Today marks so much more than a year off alcohol! I’m celebrating the life I’ve got back, after giving so much away to alcohol for so long. I didn’t even realise a year ago that anything was missing. I had accepted a really under par version of what was ‘normal’ to me. But after a heavy Christmas last year, I knew something had to change and so thought I’d start by cutting out alcohol for a while.
I had started drinking at a young age, which gradually merged into a habit that I gave too much time to, too regularly. I now realise that I was attracted to alcohol to manage struggles with my mental health. Over the years this included; social anxiety and shyness, depression, undiagnosed PTSD, living with an eating disorder, stress, general anxiety and all-round fearfulness, compounded by huge feelings of inadequacy and not being ‘enough’. Drinking went from being a crutch to eventually taking centre stage of all activities.
Throughout this year, OYNB has enabled and empowered me to essentially ‘start over again’ without booze.
A second chance to construct my life and my identity in an authentic way. The OYNB community provides a hugely positive space for people from all over the world who, for whatever reason, are taking a break from drinking. Everyone is in it together, sharing daily inspiration on how to live life better.
I could talk all day about the benefits I’ve seen over the last year, but to name just a few; the amount of TIME I have regained from not drinking, being anxious and hungover feels like such an amazing gift! OYNB has helped me to fill that time wisely through their amazing online coaching programs, encouraging goal setting and events. For example, I’ve found out what’s really important to me by exploring my values and beliefs during the OYNB Mastermind course. I’ve trained for and done a Spartan race with the OYNB team in Iceland, a successful physical and mental challenge I would never have considered in the past.
Secondly, clarity of mind.
I have proven to myself that I can face life’s challenges, big or small, and keep a straight head. I’ve faced impossible, stressful and tragic situations, which being alcohol-free has helped me massively to remain calm and make the right decisions. What has also helped is proactively caring for my mental health, as much as physical, through regular exercise, daily meditation (something I never knew about before joining OYNB), sleeping better and generally being kinder towards myself.
Finally, through more positive thought patterns and better control of my mind, I at last feel comfortable, relaxed and confident in my own skin. This applies in everyday life and also when I have been to hen-dos, weddings, holidays and other social events without drinking. I am happier than ever before, being me!
I actually had no idea of the extent of personal transformation I could achieve with OYNB, I just knew I could do with a break from alcohol. What an unexpected blessing that it has totally changed my life, relationships, mindset and perspective for the better. I can’t give enough thanks to the team at OYNB and all of the amazing members!