Harry (27) took on Dry July, a pledge to stop drinking for the month – to test his will-power. “Character building” he called it. He was hoping he would come out on July 31 with a smug smile and six pack. We caught up with Harry on July 30th – with one more day of July to go….
Harry decided 2015 was the year for him to try new things. Starting earlier in the year he had swimming lessons – learning to swim for the first time, and come July – it was time for another challenge – Dry July. Instead of encouraging friends to abstain with him, Harry wanted to test his own willpower and go it alone without thinking he had to lean on someone else for encouragement.
“I think you have to take personal accountability to push through and do it for you rather than anyone else.”
Harry found the first four days the hardest, having to turn down drinks with friends four nights in a row – and then mentally keeping a tally of how many times you have said no – and it’s only four days in!
After the first week, turning down alcohol became easier, as the feeling of accomplishment grew. Some days it was a lot easier to just say no to the entire social occasion, than to sit in a bar and drink a soft drink. Although he missed spending time with his friends, Harry used this time to “take time out”, reflect on his life, and think about what he wanted for his future.
With one day of July to go, Harry was inspired not to go back to old drinking habits, and reduce his alcohol intake in general. Dry July has given him the confidence to say no without losing friendships, and he knows he can stop drinking when ever he wants.
Although Harry was hoping by not drinking in July, he would end up super healthy and with a six pack – alas, he laments, this didn’t happen, but he did notice his thinking is clearer, he has had time out to think what he is doing with work this year, and what he wants to be doing next year instead of living day by day.
“I also really love the fact that a hangover is a faint memory, it’s so nice to wake up and feel alert rather than groggy and run for the pain killers on a Saturday morning.”