OPINION: "I think I'm going to do Dry July this year."
It's something I've said on and off through the months of April, May and June for the past three years, usually on a Monday morning when the ravages of a hangover have worn off.
By Friday I had usually forgotten those musings, and July would always roll around with me not even giving it a second thought.
- 'Action needed' on women's drinking following damning report
- Has alcoholism become New Zealand's accepted addiction?
For some reason this year was different.
Maybe it's the hangovers getting worse, or the realization that I can't remember the last time I went a week, let alone a month, without drinking.
Or maybe it's the charity aspect. I've seen firsthand some of the incredible work Look Good Feel Better do and the massive sacrifices loved ones make to help, with my small sacrifice looking stupid in comparison.
(That is not the first time I've brought up my charity work and it won't be the last, get used to it.)
A Shiraz while cooking dinner, another while eating it, champagne at events, G&T on a Friday after work and then a Saturday boozy BYO - I've come to realise that much of my life revolves around drinking. To wind down, to pump up, to celebrate, to commiserate, a good day, a long day, a shit day... It all ends in the same way.
The thing is, drinking is fun. I enjoy it; I look forward all week to going out with my friends, getting rat-assed and dancing to terrible music in town. I even kind of love the excuse of a hangover to stay in bed all day Sunday and bully my boyfriend into bringing me Vegemite on toast.
It's easy to give up those things in life that are no longer serving you (negative friends, lactose, those dumb high-waisted flares in fashion at the moment), but much harder to give up something you love.
It's forced me to face the question: Am I dependent on alcohol to have fun? Or even scarier - am I only fun when mixed with alcohol?
So here we go. Day one. So far I'm doing well - although at the time of writing its only 3:30pm on a Monday afternoon so I haven't had to test my full limits yet.
But I'm also really, really dreading it. It genuinely scares me how much staring down the barrel of a month of "just soda and lime please," makes me feel sad.
However I have made it past 11am - my boss' pick in an alleged underground office sweepstake. It's the little wins.
Follow my journey here on Newshub, and if you want to donate to any of the Dry July participants, the link can be found here.