I can honestly, whole heartedly and passionately say that this ‘gift' of OYNB was the best gift I ever bought myself.
Life before OYNB was challenging to say the least. I, like many others had succumbed to a life where alcohol had no excuses and no limits. Don't get me wrong I didn't wake up on the morning thinking about or having a drink, it was more wishing I hadn't drank the night before. I was never at work thinking….. I can't wait to get home tonight to crack open a delightful bottle of something Red usually made with Italian grapes from the Chianti region. I would come home from work and purely out of habit pour myself a glass of (what was once) my favourite grape juice to unwind after a tough day, celebrate a good day or simply take a drink for any or no other reason.
My drinking habits
There really was no rational not to drink red wine, you know, it's good for the heart right? WRONG! Red wine and I had a long term relationship. We'd been together for years, through good times and bad. Red wine was always there for me when I was happy, sad or just somewhere in-between.
During the pandemic lockdown whilst others were clearing the supermarkets of toilet rolls I was stocking up on the red stuff. I gained a ton of weight, lost energy, lost motivation, my creativity was at an all time low and after several hangovers too many, realised I had developed an underlying alcohol issue which had to be addressed.
Looking for answers
In this modern world with information at our finger tips my first Google search was simple… How to quit alcohol. As you can probably imagine I found an enormous amount of articles relating to this raw subject and threw myself headlong into the deepest research development plan ever. I read and researched the harm, the pain and the anguish alcohol causes and read even more articles relating to the benefits of being alcohol-free.
That was it for me. The benefits of being alcohol-free by far outweighed the harm, pain, anguish that alcohol was causing.
During my research travels I came across this company OYNB, again I dug deeper into the research and signed up for a 90 day challenge. I had lofty expectations of OYNB after everything I'd read about the company and the successes of its community members.
I had invested here, not into the company but into myself. This was purely an investment in myself. I guess my hopes and/or fears was to find out exactly what my relationship with alcohol was about. Did I really need it? Could I go without it? At the same time I also had the fear of failure. What if I did need it? What if I couldn't go without it? I really had no idea where this investment was going to lead me.
My experience going alcohol-free
I'd say the first couple of weeks were quite tough. Not so tough as in missing ‘the alcohol' intrinsically but by means of not knowing what to do with oneself. My usual routine had been broken and was in serious need of not just a repair but a replacement or at least a total rebuild. I needed so badly to find something to do in the usual drinking hours. I'd say that was probably the only difficulty I experienced in the early days.
I soon managed to fill those drinking hours. I had to, not because I was sitting in the same chair I would spend my precious time drinking my daily grape juice allowance but because all of a sudden I had energy. Copious amounts of the stuff. I started running again, I continued my research, (digging deeper into the effects of alcohol) I read loads of stuff, I started writing more, against all odds I joined a gym and I'm completely hooked on that.
My self care routine shot through the roof, my skin is much better condition, I sleep like the dead and I lost over 3 stone in weight.
I've had to work for this. It didn't just happen because I quit alcohol it happened because I wanted it to happen. The key factor for me in this process of self investment was to get busy and do all the things that alcohol was preventing me from doing.
The OYNB support
The level of support from OYNB has been phenomenal. The daily videos have been, and continue to be an ideal way to start the clear headed mornings. Each video is ‘bite sized' just a couple of minutes each and contain useful information, ideas and the motivation needed to succeed at the challenge.
The best support for me though and I'm sure I speak on behalf of all the other challengers here; has to be the community. Wow just Wow!
The OYNB connect group is really something else. Thousands of members from around the globe all on the same journey, all supporting each other. Congratulating each others achievements and moreover supporting and encouraging those who are struggling. If this world was only a tenth as kind as this community the world would be a much better place.
I no longer have a relationship with alcohol. I have no intention nor do I have any desire to ever drink again. I believe that the greatest behavioural change has been the shift in my own mind. I knew I had to find out exactly what the relationship was between myself and alcohol… and I sure did find it. There was no relationship.
Alcohol lied to me!
This challenge has had such a positive impact on my current life from that of only 105 days ago. In realisation alcohol was nothing but a burden on not only my own life but to the life's of those I love. There really is no space nor is there any time for alcohol in my life anymore. It's over.
I said earlier that I invested in myself when I took on this challenge. I can honestly, whole heartedly and passionately say that this ‘gift' of OYNB was the best gift I ever bought myself. It made me the man I am today and a dare say it saved my life.