This year I figured I’d do something a little different, so I decided to sign up for Dry July, a month-long event where people abstain from drinking for a month in order to raise money for cancer charities. I’ve occasionally had my friends say that my imbibing has, at times, a piscine nature, so I figured that I’d be able to raise a bit of money if I decided to go without.
I’d be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a drunk sometimes, but I wouldn’t normally admit to having a major problem with alcohol. I got over drinking purely to get drunk a few years ago, and now my interest is purely enjoyment of the drink itself. Craft beer is my favourite, but I do enjoy a good drop of wine on occasion, and have even branched out to the odd cocktail or neat spirit. Drinking is more of a hobby to me than anything else. I like to taste different beverages for what they are, kind of like a foodie trying all different dishes.
Sure, I do over indulge on occasion, but the worst thing that happens in those situations is that my flatmates get video of me singing Let It Go with no pants on, and then use it to blackmail me. Most of the time I’ll have a few drinks, occasionally forget to stop, and cause no real damage besides a little seediness the next day. Mostly though, I’ll have a couple beers every couple of nights, and maybe once or twice a fortnight have a slightly big one where I have maybe 6 or more standard drinks in a session. Nothing too different to most people around me, I assume anyway.
Ten days into being sober, and I’m actually feeling kinda crappy. My job, which usually only gets me down every now and then, but I bounce back from almost straight away, has me feeling really anxious and stressed. I’ve ended up having to get a stress ball because I’ve broken pens talking to customers, even ones that I’d normally brush off really easily. I feel my heart racing on occasion, but that could be the coffee I’ve started drinking instead of my usual green tea.
It’s weird though. Even though I’m feeling more stressed out than normal, I’m not feeling that I need to have a drink to get over it. I’d like to crack open a beer, or one of the bottles of gin I acquired over the weekend, but I don’t feel any physical need to. I suppose it’s more of a physical issue than any kind of psychological dependance on alcohol. I’ve always said, I am the worst addict ever because I can give up almost anything using not willpower, but apathy (case in point, I used to be a massive nailbiter, but stopped that just by not being bothered to do it anymore, and I quit smoking due to realising that it’s expensive and I can’t be arsed paying for it anymore).
I guess this is me detoxing. Apparently one of the effects of stopping alcohol use is stress and anxiety due to dopamine levels needing to come back to normal, or something like that. It’s seriously not something I’m planning to go through on a regular basis, though if I do Dry July in the future I’m totally going to taper down the drinking leading up to July, so that I’m not going as cold turkey.
So, now that you’ve read this, I expect people who haven’t already to sponsor me so that I’m not going through stress for nothing. I’ve donated myself, and I have promised to match at least 10% of total donations, but to an extra $100 at the end of the month. You can donate here.