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FRAN'S STORY

"It's amazing how much more time you have on your hands and what you can get done when you're not drinking."

I had started drinking before I came out, but when I started going to gay clubs I really started drinking heavily. It was completely fine to drink that heavily, I don't remember anyone not really drinking.

To be honest, we use to mix a lot of pills and other drugs with drinking too and it just seemed like everyone did, in fact, it was quite encouraged! I think in the nineties there was a sort of a romantic edge to being 'out of it'.

It was a lot of fun, but it was dangerous too – there are nights I remember where some of us are lucky to be alive.

I remember one night two girls climbing scaffolding at the State Library after a particularly big night out.

We drank cheap champagne and cocktails like a tequila sunrise. Vodka and tonic was our sophisticated drink.

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I moved to regional Victoria about twenty years ago, in part to escape the party lifestyle that never seems to end in the gay community. However, it didn’t seem to be any different in the country - maybe I attract those sort of people!

I'd still say my group of friends drinks too much. I think we keep thinking we will slow down in our fifties which some of us are now, but sometimes I think we're kidding ourselves. It's pretty hard to break habits of a lifetime.

"It's amazing how much more time you have on your hands and what you can get done when you're not drinking."

A few of us have done Dry July and it was funny by the third week we were all saying how much better we felt and yet it didn’t take long to slip back into our old ways. A few of us are pretty determined to keep doing Dry July and Feb Fast as well. It's amazing how much more time you have on your hands and what you can get done when you're not drinking!

And it doesn’t have to be boring, we still go out for dinner we just drink lemon, lime and bitters and if we have friends over we make fancy mocktails. If it’s a group of you doing it's really not that hard at all.

Fran – 47, Bendigo

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Supported by VicHealth

The ReThink the Drink project is part of VicHealth's Alcohol Culture Change Initiative.