Everything in my life is so much better without it and it’s such a joy to remember everything.
As a female in the Royal Navy during my late teens and early 20’s, my philosophy was work hard, play hard. Which meant drinking…a lot. Weeks or months at sea would mean time off was an excuse to let loose. I was always able to keep up, drink for drink, with my male colleagues and was celebrated for it.
Fast forward 20 years
Drinking was still largely the way I chose to spend my free time. Champagne brunches, boozy shopping trips, walks/runs to the pub. Only now it was acceptable to have a glass or two of wine at home in the evening to unwind or whilst cooking. A bottle or more on a Friday because…well…. its Friday. Beer and cider watching football on a Saturday, Gin with friends Saturday evening, Sunday pub lunch…
My life wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t really good. I felt like I was treading water. I was moving from one unhappy relationship to another. I was in a job that I didn’t enjoy, struggling to make ends meet and had no real purpose or motivation.
In January 2020
I landed the job I’d always wanted. I decided I wasn’t going into another year the same way. I stopped eating meat, ended the pointless relationship, downsized my house and really upped my fitness. But still couldn’t shake the feeling of discontent. I was still sad in the evenings, lethargic and unmotivated. I knew there was one thing left to try. The thing that I’d been toying with for ages. The almost unthinkable. Someone at work had told me about OYNB so I knew I could sign up for a short period as a trial. 28 days just to see how it went.
It went well! My mood improved quickly, and I started sleeping well. A nagging pain in my lower back just disappeared. I started finding genuine happiness in something other than a bottle.
I am now on day 135 of the 365-day challenge
I’m not sure I can put into words how I feel compared to 5 months ago. I’m happy, healthy, positive and clear headed. I have created new goals and a purpose and I’m so excited for the future. I keep being told how well I look. My skin is brighter, and my eyes are greener. For the first time in my life I’m happy to go outside without make up and take a picture without a filter. I’ve lost weight and have more energy than I’ve had in years.
I can’t actually believe how little I miss alcohol in my life. I still do all the things that I enjoy but without the fear of dehydration and hangovers. My friends are happy to see that I’m still the life and soul of the party only now I don’t fall asleep or fall over.
The OYNB Facebook group has been a constant source of support and inspiration. I’ve found my tribe within this group of individuals. I also look forward every morning, to my daily email which offer the tools to make positive changes.
It was never my intention to stop drinking forever but I genuinely now believe I will never drink again. Alcohol has been responsible for some very poor decisions and many bruises. Everything in my life is so much better without it and it’s such a joy to remember everything. I recommend that anyone wanting to improve their life, tries it.