I have drank on and off for many years including periods of being alcohol-free and periods of successful moderation. About six years ago I moved from a big city Austin Texas, where I had lived most of my adult life to a small town in the country in the Pacific Northwest where I knew no-one. Craft beer is a big thing around this area, so the easiest path to meet people and fit in was to hang out at the local watering hole. It seemed great at first, and I really felt a part of the community and loved going to the bar where everyone knew me and I knew everyone.
Well fast forward a couple of years
And add in some life circumstance, bad break up, laid off my job, etc… and I found that my drinking had gotten out of control (like it was when I was younger and I thought I was past all of that). I was more often than not drinking more than I intended, blacking out, engaging in risky behaviours and experiencing frequent hangovers. I was very upset, depressed and felt bad about myself and my actions.
I tried to moderate unsuccessfully and despite the consequences I just couldn’t stick with cutting back or quitting. After many failed attempts, I decided I needed to join some type of support group. I have been to many before so I started looking online and somehow stumbled upon OYNB. I looked through the website and read everything that was on there, and listened the podcasts and I loved the idea of “being part of the cool kids”.
Finding my Tribe
Everyone seemed more like the type of people that I considered myself to be and very unlike other support groups where I felt like I never fit in. I have been a runner for a long time and done many marathons and half-marathons and I really liked how the program included physical challenges and the framework of AF being a challenge.
My AF benefits
I am now sleeping better and love feeling clear minded and focusing on clean living. My behaviours are now aligned with my values. I no longer have to rely on numbing out the bad, making myself feel better by “being bad” or looking for answers in the bottom of bottle. I have finally learned to be comfortable with myself and to be able to be fully present in life for the good times and bad. I always thought I could not handle intensity but I have learned how to find my calm, my joy, and my power which gets me through the tough times and keeps me hopeful about the good times just around the corner.
The support of the OYNB tribe and the lessons I learned from Andy and Ruari in the program and through the Mastermind course have been invaluable. I also benefited from all the books and resources that were recommended through this group. I no longer have the desire to drink and I am so happy and committed to my new AF lifestyle.