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).
What I realised surprised even me.
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.