Roland Illyes

Another day, another dollar

Hello All,


My challenge has turned to the finish line of the last week. I received enormous support from all of you! I cannot express how gratified I am.


I am abstinent for 42 days now. Those who read Douglas Adam’s five parts trilogy know that 42 is the answer. (If you have not read that book the I highly recommend -


Now, I have the answer so what is the question? The mostly repeated question was in the last few weeks: “What will you do after 28th February?”

I suppose, I need to listen to you again as I did during the challenge. So, before I would give any exact response I offer you an opportunity:  I will keep the dry habit as many days as many dollar will be raised from now till end of 25th Monday 5 pm. The current balance is $1753.

I need to send the screenshot to the Vodafone Foundation before they would match the donation. Hence, I need to close the fundraising earlier than 28th February.

You will receive a last email from me with the review of the month and the result of the “another day, another dollar” action.

Thank you for all verbal and material support.


Week three has been started

Good morning,


I hope all you had a great weekend. I am in the middle of the challenge as the third week has been started. The amount of support is phenomenal that I got already! And you guys as a part of the community (nobody requested to remove from the DL so far, so the scientific selection criteria targeted the right people) do an amazing job, 27 of you have donated the fundraising goal already!


Now let’s see how the experiment is going:  I would talk about myself first before I turn to you all. Because, my test has been extended to you guys as well who reads and supports my thoughts.

Me, I am still off from the booze with few temptation such as catch up in the pub with an old colleague and some apple juice, cruising on the technology all hand session between the provident function waiters with full tray of drinks and open bottles of wine. Actually, both occasion were a piece of cake because all you supported and talked to me about the challenge. I can tell you without those it would be 100 times harder or impossible.

Before I commenced the FebFast It was a bit of dilemma if I should share the details with you or not. But, I decided - and I am glad I did – that I will be open that may help to myself. The decision was instinctively correct.


These emails are not just stories that I share, they drive the conversations that we have on the corridor or before the meetings or at the social events. Let me share few questions and answers that we had in the last 2 weeks:


Q: Do you feel better now as you are not drinking alcohol?

A: The answer is not straight. Yes, I feel more self-confident and determined. No, the physiology part is still not recovered. The medical experts advised that the body can detox effectively after 3 months of abstinence. Meanwhile, several chemistry processes evolve with not necessarily pleasant influences. The PAWS (post-acute withdrawal syndromes) are recognised by the medical researches, however the literature is still exploring the systematic reason of it. However, few things have already been known: the human brain is a funny organ, it produces drug as hormones (endorphin, dopamine etc) for its own recreation. Also, it is smart enough to invent substitutes that stimulate those functions. The western part of the world preferred the drinking of the fermented and distilled fruit sugar liquids against the consuming of the dried plant derivatives. The alcohol is like the two minutes noodle vs hunting for a mammoth. You can get energy from both, but the effort to obtain it is different. If the brain can be spoon-fed by any external replacements then it does not need to go for hunting to the biggest mammal to get energy. Virtually, this process is in progress in my human experiment. It takes time and will bring back to normal my ecosystem.


Q: What are you doing with the time that you get back when you do not drink?

A: Wow, such a harsh question isn’t it? I suppose, this is essential. If you drink or take any psychotropic materials then you try to step out from the now. It may bring you to an alternate present, but definitely takes the time away. Getting back that time is a blessing and problem in one. My handrail is the Yoga, Pilates and Mindfulness. Without those exercises – or any exercises – I am sure the present’s time management would be hard like hell. Maybe, later on I will read a book again or play a board game for fun.


Ok, I think the today’s update is a bit longer than it was meant to be, so I am closing now.


You can find the people who donated already and my thoughts under the link. This link also gives you an opportunity to contribute to my challenge



Thank you.



PS: Stay in tune, I have a bit of fun for next week!

First week completed



As I promised before here is the weekly update of the human experiment conducted by me. By the way, if you do not want to receive the updates, please text or email me and I will not be sending that topic again.


Wow, such a week!

All you Guys are fantastic! $615 has been raised on the first week! The target is very ambitious, but thanks for your amazing contribution it looks achievable. Moreover the material support, I have received so many verbal encouragement on the corridor or via the phone. You know English is my second language, so it is hard to expressed the feeling how humbled I am.


Those who would like to support my challenge, please click to



So the weekly wrap up: The feedback was on my previous post that it was a bit long. So, I try to be sharp at this time.

The fourth week of soberness has been passed and the first week of the FebFast challenge. Let me share some experiences of that period focusing on the first 10 days.

When you do the “business as usual” life, after the stressful office environment arriving home, to your family and your mind is still racing then it is obvious to open a bottle of wine, pour a nice Scotch or have few beers. There is nothing wrong with that. It is called recreational drinking. But, where is the demarcation line between recreational – mostly and not fully harmless – drinking and alcoholism?

The latest researches identified the high functioning alcoholism (you can find some details under that link ) Those findings were made me thinking. Is my recreational activity became or will become as an addiction?

Hence, I trialled myself. The short answer was yes, it has already been a problem. It is bad and shameful to recognise that the fun turned to an addiction.

Ok, but I am strong and I can stop anytime. Have you ever told that to yourself? I shrugged my shoulders and said, it cannot be that hard.

Actually, it was. After 2 days intentionally not drinking I started to get heavy headache and could not sleep. A week later it turned to significant mood and performance change. I did not have shaking hands but sometimes with no reason I started sweating on my palm and the permanent headache was so bad. Anyhow, I read the experiences on the forums and consulted to my medical expert so I was considerable in a safe environment, and just once lost my head in a meeting (as far as I realised).

I would say, I survived the first 10 days. It was not the most joyful period of my time, but I have been doing it for good.

Thank you for all the support and following me. Next week I will share my experiences about the PAWS.

Have a good week,



Fundraising Day 1

This messeage was sent out today.

It is exciting moment

Dear Friend/Colleague,


I am writing to you because I need something from you (again?!).


You are a prominent member of the club of 123 people who receive that request – considering any confidentiality concerns the list is not available to anybody.

The selection criteria was defined based on scientific method: a natural person who knows me and has seen me at least one at any social event with a glass in my hands, or has never seen me on any social event without a glass in my hands; and I have his/her email address in my register.


You may suspect the reason why you got that email. Yes, I participate in the FebFast event. This initiative is about giving up something which is important in your life for a month.

The organisers are very creative, all participant can nominate the most appropriate:

  • Give up sugar – those who know me can state I do not eat sugar so it is not fair to collect money based on that “sacrifice”
  • Give up eating meat – I was vegetarian for over 15 years, so still not the perfect selection
  • Shave my head – actually it is a different fund raising purpose, but I am doing it 2-3 times a month, so I dropped that option
  • Do not drink alcohol – Oops, now we have arrived to a sensitive point. Alcohol and me have a long term harmonic relationship if we forget that we need to forget. So, I do not drink for a month then it may bring the act to your attention.


Apologies for the long introduction, but it is always hard to ask for money. I do it anyhow.


Please donate my fundraising endeavour for:

  • Support my effort – instead of calling me for a drink, please send the one or six pint’s cost to my raising page. This option also will allow you to follow my human experiment and the updates
  • Support the community – I am sure, you know somebody around you who had or has challenge with alcohol and its related problems. Hence, your action may bring change to his/her life. It gives you good feeling
  • Get tax deduction – All your donation beyond $2 are deductable from your personal tax. It saves money for you
  • Double the money – No it is not gambling. It is the generous offer from the Vodafone Foundation. In case of the fundraising can achieve $500 or more in a month then the Vodafone Foundation Australia ( will match the amount of money.


Please click to the link and do it for any good reason:


Thank you for all who read and supported me!


I am not an experienced fundraiser and I sent that message to many people, thus I prepared some Q&A to answer to the frequently asked questions:


Q: Do you intentionally choose the shortest month in a leap year to take that challenge?

A:  Yes, I know it looks a bit fishy that I have picked the only February with 28 days in every four years -  that occurred in the last 15 years only 3 times. But, I started the challenge on 13th January 2019, so voluntarily extended the FebFast in advance.


Q: Does this challenge impact your Hungarian identity or citizenship?

A: No, the rules get smoother in Hungary in the last 30 years; and since we joined to the European Union in 2004 it is acceptable not drinking every day without serious social exclusion or loosing citizenship automatically.


Q: Will you be a boring person during the challenge?

A: Not more than I am usual just I will not be doing:

  • Have a bath in a small Hungarian city’s main square’s fountain in Adam’s costume
  • Sing and demand at a rock concert another rock band’s popular song – that was eventually played by the band
  • Attend in 70’s clothing on a university party a week after the yearly party of the 70’s
  • Go home and get surprised that a key does not fit to a unit’s door where I lived a year before
  • Find important social mission in a 80 blocks of units house to swap the door maths between different floors and doors to bring the people closer to each other

*Those examples are fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the Roland’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Also, cannot be proven as back to that time the mobile phones did not exist or had no built in camera.


Q: Don’t you worry that you will be a married man with no children in his forties with a cat if you do not drink?

A: I am just 39 and a half, so no worry at all.


Q: Will you ever listen any alcohol related song after that challenge?

A: Yes. Not drinking does not mean not thinking or remembering: – A Hungarian confession of Alcohol by Koncz Zsuzsa – Some kind of rock and roll: If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave) by George Thorogood - and another one from him - and my personal all-time favourite Lemmy


If you have any further question, please do not hesitate to contact me.


And again, I really appreciate your support.





My Achievements

Photo on profile page

Personalise page

Self donation

Got my 1st donation

Shared my page

Recruited a friend

Raised $100

Raised $200

Raised $500

Thank you to my Sponsors


Vodafone Foundation


Orsolya Tuboly

The Secret: Keep Going!


Vesna Vidmar

Great cause - keep up the good work.


Richard Liu

Well Done Ronald! #persistence pays!


Aniko Pollak & Csaba Hegyi

Go Joli! Panki&Csabi


Rita Hegyi

Roli, Egy percig sem ketkedem benne, hogy meg tudod csinalni, de ezen felul egy percig sem ketelkedem benne, hogy ez mekkora kihivas.... Veled vagyunk😁😁😁


Ronald La

Good on you mate !


Rohan Smith

Refarm this!


Matt Hunt

Well done Roland


David B

Hajra hajra - That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. ;)


Darren Zhang

Good on you, Mate!



True legend mate


Jonathan Ang

great work out there Roland. Keep up the spirit




Yane Dimitrijoski

Considering you have already completed 3 weeks of soberness, I think this challenge is way too easy for you. nevertheless a fantastic cause. :) ……..Btw I'll be having a bottle or 2 of Palinka tonight, served with a tray of Kebabi & a side of cabbage salad......mmmmmm ;)



Keep up the great effort


Fan Bai

Good on you


Gabor Kovacs


Chris Campbell-rogers

Roland, Legend, well done. Your effort is something to be proud of.


Rabindra Basnet

Good Luck.


Bronwyn Jones

Nice work! Hope you feel great for doing it.


Ben Grimes

good luck mate, i hope march comes quickly for you!


Kamal Adhikari

Great work Roland.


Tony Pham

Good on you!!!



It is impressive that you have gone so far! Keep on :)


Ed Koh

Well done Roland, Speak to you once you're Hungarian again. We need a lot to catch up on!


Helena Wang

Well done Roland!!


Andrew Kupeckyj

Well done, good initiative!


Tatjana Radosavljevic

We need to celebrate your success champion!!!


Phil Kelly

Mate, that really is a mighty effort!!! Well done.


Milena Baker

Good on you Roland!


Zubair Minto

Keep up the good work


Triona Wallace

Good Luck Roland!





Keith Schils

Make sure you find another way to stay hydrated mate!


Kunal Gupta

Roland, such a good initiative - well done, am enjoying the weekly updates they are both entertaining and insightful!


Karl Wand

Good work on the fasting. I have done this myself in the past and it is not easy at first but it's very rewarding. Keep it up and keep us updated :) We are all proud of you!


Martin Oliveiro

Great initiative Roland


Thirumaran Bhaskaran (terry)

All the best mate


Neil Pulfer

Good luck Champ!!



Well done Roland - keep up the challenge and what a great thing to do, you have my support.


Gabriel Yeung