told me how she too sometimes could finish a whole bottle. And I got the feeling that maybe she too drank more than she should. She thought it was great that I was doing Dry July.
It's funny now many people admired me for doing it. One day a group of us were out at a Lego expedition and we were planning to go out to lunch afterwards. One of the girls turned to her husband and told him I wasn't drinking because I was doing Dry July and he more or less said well done but that he couldn't do it. In fact, that's pretty much what everyone said. They said it was admirable that I was doing it but that they couldn't do it themselves. They had such and such to go to that weekend so there was no way they could do it. But I suspect that these people don't have a problem with alcohol. Not like I do. So they might not want to give it up for a month, but they don't drink every day so they don't need to give it up for a month.
So anyway, Dry July was a turning point for me. It gave me my first taste of alcohol free life and I loved it. If only that feeling had lasted. Unfortunately, not long before the month ended, I started to get those thoughts, you know the ones, the 'I'm not that bad' ones, the 'I can't be an alcoholic if I can stop so easily for a month' ones. And the hangovers had faded and besides, I was sure I could drink sensibly now that I knew how good being sober felt. And we all know how the rest went.
I drank for two weeks then found myself longing for those sober days back. So I stopped again for 31 days and then felt 'ok' again. And so it went. That was the beginning of my trying to give up drinking.
So when I saw that flyer at work yesterday, I wondered should I sign up? How nice would it be to have a whole month of not having to explain myself. To have people admire what I'm doing. But I would only be putting off having to tell people. Putting off the inevitable. So I'm not sure. What do you think? Should I do Dry July again? Or should July just be a regular July, just another month in which I don't drink? Not a 'special' month or a 'different' month. Just a new normal month.