OPINION: Oh god, is it only the beginning of week two? It feels like it's been so, so much longer.
At the time of writing this, I've just finished reading a fairly terrifying article in which Aussie addiction specialists warn against going "cold turkey" on alcohol during the month of July. Apparently, it causes several major health concerns, and can even be fatal, which is a slightly intimidating read. Now every twinge is clearly my body shutting down - this late afternoon headache means it's most definitely curtains and is not because I haven't drunk enough water today.
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- 'Action needed' on women's drinking following damning report
- Has alcoholism become New Zealand's accepted addiction?
Ok, perhaps I'm being overly dramatic. Life without alcohol is so far - fine. Not particularly great, not particularly terrible.
It was a bit touch and go one-night last week when a cold, windy, stormy night had me salivating for a glass of shiraz on the couch - before I remembered and felt sad. That was Monday, July 1. "Only 30 days to go," my boyfriend said, making me a sparkling water and lemon. Drinking it, I felt sadder.
Last week I battled the lows of an infected wisdom tooth (and the subsequent, eye-watering dentist bill) without a glass of wine to take the edge off, and dinners out without the accompanying glass of red have slightly taken the shine off the steak.
I guess what I'm saying is; going without alcohol is not 'grit your teeth and struggle through it' hard - it's just a bit shitty.
Two things are noticeable:
One: Everyone told me I'd lose so much weight, which is a big fat LIE - I'm compensating for my evening glass of red by eating every carbohydrate I can get my hands on. On Friday I bookended my lunch with a pre-sushi cookie and post-sushi cake. I'm out of control.
Two: Not drinking when you reach your mid-twenties will suddenly open up a world where everyone thinks you're pregnant. Ordering off the 'mocktail' menu at various bars this weekend had high eyebrows and knowing smiles while my order was taken.
This assumption is perhaps doubled if you're eating a 300g steak and a bowl of duck fat potatoes to yourself - but maybe that's just me.
When my boyfriend had one glass of wine and then joined me on the Seedlips in a show of solidarity, the knowing smiles for this clearly 'very supportive partner' doubled tenfold.
"Drink a beer, people think you're not doing it out of support for me having a baby," I hissed at him at one point. "Oh, cool," was his response, before putting a gentle hand over my belly and smiling at the waitstaff.
On the plus side - my skin is looking pretty great. Chalk one up for the endless sparkling waters I've been downing.
You can learn more about Dry July and donate to any of the participants here.