I usually avoid joining groups of any sort. OYNB was different though.

My use of alcohol had gradually increased over the years, and following a series of events I realised that something had to change. I had hit rock bottom. I had been in an unhealthy, long-term relationship which ended, and then lockdown hit. My drinking escalated quickly and I began to engage in increasingly unsafe and dangerous behaviours:

  • I drove my car over the limit (more than once);
  • I broke my thumb whilst building a bonfire, drunk on vodka;
  • I narrowly escaped falling into the bonfire, drunk on vodka (more than once);
  • I almost lost my job;
  • I thought about killing myself (more than once).
  • I was an emotional wreck – friends and family were worried about me.

Then one day I was at a friend’s house, drinking (a lot) with a group of friends. Someone I hadn’t seen for over a year told me they had given up drinking the year before. I was amazed that anyone could even do such a thing, and definitely didn’t think that I could or would ever give up drinking.

When I got home that night, I sat on my bed and cried about everything that had gone wrong in my life and all of my bad decisions. One of my children sat with me and cried too. The conversation I had with my friend about giving up drinking gradually started to sink in as I tackled the following few days with the hangover from hell.

Finding OYNB

I started noticing the OYNB adverts that had been popping up on Facebook and thought I’d have a quick look to see what it was all about. I tentatively signed up for the 28 day challenge thinking that a break from alcohol would do me some good. However, the more I got into the group and the longer I managed to stay alcohol-free, the better I felt.

My experience going alcohol-free

I really wasn’t sure it was for me initially. I’m generally not a fan of groups. I have difficulties relating to people and struggle with social interaction. I usually avoid joining groups of any sort. OYNB was different though. The support I received from complete strangers from day 1 was amazing.

Reading other people’s posts about their alcohol-free journeys was so inspiring and encouraging. I passed the 28-day challenge and signed up for the 90 day challenge. Before I reached the 90 day target, the benefits I was feeling were beyond anything I had imagined and before reaching the 90 days I had signed up for 365 days.

The benefits

I have now completed the 365 day challenge and couldn’t be happier. I am calmer, kinder, have more time for people, feel more connected and I am better at my job. I have:

  • Begun to discover who I am and what I’m about. I can now see the reasons why I misused alcohol and have started to deal with those issues;
  • Been diagnosed with autism;
  • Been promoted at work;
  • Started a healthy relationship with someone who doesn’t drink;
  • Become more present for my children;
  • Stopped taking antidepressants;
  • Become less anxious;
  • Become calmer, more rational, more reliable and kinder.

The best part about doing the OYNB challenge is the amount of wonderful support you get from a whole tribe of people who are doing the same thing.

Everyone has different reasons for wanting to do the challenge but everyone wants to change their relationship with alcohol and help other people to do the same. I would not have been able to stop drinking for 365 days plus without the support of the OYNB tribe.

What's next?

My relationship with alcohol has completely changed. I don’t even want to drink now. My life is so much better without alcohol in it – why would I go back? This is just the beginning.

I would definitely recommend OYNB to anyone wanting to change their relationship with alcohol. Even stopping for a short time can have huge benefits. Go for it!!


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