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My 1 Month No Drinking Challenge

As I mentioned when I was talking about my anxiety, I’ve used alcohol as a way to suppress it for entirely too long. I don’t drink that much anymore, but I definitely spend too much money on it. I’ve thought about taking a break from drinking for almost a year now, ever since I read an article in a Sydney newspaper about a woman who quit in her 30s. I’m not going to have any alcohol until the end of March. And no, this isn’t an early April Fool’s Day joke, as one of my friends asked. I know this overlaps with St. Patrick’s Day, but even last year I felt too old for the holiday, forcing myself to get drunk just because it’s what “you’re supposed to do.”

There was always an excuse not to do this sooner. “But I work in a bar. Maybe next month.” “But this week is my birthday. Maybe next week.” “But today is Cinco de Mayo. Maybe tomorrow.” I’ve realized that there is no “good” time to stop drinking. Just like there’s no convenient time to go traveling. There will always be something in the back of your mind, holding you back because of what might change.

So when Tommy told me he wanted to stop drinking for a month, I said I would do it too. It’s was on my 24 Before 24 list, at #19. I think having someone to do this with will help, having someone to check in on me every day. I’m looking forward to feeling healthier as I’m getting ready to do the Cooper River Bridge Run for the second time, in addition to a whole slew of other races. I’m looking forward to the money I will save, especially since I still haven’t found a job. I’m looking forward to not waking up thinking, “What happened last night?”

I’m not sure how my friends will react, but I guess if we’re really that close they will understand. I’m not making any judgments about anyone else’s right or choice to drink. Obviously I like drinking, otherwise I never would have started, but I just want to see what I can do without it. Will I sleep better? Will I be able to run faster? Who knows.

And will I quit forever? Maybe, but probably not. I really like beer and wine and the occasional spirit. I enjoy the taste, I enjoy mixing cocktails and the whole culture that comes with working in a bar. But for now, this is an experiment that I will take one day at a time. I hope you will all support me in this decision, even if it does mean fewer posts about beer :).

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13 Responses to My 1 Month No Drinking Challenge

  1. Neil Fahey March 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm #

    Congratulations for making the decision Caroline! I’ve just finished FebFast and I’m pretty sure it has changed me forever. I have been quite the drinker for many years too. Although I started to calm it down over the last year, I didn’t see myself ever stopping for a whole month.

    On the 1st of March, I opened a cider and couldn’t even get through half of it. Now it’s the 8th and I have had one weekend session with mates, which I really enjoyed (though I didn’t drink half as much as I would have a few months ago), but I’m definitely finding that I don’t have the thirst that I used to have. Good luck with it!

    Cheers
    Neil

    • carolineinthecityblog March 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks for reading, Neil! It was so easy for me to drink a lot when I was living in Sydney because I worked in a bar (free or cheap alcohol) and took public transportation (not worrying about driving). So being back means time to calm down!

  2. Rebeccacca March 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    Go YOU!!!! Such a great goal to reach. I’m totally behind you:-)

    • carolineinthecityblog March 7, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

      Thanks Rebecca!

  3. Anna Pearce March 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    I’m inspired! I did the same many years ago, usually after young moments of immaturity. Yes, it’s fun to laugh with old college friends, but then there reaches the point of, “ok, I, my brain, and my liver need a break”. Yes, you will feel better, and to make a change for yourself, is something you friends will all be fine with. (True friends). There will always be the moment’s in life when you can’t drink. An on call job, a work deadline, a pregnancy. Then there’s the break. Just a sign of maturity. You do realize, you are now the month long DD. Love, Aunt Anna

    • carolineinthecityblog March 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

      Very true! Thanks AA.

  4. Birthday Party Cruises March 8, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Caroline, that a really good decision… Its really good for your health and mind… I too is inspired after reading this… I think this blog will good for the youth for inspiration to follow your pathways…

  5. BQG March 9, 2012 at 2:47 am #

    Nice post – I’ve given up booze for lent and I’m shocked already at how much better I feel. Similarly I don’t think I’ll give it up for good but it’s nice to take a break. If your back in CHS before the end of the month and want to grab a Coke let me know! As always love reading the updates.

    • carolineinthecityblog March 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Thanks Brady! I’m trying to come back for Bridge Run but it will depend on if I have to work. If not then definitely for Chas Affair!

  6. Erik Smith (@eriksmithdotcom) March 10, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

    A noble goal! Best of luck!

    I started 2003 with a New Year’s resolution not to drink for a month, and my next drink was April of 2007. It was really hard in social situations, but I was really proud of myself after.

    Have a great month!

  7. Anthony March 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    Good luck, petal. I thought to myself “a month is eeeeeasy” and then I seen you work in a bar – I stand corrected :)

    It certainly won’t help your anxiety if you drink loads, as SO many people use alcohol as a crutch to a problem (myself included).

    *Raises Ginger Ale to Caroline*

  8. Daisy March 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Congrats on such a great decision! Over the last few years I have gone months without a drink. (5 months was the longest) and the best thing is you lose some weight!
    Your body will thank you. Plus, it’s great just knowing you can do it. Very freeing. Good luck!

  9. Chris January 17, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Sweet Lord. I had completely forgotten the tune he’d included at the end. It’s been a long time since I read Anthony’s post.

    Thanks so much for sharing mine and, more importantly, for sharing your own story :-)

    How did you go with it?
    Chris recently posted..Showdown: Hawaii or AlaskaMy Profile

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