Prompted by a throwaway remark from my sis (and after a mad weekend on the batter with her), I signed up to Sober October, a fundraising event for Macmillan Cancer Care that has involved giving up the drink for the entire month of October to raise funds for the charity.
Now, I’m not saying I like a drink but – nah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. I like a drink.
Today my month of sobriety comes to an end. It’s been interesting.
So, with the help of some handy numbers, here’s my Sober October.
31 October is long. This year’s was a five-weekend month. FIVE Fridays. FIVE Saturdays. Without alcohol. I should have checked the calendar first.
620 The amount I raised for Macmillan. I say I raised. The credit goes to my family and friends who – hesitantly at first and who can blame them with my track record? – piled in with the donations.
1 The amount of times over the course of the month I actually said out loud that I really wanted a glass of wine. The long-ingrained habit of reaching for the cab sauv was replaced almost seamlessly by popping on the kettle for a cuppa char.
200 The number of pounds sterling I reckon I didn’t spend this month on booze, most notably on our Friday pintage outings.
6 How many people sent me the link to the story about the health benefits of staying off the bevvy for 30 days. I hope the benefits are long term because, short term, I’ve felt like complete rubbish for most of the month, thanks to a succession of tummy bugs and breaking a filling not once but twice.
34 Facebook posts I made about Sober October – I should get out more …
2000 Calories from alcohol consumed by the average wine drinker every month. As I’ve never been Ms Average about anything, I think I probably consume more. Which leads to …
9 The number of lbs lighter I am today than I was on October 1.
0 Lost days from hangovers.
2 The months every year in the future during which I am going to (try to) commit to giving up all alcohol.
PS I could not have done this without the support of my missus. Debbie didn’t sign up officially to Sober October, but like the valiant teetotallers of the temperance movement, she has abstained from the demon drink alongside me for the whole month. And like an East Anglian Mrs Doyle, she has made more cups of tea than seems humanly possible. I salute her indefatigability!
**NOVEMBER 1 UPDATE**
My current total raised for Macmillan is £690 – I’m completely overwhelmed by the support from everyone. You have my undying gratitude.