I had been noticing this ad on my Facebook feed from some group called OYNB, I glanced at it and thought; nah that’s not for me I don’t drink beer. I’m a ‘wine girl'.
But there was a word in the heading that caught my attention. Habits…
And since then, I’ve spent this last year working on integrating healthy habits into my life. I read further. Then promptly signed up for a 28-Day Challenge to try to change the habit of wine o’clock!
I never saw my drinking as a problem
“Everyone” has a cocktail at the end of the day? But thinking back a few years that wasn’t always so. I experienced a few traumatic events in my life that had me become very familiar with the fight/flight response, and I was good at navigating the fight parts without alcohol. The flight became the time to open a bottle of wine. To disappear and not feel. Also, it became the only time when my ex and I would “talk”.
I spent many months/years on my best friend’s back deck crying into a wine glass about how unhappy I was. Becoming a single working mom, wine o’clock became a ritual as the girlfriends came over, usually once a week. I’d have wine and cheese and they brought more wine. Fun times.
Then “girls’ night” became 2 then 3 times a week
I didn’t even bother with the cheese at that point. And without even realising it, I was opening that bottle whether the girls were there or not. I deserved it! I worked hard, my ex was an alcoholic with bipolar disorder and I couldn’t count on him. I was running my own business and somehow trying to attend to my then 7 and 11-year old children. Ohh how I wish I had that time back to truly be there for them!
Clients would give me wine so I could relax. Texting the girls to let them know I’d be home soon so we could get our wine on, this was all considered very normal and socially acceptable. 12 years went by and we continued this ritual, and talking about how we really should start going to the gym or go hiking etc. I mean we are in our mid to late forties now?! I was tired ALL the time, lethargic, overweight, in debt and lying to everyone and myself.
Signing up for One Year No Beer
Since starting my alcohol-free challenge, I have set myself a huge fitness goal, signed up for a full year with OYNB and I AM not looking back! This is how I want to arrive into my fifties, because this is how I feel now. Vibrant healthy, patient and enjoying my life hiking every day. I am becoming physically stronger and I’m even finding my resistance to daily meditation is lessening. I’m dropping weight, fitting into clothes I was about to let go of, eating healthy, sleeping well and cultivating friendships where we lift each other up to become our best selves by doing what it takes.
One of my why’s for doing this is to become debt free, and I am already seeing movement and momentum towards that goal. Having kicked the wine to the curb doesn’t mean everyday is strewn with rose pedals. Life still happens. But I am meeting it with the knowledge that I’ve got this! I can meet life’s challenges without falling apart.
One day at a time and I AM HAPPY!
An entrepreneur and former senior oil broker, Ruari gave up drinking after excessive consumption almost cost him his marriage, and worse, his life. Going alcohol-free improved his relationships, career and energy levels, leading to him founding OYNB to provide a support network for others.