Dry July: Quitting drinking for my mental health wasn’t easy, but it opened my eyes
Many Kiwis gave up alcohol during Dry July.
OPINION: I chose to do dry July This year.
Winter can be tough on emotional well-being, and a hangover can exacerbate that downward inner spiral even more.
I decided I didn’t want to add any more anxiety to my life during an already difficult time and remove a key contributing factor – alcohol.
It is good and rewarding to have a personal challenge to face and overcome.
Most of the time, when faced with something stressful, you turn to alcohol to help relieve stress and let off steam. I know I do.
* Drinking alcohol doesn’t age you – until you drink that much
* Intricate craftsmanship, million-dollar machines – why soft drinks are so expensive
* The rise of 0% alcohol brands in an effort to imitate alcohol without the hangover
Removing alcohol forces you to explore other ways to deal with stress.
There have been many times lately where I’ve been like, “God, I need a drink today,” and I’ve managed to resist. I often drink kombucha when I feel like this.
Socially, being sober can be difficult.
People are often disappointed when you tell them you don’t drink.
When you say you want to come home early, people don’t like that either.
Sitting with your friends all night drinking lemonade sounds really silly. It is interesting to examine how we are conditioned to think this way.
I haven’t changed my life and haven’t seen any dramatic changes in my body or my lifestyle.
I haven’t sobbed drunk coming home from a bar in an Uber at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, but neither have I really laughed with my mates the way we do when drinking together.
I avoided the tumultuous and emotional ups and downs that result from drunkenness, which allowed me some emotional stability.
I wish I could say that being sober is good. I wish I could completely eliminate alcohol from my life because it’s unhealthy and really destructive, but I don’t think I’m there yet.
It’s an eye-opening experience and I would recommend Dry July, and regular sobriety periods in general, to anyone.
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yellow brick road 0800 732 825
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