How am I doing at giving up alcohol for Cancer Research UK?

I am taking part in the Dryathalon fundraising campaign for Cancer Research UK. This involves giving up alcohol for the month of January.

Whether by nature or nurture, I do like a tipple. My drink on a night in would be bacardi and coke. Sometimes I change this to brandy and coke which was one of my mum’s favourites. I like a glass or two of wine especially on the nights where my nerves feel a little frazzled. Baileys used to be a regular event back in the day but is a rare treat since having the children.

After years of drinking, I am getting a bit fed up with it. I don’t cope with drinking as well as I used to. It can make me feel very down. I also find myself resenting the amount of money it costs. So I decided to give up drink for January and possibly beyond.

Then I heard about Cancer Research UK’s Dryatholon and thought it would help motivate me to stay on track and also be a bit of a tribute to my mum who died from cancer in 2009.

I have completed a full week without a drop of alcohol. To be honest, I am a bit disappointed with the low number of people who have sponsored me but I know lots of folks are doing sponsored events and also times are hard out there for people. The truth is the time to judge how I have done on the challenge and sponsorship wise is at the end of this month. It is also important to remember that there is no correlation between people liking you and people wanting to sponsor you. I like a lot of people who do sponsored events and I am pretty random at who and when I sponsor people. Often I intend to sponsor someone and then forget to do so.

I don’t think I have met any of my donors (except myself). Who knew that strangers would donate? I get very excited as I see my donations increasing towards my target which I set ridiculously high at £150.

So how have I found me first week as a dryathelete?

I have enjoyed the process a lot. I turned down a glass of wine waved under my nose. I found a bottle of wine in a cupboard that was long forgotten and put it right back there. I am getting a bit bored of drinking diet coke but will investigate other non-alcoholic options.

The joy is that I feel so much better in myself. I feel a lot more upbeat and also very motivated to take on challenges. I even beamed on the school run this morning. I seem to be getting more stuff done too.

I have noticed that I seem to be dreaming more and have had a couple of nightmares. I don’t know whether that is related to giving up drink or not but something makes me think it might be.

I have every confidence I will successfully complete this challenge.

Here’s to another booze-free week!

Sponsors welcome and here is my fundraising page

www.justgiving.com/Catherine-Holmes-dryathlete2014

5 Comments

  1. Andrew January 8, 2014 / 10:29 am

    Nicely written!

    Not my place to give advice but one thing I’m enjoying about dryathlon is trying out new drinks. I bought all sorts of different herbal teas (can’t drink black tea at night) and have been going through all the alcohol-free beers I can find. Going to try an alcohol-free wine – don’t have high hopes for that, but it’s fun to try!

    I’m getting more stuff done, too – don’t worry about how many people are sponsoring you. When people see how much happier you are they’ll maybe try dryathlon themselves next year – the effects of our actions sometimes are felt way in the future.

    Keep the faith!

    • kateonthinice January 8, 2014 / 6:03 pm

      Thanks Andrew.
      Herbal teas are a thought.
      Keep looking at mocktail fruity cocktail recipes online.
      I like your point about the longer-term outcomes of what we are doing.
      Many thanks

  2. Visible Vixen January 8, 2014 / 4:45 pm

    I found this post really interesting. I’m not a big drinker and wouldn’t really notice a dry month if I did have one. I can’t really see the fuss about dry January, and so many people do it without asking for sponsorship maybe that’s why respondents are on the low side of what you expected. I know you IRL, you know I do really like you. I also know Cancer Research is a big deal, it just happens that I already volunteer for rough sleepers and a legal centre; I give time not money to my chosen charities this way.

    I’ve seen two recent media things that struck a chord with me about alcohol. I’m not saying this relates to you Kate but wonder what you make of them.

    One is that in a marriage/ relationship, different drinking habits cause rows – ie the fun loving drinker vs the one who gets bored and wants to go home as everyone else is drunk by 11pm. So it leads to different sets of friends, wanting to go different places for entertainment etc, one partner always sleeping in on weekends due to hangovers, the money on booze that could be spent elsewhere.

    I have personal experience of this, in my very happy 18 year marriage booze is the only thing we regularly row about. It’s a fault line in our relationship, I’m not saying everyone has it, but I feel that the way a person is brought up around booze and attitudes to it give people very entrenched ideas of what is or isn’t fun or acceptable. Even writing this I worry I sound like some sort of stuck up prissy killjoy which as you know I totally am not.

    The other media comment I saw is that people sometimes point to the fact they do dry January as evidence that they don’t have a drink problem – they’re let off the hook for 11 months. Totally not trying to offend anybody here, but I think alcohol is a fascinating subject, which like money, is often hard to talk about honestly.

    Warm wishes with your teetotal month, keep it up!!

    • kateonthinice January 8, 2014 / 5:56 pm

      I really appreciate such a long and detailed comment.
      I have rarely done anything fundraising wise in recent years and like you have gone about supporting charities either through work, trusteeship or volunteering my time.
      Interestingly, without asking since I gave up drinking alchohol my husband has stopped getting any too. I think we are better for it to be honest. Also as someone who can be prone to depression, it is obvious that drinking a lot is often not a great idea.
      As a couple we don’t get out much. I am extremely fussy about who I will leave the children with for a whole range of reasons.
      I think I was pretty prone to see drinking in the house as normal as my parents drank most nights. In fact, I knew Mum was really on her way out of life when she left the whisky she still asked for when terminally ill with cancer.
      I decided to give up drink anyway as could see it becoming too important/destructive and then a friend suggested I could fundraise for Cancer Research UK and i thought well why not?
      I am really hoping that after January I will drink either not at all or just on special occasions.
      It is an interesting journey.

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