I didn’t want my life to be dictated by this addiction.

I have struggled with drinking my entire life. It was absolutely my solution to a bad day, a boring day, or even a good day! You could find me with a drink in my hand on most nights, but definitely on the weekends—six large bottles and eight large cans of strong lager every Friday and Saturday night were the rule rather than the exception. I would stay up late and naturally feel terrible the following day, and without question it got in the way of quality time with my wife and kids. My habitual drinking ruled out doing anything constructive either after 6pm or before 1pm the following day. Also, hangovers really affected my work, and I found it very difficult to have any kind of focus. It significantly impacted my mental health issues, which led to anxiety, depression, and feeling overwhelmed on a daily basis. As with many others, my drinking habits led to eating terribly, and I put on so much weight that I never wanted to leave the house because I was so ashamed of how I looked. It was a constant cycle of hating myself for drinking, promising myself not to do it again, and then falling right back into it. But I knew that I didn’t want my life to be dictated by this addiction.

OYNB helped me change how I think about myself

I had tried previously to be live an alcohol-free life. I had moments of success, but I had never done the inner work to heal myself of all my beliefs around alcohol, so I always went back to what was familiar and safe. When I discovered OYNB, I thought that it would be similar to Alcoholics Anonymous—admitting that I’m an alcoholic and then seeking external help. I quickly found that it’s actually more like coaching, and it helped me change how I think about myself rather than focusing on my addiction.

There’s no judgement

The daily videos have helped lead me through this journey so that I never felt overwhelmed or lost. The Facebook community has been a life saver! It’s an amazing experience being able to share something that I always felt so ashamed of and have people say, “Yes, I know exactly what that’s like.” There’s no judgement. The encouragement of reading other people’s successes and challenges has helped keep me focused on sticking with it, especially when temptations come.

It’s about self-care and the things that really matter in life

The benefits of OYNB have been astounding. I now enjoy much better sleep, increased energy, and my relationships with my wife and kids have improved incredibly. I’m much more present and have the time to actually enjoy life. Drinking and hangovers seriously zap your time! Physically, I’ve lost nearly 2st (28lb) and have started running again. One of the early suggestions was to set a goal to work towards, so I’ve signed up to running a half marathon this October. I’ve even written and recorded a song about my journey with alcohol—it was really therapeutic to write about my experiences in an honest way.

But the best outcome is that I now see how my drinking was, in many ways, self-abuse. I was inflicting pain on myself in a way that I thought was benefiting me. The reality is that being alcohol-free is far more than not drinking—it’s about self-care and giving yourself the best opportunity to enjoy and succeed at the things that really matter in life.

“What do I want my tomorrow to look like?”

Before OYNB, alcohol was like a friend that seemed to give so much and take so much away at the same time. It was hard to let go of that friend, but as with any abusive relationship, you can’t imagine going back once you’re on the other side. OYNB gave me a much-needed parachute to stop the free fall of addiction and decide where I wanted to land. I’ve already recommended it to most of my friends and work colleagues, and I’ve had one successful sign-up so far! It all starts with a single step, and I’m thankful every day that OYNB was the step that I decided to take.

I now see alcohol as something subtractive rather than additive to the life I want to lead. The desire to drink is now quickly filtered through the lens of, “What do I want my tomorrow to look like?” The momentary desire to drink is quickly overcome by my desire to experience life!

 

Interested in hearing Simon’s music? Listen to his track Circle on Soundcloud.

 

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