Why I Went on The Wagon

January 7, 2013 in Health, Uncategorized

Read this guest post by Murray Turner about how he decided to go 31 days on the booze free wagon:

Why does anyone “get on the wagon” in January, because they find that the festive season passed by in an over-indulgent blur of sleep, eat, drink, and repeat. And it is not like we don’t take advantage of every free weekend throughout the year in much the same way. Living in South Africa we frequently find ourselves at a good old “chop and dop,” again, over indulging ourselves before passing out for an afternoon kip in a drunken, satisfied slumber.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it! My weekends would not be the same if I knew that on any given Saturday all the mates would be getting together over several beers, often more, to watch the rugby.  We are a social society and alcohol comes with that, at least as far as I have ever known. But what if we tried something different?

Last year I went sober for January (at least most of it), and it was a pretty awful experience socially. I did it because I just could not cope with the idea of putting yet another beer into my system after the festive season. In truth, by New Years eve I was not even enjoying them. Surely a sign that it was time for a break.

Going sober for a month I found myself going to a “nice movie” on a Friday night, and running away when the final whistle went at the rugby on Saturday (traditionally when the tequila gets ordered). None of my mates were too concerned and so I was going at it alone.

I could not have been the only one looking to give my poor, broken body a break though. Why not bring together others that would want to give their bodies a break and turn it into a social experience? I mean, it’s always easier with a mate.

And so now I find myself, seven days into it, feeling pretty good. For 31 days my body will have a break and I have made some new mates while I am at it. We are on #wagon31 and we plan on getting together to do things that involve no alcohol, things we may not normally do, an actual social experience. And, after 31 days we can return to our normal lives feeling refreshed and ready for the next eleven months of “chop and dop.”

Read more about wagon31.

15 responses to Why I Went on The Wagon

  1. I also jump on the wagon in January after a “hard” festive season. This year promises to be the easiest though, since I don’t miss the run-down feeling after one too many.

    It can’t hurt to give the old bod a health break from those toxic substances, right?

  2. This is a really good idea, good luck to you. Maybe next you can add a booze-free weekend a month to your plan.

  3. I made the decision that i would go for a month with no alcohol after excessive drinking in December. Even though I dont usually drink during the week (unless we go out for dinner) I am finding it incredibly difficult. Now that I “cant”have it – its like I want it more.

    Im hanging in there though and feel somewhat better that i am not the only one out there who has this “crazy”idea….

  4. Give that man a Bells

  5. Hi guys, thanks for your feedback. The facebook group and twitter conversations are open to everyone. Please don’t be shy to join in, made far easier when you are not on the wagon alone.


  6. Brilliant start to the new year mate. I have also decided to take a break from the dop and chop routine. I must say however I have far fewer friends and I feel much better. I may even give it up completely after January 31st as I have more time with the family now and I am loving every minute of it.

  7. A very good thing! In France, people seem to do this once a year too – they say it’s good for the liver.

  8. I do this in February as it is the shortest month in the year :)

  9. Another name for this is “fast”. Christians call it “Lent”, the Jews “Yom Kippur”, the Muslims “Ramadan” and the Hindus have various similar festivals. All of these fasts last several weeks, during which you have to give us various “sins”. Not a bad practice.

  10. I’ve had a 3,5 year break and am going to keep going. how alcohol became so intertwined with everything I did I’m not sure. It’s unnecessary though, you start to forget who you used to be without alcohol. What a waste, you were awesome before alcohol!!

  11. so hard to stop especially if you are a light drinker but i am gonna try this year

  12. I have been off it since march last year – going for this March and will assess whether I want to have another drink or not. Good luck on your goal!!

  13. @Richard – I am 4 years off alcohol in February. I don’t even have it in my food or cough syrup as just a little taste will make me want more. Good on you for stopping – I agree – my life became surrounded by booze.

    Murray and all the others – well done on ya for doing this. You will find people out there that know how to have fun without booze :-)

    Gabi – keep going it is well worth it.

  14. Alcohol is the worse and most harmful drug out there, yes! I said it is a drug!.. except if your in dire pain and u need to drink yourself out of proper sense! I don’t want to lecture you out of drinking but yearly there is to many deaths related to drinking and frankly i am very saddened by it. I believe you don’t have to drink to have good time. Its bad for your health and not worth it.. especially if your body is telling you there is something wrong but the mind says ill spare you for a sec… really please what drug in this world makes you chunder, fight and lose your balance and then the final pass out. Then you cant remember sh!t… Why?? Cause its socially accepted.

  15. Brilliant post! I gave up the drink when I accepted that I could never be as productive even socially drinking as I am having given it up for good.

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