Going Dry July: Bad Habits vs. Will Power

empty glassDear Dry Diary,

Gosh, a week between entries. My supporters/other DJs (Dry Julyers) may be happy to know it’s been even longer between drinks.

While I won the week one battle; it’s not the war. And victory wasn’t without its challenges…

Challenge #1: During the week, I lost my job. 
The government department I was handling social media communications for was disbanded last week. This meant a very sudden loss of a key source of income/wedding funding.

This would have been a great excuse to drink/angrily moan: I was shown the door with through no fault of my own and I didn’t have to front up to work the next day … or any day.

I can’t deny the (possibly habitual) thought of drowning my sorrows in one too many G&Ts followed up by sleeping them off until noon the next day just because I could did cross my mind.

However … *drum roll* … determination won over impulse!

Instead, I relished the rare chance of having freedom between 9am and 5pm, and viewed it as an opportunity to enjoy some ‘me time’.

I gardened. I spent precious time with my visiting sister and my fiancé. I kept busy.

I also treated myself. I booked in for a cut, colour and hair treatment … something I’d been meaning to do for weeks, but hadn’t had the time.

Four hours of gloriousness at the Gavin Cochrane Hair Design meant I was totally transformed inside and out … and all for the price of a night out on the town too.

Challenge #2: That ‘Friday feeling’.

Even with Dry July always in the back of mind, still the usual burning desire to knock back a few with a decent meal was in the forefront of my mind last Friday.

Looking to Facebook for distraction didn’t help.

Status updates by friends either enjoying/planning their weekly 48-hour boozefest left me with an urgent sense of missing out as I washed my takeaway Thai down with diet cola. The more horrible possibility of purposely being left out because I’m a DJ also entered my mind.

In order to reach a resolution, I initiated an ‘each to their own’ philosophy. One I hope to call upon and maintain for Dry July and beyond.

My reasons for refreshment by doing Dry July are very personal (read my previous entry here for more information).

My aim isn’t for everyone to ‘look at moi’. I don’t want some sort of gold-plated statue of me erected outside the Cancer Care West Lodge in Orange to honour my bravery.

And I fully understand why my friends wanted to relax with a beer at the pub over the weekend. It’s healthy to have friends and want to catch up, even if it’s over a beer.

Furthermore, I even encourage the purchase of a few bevies whilst watching a band. It’s not my two or so non-alcoholic sodas paying for the musician! And drinking at home can lead to disaster if mismanaged.

Support Ashlea by visiting her Dry July campaign page here
Every dollar raised by Ashlea’s supporters will be donated to Cancer Care Western NSW. 

Challenge #3: Going to the pub. 

Saturday marked the monthly live music showcase in Orange called 4 on the 4loor.

One of my favourite solo performers at the moment – Kate Meadley (follow her on twitter @KateMeadley, she’s amazingly talented and funny) was playing at my favourite monthly musical treat.

I wasn’t let going into a venue where was alcohol get in the way of a good time.

When I was there it would have been SO damn easy to just order just the one and hide away in the darkness of the gig to gleefully guzzle.

As it happened, I behaved. I can’t say it wasn’t without just a little bit of reluctance.

So there you have it: no regrets yet. Or any molehills made into mountains.

As Bob Seger sings: “every time you make it through, it’s another little victory.”

There’s still one challenge I am still working on: having a healthy mind AND body.

The only exercise this sad winter weather inspires is only getting up from in front of the television or computer and going … not to the gym, but to the fridge for fatty foods.

But no-one’s perfect. And participating in Dry July is not about reaching perfection either.

Support Ashlea by visiting her Dry July campaign page here
Every dollar raised by Ashlea’s supporters will be donated to Cancer Care Western NSW.

Category: Health


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Article by: Ashlea Pritchard

A former 20somethingwanderer, now a nearly30comingofager; Ashlea hopes to offer blogs about reinventing life in her hometown after coming 'round the world and back again. As a former Fairfax journalist and sub-editor, international media editor and ABC correspondent; Ashlea has finally settled (for now, at least) in Orange, using her experience to help establish two media platforms: Slice Radio and Untap Creative. Her love of music, socialising, fashion and media technologies will most likely inspire her posts as she's a terrible cook and should never, ever give financial advice.