What I learned about myself and alcohol through this challenge, has led to me changing my whole lifestyle.
After seeing OYNB on Facebook, I lingered around the website for almost 6 months before taking that enormous step and signing up for 90-days. I had read the success stories; amazed and envious of their life changes, thinking never in a million years could I go ONE year without alcohol.
I was the girl that started the party and kept going. When one bottle of wine a night was no longer enough, I’d move on to two. The final trigger was a party with friends, waking the next morning with a gut feeling I’d upset someone, and not remembering what it was – it was then, I made the 90-day commitment.
Starting my 90-day challenge
I went into my 90-days hoping to understand my relationship with alcohol and to identify triggers that led me to grab for the bottle of wine. My ‘why’s’ ranged from health, weight loss, and my family to the fear of alcoholism. In the beginning I was scared to death and was simply determined to just get through the 90-days. What happened in those first 30-days changed the rest of my life.
The daily emails and videos led me down the path of recognising why I used alcohol, and how I could take small steps to change that relationship. The OYNB Community was the most welcomed surprise. In a community of joy and laughter plus sad, bitter truths, I found the most supportive group of people that exist. I have created friendships of support that will last a lifetime. The recommended “Quit lit’ taught me the truth about alcohol and what it does to our bodies. It was on day 77 that I jumped in with both feet, and upgraded to the 365 challenge.
The benefits of being alcohol-free
I freed myself through OYNB. I found ways to cope through my difficult times and struggles, that don’t involve reaching for alcohol. I found an inner calm through a love of mindfulness and connection with nature. My hair and skin is healthier and I maintain a healthy weight- because it’s much easier to get up and exercise when you aren’t hungover. More than anything, I learned that I can laugh and have fun without alcohol- which was something I had forgotten.
The OYNB support
The OYNB support is astounding. The daily emails and videos prepared me to face the outside world with this challenge and face questions, social situations and unsupportive people head on. I journaled through the email and video prompts and learned so much about myself. Through meditation I gained perspective of gratitude and equanimity.
The OYNB Facebook community and moderators have become family over the last year. There is undying support and reaffirmations that each person is on their journey and we will support one another.
I’m 361 days without alcohol today. I will hit my OYNB in four days and go for year two. What I learned about myself and alcohol through this challenge, has caused a life change. I’m better without alcohol. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I don’t drink.
I would recommend OYNB to anyone questioning their relationship with alcohol. A guilt-free, supportive environment where you can learn about yourself and what an alcohol-free life could look like.