words by Alexandra Salisbury

“Not drinking for a month!” was my friend’s response, utterly bemused by my announcement. “You?”
“Yes, me” I retorted, somewhat on the defensive, as I held onto a refreshing glass of Sauvignon like a prized chalice, a well-deserved reward for what felt like an eternally long week.

That’s right, me, the notorious party animal and 15,000 others alongside have opted to give up drinking for one long month as part of Go Sober for October, a fundraising initiative devised by Macmillan Cancer Support. Taking inspiration from Australia’s popular ‘Dry July,’ Go Sober for October invites friends and family to sponsor your sobriety and- here’s the fun part- you’re encouraged to do it in groups. Upon reflection, I suppose her surprise was justified, even if I did take it a little to heart.

Admittedly, I like a glass of wine but no more than most. I’m sure that a glass or two mid-week falls comfortably into the national average and a few cocktails at the weekend are what most people my age consume anyway. There lies my problem, I drink sociably – yes, but I have absolutely no idea of how many units I consume in total, nor how much it is costing me (dare I even calculate it?). Worse still, I have no idea of the impact it’s having on my health. I can only guess at an approximate figure and truth is, I don’t like to contemplate it for too long.

My decision to go sober is driven by a desire to break the habit. I hope, if anything, to gain perspective on my relationship with alcohol, though I loathe to call it such. I am also secretly hoping to gain a new sense of vitality, to go about my day with a spring in my step, to have clearer skin and a fresher head come Monday morning. Whilst the benefits to my health are clear, I’m beginning to realise that breaking the habit might not be as easy as I originally anticipated.

So, as the start date draws closer and closer, I am mentally preparing myself for parties sans social lubricant, unfizzy Fridays and early nights. Doesn’t the whole venture sound rather… unglamourous? I am already sensing resistance from my friends, a hollow concern that I won’t be as fun as before or, wait, is that my fear? Going sober is surely going to impact the way I socialise.

Whatever happens, I am willing to embrace this new challenge as a learning experience and who knows what may come of it? Stay posted for more.

MY MOTIVATION: These thoughts will keep me going

1 Having extra money to spend on something more rewarding. If all goes well then I’ll treat myself to a ‘go me’ manicure at the end of the month.


2Having a fresh head to tackle that Monday morning meeting head on. I hold my hands up, I shy away from my boss when I’m not feeling too sprightly!


3Feeling refreshed will also mean that I’m more motivated to get up and exercise which will give my overall well being such a boost. Saturday morning park run here I come!


4Clearer skin and bye bye bags. It’s a well known fact that alcohol dulls the complexion and late nights mean tired eyes. I want to be the fresh faced girl that gets asked to share her beauty secrets.


5A sense of achievement. Knowing that I can go sober for one month will put me back in control. I’ll be able to say no when social pressure strikes!