When I decided to participate in Dry July I stated my reasons for undertaking this challenge –
- In recognition of my husband Rob who made the choice to go dry over 17 years ago.
- The personal challenge to go without alcohol for a whole month
- My belief in the need for research, support and treatment for adults with cancer.
As month draws to a close it is time to pause and reflect on what this arid month has meant to me.
It has been inspiring for me to live the daily decision that “today I will not have a drink”. Rob made the decision to become sober almost 18 years ago and although I have heard him say it many times I now understand how tough it is to wake up each day and reaffirm that “I will not drink alcohol today” as it is a day by day choice that needs to be consciously made. That is a decision I have made for each day of Dry July – Rob has made it for 18 years and for that I take my hat off to him.
I love to drink, I like alcohol, I have not really been able to find a substitute for a nice glass of Chardonnay after work – or a wee dram of scotch (or 2) as a night cap. Alcohol has been part of my life as a hospitality professional training staff in the art of bartending, host responsibility, cocktail making, relevant legislation…and ensuring your guests have a good time. To go without for a whole month is something I have not done since about 1990.
To stay dry and/or sober at family events, hangi meals, after a hard week at work or on a hot Saturday afternoon has been hard – very hard some days but now I can say that ‘I can do it’ if I choose to because I have done it!!!!!
Cancer affects so many people in so many different ways that I can not even begin to imagine the individual experiences that others may have had but from my own experiences in supporting friends and family in their battle and losing some along the way, I am eternally grateful for the research done into prevention, treatment and comfort for patients. I am also grateful for the support services that are available for patients and their families as they travel the path of the unknown and uncertain.
The funds raised through Dry July go to support adult patients with Cancer in Australia and back home in New Zealand. A huge thanks to those who have donated to Dry July this year and to my dad for going Dry with me.
Through the month of July 2012 I have three special friends and their families who have been on my mind each time I say “Thanks, but no thanks. Im doing Dry July to support Adults with Cancer”. Lloma, Denise and Ken – this has been for you and for those who have lost their battle yet will remain in my heart forever particularly Dean and Allyson.
Treasure the times you have together for in the end all you will have is the memories of times well spent, meals shared and the drinks we consumed.