Life is hard, yet beautiful, and missing any moments due to alcohol, is no longer worth it to me.
When I first sought out OYNB I was at what I was certain was my rock bottom moment. I found myself stuck in a routine of “pretend I’ve got it together” by day and “drowning in my sorrows” by night. I was a married mom of 4 who fell into what I would classify as the mom “wine culture” and what started as a glass after a long day, spiralled into bottles.
I think underlying things from my childhood, as well as the pressures to be a working mom and a “perfect” mom, led me down a road where I chose to escape instead of face. At the height of my drinking, I found myself divorced, with a DWI, involving a car accident that should have killed me, and nothing to show for the countless bottles I had tried to cover my issues with.
When I joined OYNB I was looking for motivation to stay sober. I thought to myself, “hey if I’m paying for it, surely I’ll see it through.” OYNB gave me a platform to be able to talk about the struggles that come with facing such a giant problem. The group itself gives you a “safe place” to be someone who isn’t perfect. Someone who can get up and try again and again and again. No matter how many times it takes.
I’ll be honest, it took me several restarts to actually GET IT and have that rock bottom moment. I have found for me it took a whole lot of honesty with myself. That MY choices were the problem. I still have problems today, that hasn’t changed. Life is HARD. For everyone. Not one is exempt. I’d say my biggest realisation is that the day to day chaos of life is way easier to face, than my self-made chaos.
How I feel alcohol-free
For anyone wondering, or afraid of what it would be like to give up something that has felt like such a security blanket, I’ll be the first one to share that life without it feels a lot safer. And is simply put, amazing. I wake up each day energised. My sleep levelled out over time and I fall asleep and stay asleep. I lost 27 pounds, without changing my eating habits or exercise. My anxiety completely went away.
Alcohol keeps you in such a pattern of needing to drink to feel normal. I feel normal, every single day. But for me, the biggest change, is my choices. I choose to face my issues, not run from them. I choose to stay away from toxic relationships. I choose to invest in my life, and stop throwing it away. I choose to be present in every moment, no matter what is going on. Life is hard, yet beautiful, and missing any moments due to alcohol, is no longer worth it to me.
OYNB was the stepping stone I needed to get out of my own way. Sure, they provide support and encouragement, but they also provided tough love at times when I couldn’t see past my own selfish choices. You get a team of people rooting for you, cheering you on, but also holding you accountable.
I have chosen to no longer drink. It’s just not for me, and it limits my life in ways that simply aren’t worth it. The benefits of not drinking far outweigh any “benefits” of drinking. Life is just as, if not more, fun. Life is what you make it, how you choose to perceive it, and what you’re willing to do to live the life you want.
Keeping living, with everything you’ve got.