One day a couple of years ago, I distinctly remember waking up from an intense day of drinking that went into the night. I awoke in my apartment, miserably hung over and peered at a rigorous “to do” list that I had made on my phone. Based on the splitting headache, crippling anxiety, and utter exhaustion that I was feeling… I knew that none of this would get done.
That day, I recall finally confronting the harsh reality that these (always unplanned) days of binge drinking were ultimately standing in the way of achieving my goals and living a peaceful life. I had to finally ask myself. Is this who I want to be? The guy who bails on family holidays because he’s too hungover, forgets to buy gifts for people on their birthdays, and pisses away money on bottles of liquor? I didn’t want to be that person. I wanted to be someone who shoulders responsibility and shows up for the people that I love. I joined One Year No Beer because I wanted to actually pursue hobbies and tap into a version of myself that is more genuine.
I cannot express how much has changed since I started this the OYNB Challenge. First and foremost, this experience has coincided with a spiritual shift in my life. I now deeply understand the value of pursuing long-term wellbeing instead of constant short-term gratification. I had to come to terms with the fact that lacking short-term gratification means that you have to feel the discomfort that perhaps you used to numb. This is the most challenging piece of going alcohol free.
However, the most rewarding part, is that when you feel that discomfort, you may just be able to something about it. When I am feeling uneasy or frustrated with something, I feel and hear the signal so much louder and so much clearer than if I was self-medicating. Then, (I know this is crazy…) I try to actually do something about it. I have become more present and a far more dependable person and I’m very proud of that. Beyond that, I’ve developed a passion for health and wellness. I do cross-fit religiously and am constantly looking for ways to help my body feel and function better.
OYNB & Our Community
The best part about One Year No Beer has been the community. When I had good days and felt capable of supporting others, it felt good to do so. And of course, when I was having a hard time and struggling to see the path forward, they did the same for me. It always helped to know that other people had felt trapped AND to see they had managed to push through. I also loved the videos put together by the OYNB team. They offered great insight into healing and understanding us as whole people who are allowed to feel our feelings and not run from them. I am very grateful for this challenge and highly recommend it.