The odyssey begins

The first day..
The first day..

This is a blog is about why it is Sunday morning and I am actually sitting at my desk, typing in a mildly coherent fashion on my laptop…as apposed to being completely hungover, bedridden and dreading doing absolutely anything except lay in my bed and eat KFC.

This is a blog about what crazy things can happen to a normal, social, 22 year-old when they don’t drink alcohol for an entire year. It is a real-time look into the wonderful Australian pastime of drinking through the eyes of someone who, isn’t.

Relaxing at work
Relaxing at work

Why? Well this project all came about because I work for the Brisbane based youth advertising agency called FRESH.  About two months ago, my boss and I were at the pub reviewing a tender submission for a binge drinking campaign, and it was then the thought occurred to us – what would it be like to go without alcohol for a substantial period?

Either of us had no idea. In fact, we don’t even have mates had spent any longer than a month, tops, in that vast unknown land of sobriety.

So, if we were going to have a good crack at binge drinking in Australia, at least one of us would need to know what it means to actually not drink.

…I guess you could call it ‘taking one for the team’.

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens and if you know me at all, you would know that it’s a massive challenge that I’m up against. 

At the agency this year, we will be doing everything we can to identify the key psychological drivers as to why young people feel the necessity to get plastered week in, week out. If you have any ideas, we’d be stoked to get some community interaction on this one.


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  • Your approach to better understanding the dynamics of a drinking culture and the consequences of alcohol abuse shows rare commitment. No doubt there a lot of supporters who very much hope to see you stick with it.

    What an opportunity you have to make a contribution to the limited body of research on this topic.

    I say a study like this is newsworthy and needs the publicity to leverage off. ACA would pick it up if presented the right way. You’re in PR so no doubt you’re a few steps ahead on that score.

    By GF
    January 21, 2009
  • gidday chris!

    you need a goal as well – something like a sport (tennis isnt it?).

    join a regular comp and go in hard to improve and win!

    you cant drink and do both.

    cheers, larry.

    By larry knauer
    January 21, 2009
  • Cheers Larry,

    Thats a good point. The main goal is to get as much research and understanding of the drinking culture as we can cram into our heads.

    Personally, I guess probably losing weight or saving money might be good ways to measure the success of the project on that level.

    By hellosundaymorning
    January 22, 2009
  • GF, thank you for the support and great ideas from the beginning!

    We hope that doing this project will really add to the current body of research out there.

    It should be a great year. Please keep the input coming.

    By hellosundaymorning
    January 22, 2009
  • I believe that early intervention is one of the keys to making people feel better about themselves
    ie Prof Mat Sanders’ Triple P Program

    By ejt
    January 23, 2009
  • Hi Chris, I gave up alcohol for a year when I was 19 after a particularly heavy drinking session on Magnetic Island. I was sick for about 3 days. I couldnt even look at a drink or the memory would come back.
    Looking back, during that year it felt to me to be so boring being around drunk people.
    It just wasnt fun. I seemed to take on the ’embarrassments’ of my mates as their inhibitions were totally shot.
    I did get more into my tennis at that time. I think these days there are a lot more sporting options to take up.

    As a student at the time, it was amazing to me how much money I saved. Did a hitching holiday to NZ. Some great memories (as opposed to having no memory!)
    I think I have a tag line for you . “It truly is pissing money up the wall”

    Good luck.

    By mwh
    January 26, 2009
  • I think people get caught up in the easiness of the drinking cycle. Every weekend, get home from work and start drinking. Although it is a great thing to have as part of Australian society. I think that the everyday cycle ensures that people don’t make clear decisions for how they want to spend the majority of their life and furthermore we miss out on the great experiences there is out there such as hitching to NZ etc.

    By hellosundaymorning
    January 28, 2009
  • I had to stop drinking at 20 due to health reasons. A very heavy drinker and party lover, I was a little uneasy of the thought at first. Pffft, what was I even worried about! Its always about goodtimes whether on the booze or not; and its the person who controls their own razamataz, wika-wika-wild goodtimes levels. It doesn’t mean you cant be a sociable, party, dance floor lover if you don’t drink – ill easily prove that to you 🙂

    Still always on the lookout for a fun times, I can choose to drink or not and know that I can have maximum fun either way.

    Good luck lad, I know you’ll still be seen on the town, busting moves and enjoying yourself. I wonder what you will learn from this experience about yourself (and others)

    peace 🙂

    By Cloud
    February 1, 2009
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