So, part of what took me so long to give up booze for good is the stigma that come with not drinking due to a history of overindulgence. My friends, family, and coworkers are drinkers. Maybe not in the all-or-nothing manner I am, but it is certainly enough a part of our culture where not drinking stands out as odd. Historically when I have tried to quit drinking I have failed 100% of the time because of social pressure. My plan is to lay out an excuse calendar for myself that will get me through the year without outing myself as an overly enthusiastic bottle drainer.
January 1 – 31: I’m doing dry January like my friends in the UK.
February 1 – March 2: I’m on the Whole 30 diet. No booze for me!
March 3 – 5: I have a headache/stomachache/explosive diarrhea.
March 6 – April 18: I’m giving up alcohol for Lent.
April 19 – 27: Not drinking for Good Friday/Easter/Passover/Earth Day/National Jelly Bean Day.
April 28 – May 5: I’m on a medication I shouldn’t mix with alcohol.
May 6 – June 5: I gave up drinking during Ramadan.
June 6 – June 30: I’m on a cleanse/diet/clean eating plan to kickstart the summer.
July 1 – July 31: I’m participating in Dry July, as they do in Australia, to raise funds for cancer.
August 1 – 31: August is National Wellness Month, and I am focusing on self-care, stress management, and finding healthy coping mechanisms that don’t involve alcohol.
September 1 – 30: September is either Sober September or National Self Improvement Month! Don’t compound back-to-school stress with drinking. Take time to focus on self-care and cut out harmful habits (like alcohol).
October 1 – 31: I’m participating in Sober October!
It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that having only 3 servings of alcohol per week increases your risk of getting breast cancer by 15%, and for every additional drink per week the risk rises an additional 10%?
November 1 – 30: In Ireland they have No Alcohol November. This happens to be Holy Souls Month, where many Irish Catholics give up drinking as a sacrifice for their deceased relatives.
December 1 – 31: It’s National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, so I am acting as the designated driver all month.
Does anyone else have any handy excuses to get through social events this year?