Dry June 2023

Sparkling waters are just as good as drinks with alcohol!

In June 2023, I did an interesting social experiment: I went alcohol-free. I set the goal to go alcohol-free because one of the Facebook groups I was in had mentioned several challenges to try in June. One of those challenges was to give up alcohol, so I thought, "Let me try that." And throughout the month, I did it. So here we are on July 2, and I made it 30 days without alcohol. Through the experiment, I learned so much, and in this blog, I'll share my reflections on dry June and the importance of being aligned with your goals.

When I was struggling in the middle of the month, I made a list of all the things that I associated with alcohol. That list could be divided into two groups: the good parts and the bad parts. Let's talk about the good parts first. Alcohol, for me, was a way to relax. I loved sitting down at the end of the day and having a beer. I didn't need to have a whole bottle of wine or ten beers, but I liked to have one or two beers. Alcohol is also joyful for me, associated with fun times with my friends and family. And a really big thing was that when I was growing up, I knew this beautiful couple who ended every night of their whole marriage with a drink. It was just a beautiful thing to witness their connection, and it had nothing to do with the alcohol; it had to do with the fact that at the end of the day, they met at the kitchen table and had time together. My husband and I used them as role models and ended many of our days this way, part of the reason that keeps our marriage so strong. So, there were lots of positives about alcohol.

Then there were the negatives. I grew up with an alcoholic mother and often had thoughts that alcohol ruined my childhood. I considered alcohol evil, a waste of time, and it caused me anxiety when I drank too much. As I mentioned, before June I would never have said I was a heavy drinker for many reasons that all fall into this negative bucket: I don’t like anxiety, I don’t like hangovers, and I don't like to be out of control.

When I looked at these associations, it led me to think: Was I doing this because of fear? For the first time in my life, I had this thought: Was I giving up alcohol because I was worried that alcohol would cause my children's lives to be the same as mine?  With that reflection, I was able to clearly state that, no, my children's lives would never be like my childhood. That realization makes me feel so good. I learned that I have the power to believe something different.   I have the power to change the thought that I (or others in my life) drink too much. I have the power to find different ways to connect. I have the power to replace alcohol with other things like exercise to relax or sparkling water to drink socially (it’s so good in a wine glass on ice!). But I also have the power to allow myself to have a beer when and where I want to!

The most interesting thing about this experiment was that I had set a goal, and I am a goal-setter. I go after my goals, and I rarely give up on them, but this goal wasn't really aligned for me. I didn't think about how I would feel if I gave up alcohol. It was more like a challenge than a goal. And so, I think that made it harder. During the middle of the month, when it did get challenging, I started thinking about how I was feeling, and honestly, I didn't feel any different with or without alcohol. And while so many people told me about how they lost 10 pounds on a dry month… I didn’t notice that benefit either!

So, while I’m happy that I did this social experiment, and I’ll likely sign up for a dry January or February next year, I won’t be continuing with a dry July! I’m happy to keep some of the good habits that I learned in dry June and happy to support any friends who take on this challenge. If you’re considering going dry all the time, or for a day, week, or month, drop a comment and let me know how I can support you!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.