I’m mad for fad.
I love getting on board with a trend just to feel the experience for myself, and so I can form my own opinion of the whole thing. In the early days I planked… I photo-bombed… I uploaded ‘Fridance’ videos (not necessarily in that order). I’ve ridden my bike to work on national ‘ride your bike to work’ day. If I could, I would grow a moustache in November. I had my fingernails ‘shellacked’, even with my ring-finger painted a contrasting, yet somewhat complementary, colour to the rest. There is a suggestion that I may have actually invented the trendy-term ‘Happy Friday’, proliferated through my workplace of influential people at the time. I’m trying to launch another at the moment, being ‘Onesie Wednesday’ – the inaugural occasion running successfully in my workplace last week.
I’m just waiting for the right cause to ‘shave’ for. You know it’s coming.
When it comes to healthy trends like Feb-Fast and Dry-July I’m a seasoned professional. I’ve taken part in these ‘trends for a cause’ since their early inception. I’m a work-hard play-hard kind of girl so the opportunity to look after myself, and my liver, for weeks-at-a-time always seems like an easy choice to make.
This July, however, my Dry-July alcohol abstinence commitment failed.
As I type this article, I’m utterly disappointed in my usually unwavering discipline … but I have to share my failure story, to hold myself fully accountable and to try and help other people like me who have either failed Dry July or are unwilling to entertain the idea of an abstinence period for fear of failure.
Here are the Five Reasons My Dry July turned WET…
#1 I Did it for Someone Else. This Dry July I made it a statement to get involved to help support someone else’s efforts. In hindsight, this commitment should only have ever been for me (sorry Emily!).
#2 I Ordered from the Mocktail List. One of the cool restaurants in Melbourne were offering a ‘Dry July’ list of virgin mocktails so you could feel part of the dining & drinking experience even whilst abstaining. This was good in theory until I ordered one, and they accidentally served me up a fully loaded cocktail of tequila and vodka – which I couldn’t recognize on your palate until it was too late. I sent it back to the bar with a serve of my own, but the damage was done.
#3 I Always Planned a ‘Day Off’ Dry July. The Dry July online fundraising campaign offers a feature of a ‘Golden Ticket’ to help those people who want to be involved but have an occasion that they are keen to “have a sip” at. For me it was a birthday for a friend that I wanted to go all-out for, so I made a deal with myself to undertake Dry July with the caveat of this one night off.
#4 I Gave In. This is the big one, the moment when I turned my back on my original commitment. Perhaps reasons #1 #2 #3 led me to this, #4, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I let ‘an occasion’ become more important to me than my commitment. It was my choice at the time and I have to accept my responsibility for that. Crucially, in my mind I did a little deal with myself at the time to make it okay (“add another week in August to make up for this.”)
#4 Once I was Gone I was Gone. It’s like Chocolate-Abstinence-Dieting (I can feel a C.A.D Trend coming on…). Once we break our commitment to ourselves and have a Tim-Tam we feel like we’ve written the day or the week off so it all goes out the window until we ‘start’ again. This happened to me, after I’d done my dash and slipped up beyond my original commitment it was on and I was back into regular my regular swing.
So, what I learned, for next time and for anyone out there considering a period of alcohol abstinence;
- Do it for yourself
- Don’t order from the mocktail list (you don’t need to pretend),
- Avoid committing to a deal with a caveat ‘day off’.
- Don’t give in (there’s no such thing as mini deal on top of your original deal, breaking is breaking)
- Finally, if you do slip up, let it be just that – one slip up, it doesn’t need to mean the ‘The End’… that whole thing is over and you’ve got to start again next time.
In holding myself fully accountable I’m opening up to your creative suggestions on what I can do to make-up for Failing Dry July! It might be every Friday off-grog for the rest of the Year, a monetary donation, undertaking HungoverYoga, even Octsober. Do you have a better idea that you’d like to see done… let me know