abstinence

Dry as a bone

wpid-all-the-things-beer.jpg.jpegIt’s that time of the year again – the time when I give up drinking beer for a month.

I’m not doing FebFast – I haven’t signed up and I won’t be pestering anyone for donations. And I also hate the idea of FebFast.

It just happens to be the month I am abstaining from booze, because it’s convenient. It comes after a rush of festive events – Christmas, New Year’s, my birthday – which had given me the excuse to over-indulge and drink on far more days than I’d planned. How many more days? Pretty much all of them since November.

I’ve not been getting smashed – just one or two beers most days. But that still doesn’t count as an alcohol-free day.

Anyway, with my birthday in early January, it doesn’t feel right to go dry that month. And my anal retentiveness forbids me to start a four-week dry patch halfway through a month – it has to start on the first.

So the first available month is February. Which coincides with that damned FebFast – so I have to always correct people when they ask ‘‘Oh, are you doing FebFast?’’.

‘‘No, I’m bloody not. I hate charities’ obsession with dry months. I hate their hypocrisy of offering people leave passes so they can get drunk during a month in which they’re not supposed to be drinking. I hate that they all focus on booze because it causes cancer but they leave cigarettes alone.

‘‘And while I’m ranting I really hate Ocsober. Look, ‘sober’ doesn’t mean ‘not drinking’ it means ‘not affected by alcohol’. So you can still have a beer and be sober, you clowns. How about you look at the frigging dictionary before you come up with some cutesy name for your alcohol-free week?’’

Okay, you’re right. I don’t actually say that to them. But I’d like too.

It’s the second year in a row I’ve gone dry in February. Last year it was because of festive overindulgence, being too fat as well as wanting to see if I could do it and wondering what it’s like.

This year those first two still hold, but not the last two. I already know I can do it and I also know what it’s like – tough the first week, no dramas for the last three).

The idea to do it again – and more likely for every February from here on – came from blogger Pete Brown. He’s been taking every January off for years and the idea of doing it regularly rather than a one-off just appealed to me.

It’s a chance to take a rest, sleep better, lose weight, become healthier (through other dietary changes, not by giving up beer) and recalibrate things back to ‘‘a few drinks on the weekend’’ rather than ‘‘a few drinks every day’’.

I’ll still be posting stuff on the blog throughout the month. Which could either be good news or bad news depending on how you feel about Beer Is Your Friend. Though there won’t be a Beer of the Week for a while – for obvious reasons. Not sure what I’ll do to replace that.

In closing, here’s a handy tip for anyone doing a dry month for the first time – don’t go crazy when March comes around. Your tolerance will be way down and you’ll get drunk faster. And feel like shit the next day.

I speak from experience on that score. Man, I felt like crap the next day. Looked so bad someone thought I had a virus.

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3 replies »

    • While the fact I chose the shortest month of the year to go try was a coincidence (I went for the first month after my boozy Christmas-New Year- Birthday period) it does have that advantage.
      But, after doing it last year, I found at the end of February I could have gone for a few more days without a hassle.

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