The interesting parts of being Dry this July

I am in my second year of being part of Dry July. And I’m noticing some interesting things!

Dry July is an Australian fundraising initiative which seeks to drive funds and awareness of the efforts of Australian medical institutions who are leading the way in cancer research, and cancer patient support and medical care. When you sign up as a participant (and you don’t have to be an Australian to do it),  you can select the institution you’d like the funds you raise to go to. I am proud to be supporting the wonderful efforts of the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney.

Last year was my first Dry July. I heard about it late in the piece, and missed the first week – but still managed to raise some funds and even more so, raise the awareness of cancer treatments, research and future-focused goals. This year I was ready to start from day one. Make no mistake, I realise I probably will not raise a heck of a lot of money as an individual – but I will definitely raise a lot of awareness.

The most interesting parts have been:

People say they want to get together for a drink, but they don’t care if you’re not drinking

I have learned that when someone asks about getting together for Happy Hour, or a drink, they’re not actually expecting you to come back with “Oh, thanks but I’m not drinking this month.” Of course, they are interested in the socialising. If you mention you’re not drinking they will probably think you’re passing altogether on spending time with them. Instead, accept and when you get there, order your non-alcoholic bevvy. And when they ask why, tell them. And ask for a donation 😉

It freaks my friends out when I don’t drink

I do enjoy a glass of wine. My good friends and Jed are a little disrupted by my non-alcohol self. They want to fill my glass, and while I’m perfectly fine and still lots of fun without alcohol, they are finding it weird. And that’s kinda fun to watch. Dry July lets you have someone buy you a Golden Ticket, which is a free pass for a day off the wagon. Jed’s buying me one. It’s worth $25 to him, to see me with a glass of wine in my hand.

Side Effects: I’m saving money and sleeping better

Boulder is a town that runs on Happy Hour through the summer. Every day the plethora of eateries features long Happy Hour specials, and people meet up to wile away a long summer evening on a patio, so being dry in that environment is unusual. I didn’t have any side effects like headaches or cravings (which some who are doing this are reporting). I do think I’m sleeping more deeply – really resting – and the lack of Happy Hours means I’m saving a little money.

Those side effects are far better than the ones my mum is having as she undergoes her chemotherapy. Cramps, tingling in her feet and hands, etc that are a constant reminder. Of course, they’re better than the alternative.

There’s not much I can really do for my mum, and for others who are undergoing treatment for cancer. But I can dedicate this month to them, and in particular my mum. Sometimes not drinking is inconvenient. But so is chemo. And cancer is more than ‘inconvenient’. It’s a disease that we have all been touched by in some way. I didn’t choose July as the month to be dry in. And my mum didn’t choose to have to muck around with cancer for two rounds. She doesn’t deserve it. Nobody does.

If this is all I can do, then I’m doing it.

And if you’d be kind enough to follow this link to sponsor me for the month, then I’d be really appreciative. Any amount at all is gratefully accepted. And telling others about this fulfills the other goal – awareness and education is what we need to continue the great developments in battling cancer, and in supporting those who are travelling the journey. Thanks so much.

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