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Beyond the Buzz: Dry July

What is Dry July?

You may have heard about Dry July if you are in Australia. It's a challenge consisting in taking one month off the booze in order to raise funds for people affected by cancer. If you haven’t tried it and slightly wonder about Dry July, this may be your opportunity to challenge yourself and make yourself the hero of this quest: one month off the booze.

My personal experience

Dry July is a great opportunity to notice some details about our relationship with alcohol with more distance and perspective to reflect on it. I did a few Dry July. It was my way to be reassured that I didn’t have any problem with alcohol. I was able to be dry for a month and sometimes more, so I didn’t have any problem, right? But all my Dry July felt like depriving myself of something I loved: my wine. I did feel very proud of that annual month without alcohol and often I was looking forward to it even in June. I saw that as some form of quick detox and health cleanse. However, the outcome was always the same: it was clearly highlighting my twisted relationship with alcohol. Only I knew the discoveries I made during these dry challenges for many years until I challenged myself to take 3 months off alcohol (a story for another post).

Nowadays, I like to donate directly to some organisation to help cancer patients, carers and cancer research as we've been directly touched by this disease. Therefore, cancer is a cause close to my heart. Dry July has a fantastic mission and is a wonderful opportunity at an individual level as well.

Fitness not hangover morning.
Dry July is often the driver to other health challenges and creating fitness habits.

Navigating the Alcohol Maze

Alcohol, the ubiquitous elixir of social gatherings or the relaxing drink after an exhausting day at work or caring for little kids, often veils our perception, blurring the line between moderation and excess. Dry July could be an opportunity to shed light on the labyrinth of our relationship with alcohol whilst resetting dopamine by the process of brain homeostasis. It's a chance to untangle the web of habits, emotions, and societal pressures that entwine us, as we embark on a daring quest to reclaim our autonomy and redefine our narrative.

And you can even wonder: why do I feel like drinking right now? What are my triggers? What feeling is causing me some discomfort that would make me feel like a drink? Can I celebrate and have fun without alcohol?

Slaying Social Norms

In a world where "Cheers!" echoes louder than a battle cry, abstaining from alcohol can feel like venturing into uncharted territory. Dry July isn't just a month-long hiatus from the booze; it's a rebellion against the status quo, a declaration of independence from the shackles of societal norms. Sobriety isn’t for the faint-hearted; it’s for rebels.

Times are changing and those opting for living an alcohol-free life (or sober life or how you like to call it) have so many options when it comes to having a drink out. It doesn't feel like being outcasted like it was many years ago with most entourage. If you feel uncomfortable to simply say: 'I'm not drinking tonight.', the excuse of this challenge is great.

Unmasking Personal Motivations

Behind every Dry July participant lies a unique tale of motivation and inspiration, waiting to be unearthed. Whether it's a quest for physical vitality, mental clarity, or a desire to honour loved ones touched by cancer, each journey is as diverse as the stars in the night sky. So, let's delve deep into the heart of our intentions, igniting the flames of passion and purpose that will fuel us through the month ahead.

Motivation to undertake this challenge varies. It could be to link it with a fitness challenge, focusing on your physical health and diet, to spend less money, to go out less, to raise money in memory of loved ones or because the cause is dear to you. So many reasons can motivate to participate to this challenge. Thinking about the 'why' you're motivated to participate to this challenge will reinforce your motivation and keep you focused on your goal.

Embracing the Hero's Journey

As we embark on our epic quest for sobriety, even temporary sobriety, we'll encounter trials and tribulations that test our resolve and fortitude. But fear not, for every obstacle is an opportunity for growth, every setback a stepping stone towards self-mastery. With each passing day, we'll emerge stronger, wiser, and more resilient than before, embodying the hero's journey in all its glory.

And as the hero of your own journey, you may discover treasure of knowledge about yourself and your relationship with alcohol maybe hinting you about making some changes if you’ve noticed any signs of addiction or unhealthy behaviour when it comes with alcohol. For instance, if when offered to have only one drink, your thoughts are ‘what’s the point to have only one drink,’ that could indicate some problematic relationship with alcohol.

The outcomes

Dry July isn't just a month-long challenge; it's an opportunity to reflect, assess, evaluate how alcohol impacts our life. For some, Dry July is a big challenge but also a breath of fresh air to regain vitality mentally and physically. Others won’t notice a huge difference between their usual drinking habits and spending a month dry. Many will question their relationship with alcohol. Sometimes it will be a tiny doubt about ‘Am I drinking too much’ or the difficult question and perhaps sudden awareness leading to question and ask ‘Am I an alcoholic?’.

If those little questions are niggling you. If you think you may have a problematic relationship with alcohol, either more on the binge drinking side or more as a high functioning drinker, my counselling services are dedicated to help all grey area drinkers. Feel free to reach out and request a free inquiry call to assess if it would be for you.


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