I joined OYNB in January 2017, with the intention of doing only January alcohol-free (I had done Dry January for the previous few years). Taking part in the chat forums, making most of the valuable support and finding inspiration through Andy and Ruari, I decided to challenge myself to a longer time alcohol-free. I was keen to see how I’d manage different circumstances and occasions alcohol-free (previously I was a party girl, loved my fizz and was usually the last wo(man) standing at parties).
I actually enjoyed everything a lot more alcohol-free. I started on the 28 days, then upgraded to 90 and ended up going on to do the full year. I haven’t yet gone back to drinking, nor do I have any intention of doing so. I have filled my spare time with a lot more valuable “stuff”. I am currently studying a degree in Psychology through OU (Commenced Jan 18) as well as attending a counselling skills course at college every week.
Challenges and Achieving my Goals!
In 2017, my challenges were more physical – I challenged myself to attain a “medal a month” which I achieved. I have my new 2019 planner ready and I’m busy planning my 2019 goals. I found peer pressure quite difficult in the beginning – most of my friends were accepting of the challenge in January and even up to 90 days, however after that I felt I was perceived as “boring” or people assumed I would be without drinking. In fact, I have found quite the contrary, I can still party and have fun without the booze and, in a social situation, I substitute with AF drinks so that I do not feel out of place. There is a time of the night when it becomes not much fun, but at point, no-one else cares as they are usually too merry. This is when it’s usually time to sneak away (and wake up feeling great the next day!)
I absolutely love being able to drive anywhere, anytime – gigs, festivals, pubs and even the next morning is fabulous. That worry of still being over the limit is completely gone. Honestly, going alcohol-free, to me, has provided total freedom.
I have been part of the OYNB community for a long time and have embraced everything it has to offer, from the Mastermind course, to the first Power Up seminar in London earlier this year. I also now provide support and encouragement to those who are new to the challenge. I’d recommend OYNB to anyone who wants a challenge, wants to change their relationship with alcohol or simply to take break and experience what life is like without alcohol for a while. I now know many people who have done it and haven’t looked back because life is simply that good without it.
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.
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