I run a hospitality group in Hong Kong. That means I run ten bars, pubs and restaurants in a vibrant, all-night city. Drinking was part of my job, my life.
Then it started to take over and black outs became the norm. One day a friend wanted to show me a video of how drunk I was the night before, and this ultimate humiliation was more than I could bear. Obviously, I knew that I had been wasted, but to actually SEE IT – no thank you!
So, I took control and started looking for help.
That’s when I found OYNB, and honestly the rest has been (relatively) easy!
I thrive on challenges, deadlines and competition, so doing 90 days AF was easy for me once I made the decision to actually DO IT.
People were surprised, but as soon as I said it was a “challenge” they accepted that it was a short-term thing and I didn’t have too many problems with friends and colleagues pushing me to drink. I stocked AF beer in all our bars and that was that.
After 90 days I had a night out.
A date – and got smashed. I didn’t remember the date, what I had said, or even how it had ended. Back to square one. So, I signed up for the full year. Back on track, and again it has been easier than moderating.
My personality thrives on this sort of control, and as soon as I got back on the challenge I started to identify as a person who does not drink, not as a person who is trying not to drink. BIG difference!
I set myself a challenge early on – to trek to Everest Base Camp.
And on St. Patrick’s Day, day 306 AF for me, I made it!
Just under two years ago I had a fifth operation on my right knee and had almost given up hope of being able to hike again, but thanks to a great surgeon, a lot of physio and training, and ten months without drinking I have now ticked off Number 1 on my bucket list!
I also raised some money for charity whilst doing the challenge, and that has uplifted me far more than I expected.
This would never have happened if I had been drinking.
To get to where I am today has required 10 months of weekend hikes, after-work personal training sessions and evening physio appointments. I can’t imagine making even a tenth of these if I had been drinking!
Now that I am comfortably going on with my AF lifestyle, I find very little really knocks me off track.
I still have bad days, and some people still annoy the hell out of me, but rather than reacting like I used to, I now take a deep breath and more often than not can find something to smile about in this wonderful AF life I am creating.
The unconditional support of the tribe at OYNB has been a huge factor in my success so far. I read posts daily and realise how hard so many people are working to improve their lives by going AF.
I am working hard too, and I know I have changed my relationship with booze for ever.
Thank You OYNB x