OYNB Buddies: Friends With Real Benefits - by Rhona Reid - One Year No Beer
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We’ve all been there. Getting into a new hobby, relationship, job or mind-set can be thrilling and all consuming. Starting out with OYNB is no different! Once you’ve taken your first steps into living life with your renewed relationship with alcohol, the rewards can feel so abundant that it’s natural to want to share your achievements with friends.

Loving The New Normal

Of course, the initial giddiness will mellow and life will return to normal. That is, life will return to a new normal. You know – the one without, or with less alcohol. The one where you get up earlier and go for a run before breakfast. The one where your brain seems sharper and work is easier to handle. The one where you have a brilliant night out and remember it in the morning.

Sure, there are days when OYNB seems like an uphill climb, but paths worth taking have a tendency to feel like that. What’s more, many OYNB benefits are so immediate and tangible that they help you to get through more challenging times.  

Friendships and OYNB

Navigating friendships during OYNB – particularly in situations where alcohol is being consumed – can be tricky. Socialising is so often intrinsically linked to alcohol: sometimes it’s hard to unpick the two.

Quite often, the difficulty in doing so lies with your social group. There may be acquaintances within it that feel uncomfortable with your decision to stop drinking alcohol. Why is that? It seems disingenuous to ignore an uncomfortable truth: you’re the one making the lifestyle change, but choosing to give up alcohol can be hard for other people to handle.   

Other than that, who knows? Everyone has his or her own story. It’s possible that for some people, your decision to quit alcohol might highlight some unwelcome thoughts about their own drinking habits.   

Friend in Need?

Then there are the other friends, the ones who are openly supportive and happy for you. A couple of them might even talk about trying OYNB for themselves. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if people say that kind of thing to show solidarity or because they genuinely have concerns about their own drinking.

What if you share some of those concerns? Maybe you’re aware that a friend is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. What if they confided in you that they’ve missed a day at work because of a hangover? That cheery camaraderie can suddenly seem like a fragile thing.  

You don’t want to judge their choices, but you think that they might benefit from OYNB. How do you approach that without stepping on their feelings or risking your friendship? If someone you care about is harbouring anxieties over alcohol, you can gently encourage them to take the lead in pursuing positive action. As well as being ready to support them, there are other, subtle things you can do to help.  

Lead By Example

Leading by example can be a pretty persuasive thing. Within a few weeks of OYNB, the chances are that you’re starting to transform the way you look. Clearer skin and eyes. A few pounds of weight loss. Deeper and more restorative sleep. All these things will become apparent to the people around you.

What if you take up a new sport or start to excel at an existing one? Perhaps you’ll start making progress at work after a period of stalling.  

Here’s the thing: it’s possible that while you’re blazing your own OYNB trail, you’re also throwing down some proverbial breadcrumbs for a friend to follow.  

OYNB Buddies: Supporting Each Other

If one of your friends or family makes the decision to join you in OYNB, it can have significant benefits for both of you. Having a OYNB buddy means that:

  • Someone really gets it when you have a bad day
  • They appreciate how awesome the highs are: never underestimate the power of shared positivity
  • Knowing that your OYNB path is entwined with someone else’s gives you even more impetus to succeed
  • A OYNB buddy can shore you up when you need it and vice versa
  • You’ve got someone to crack a few OYNB jokes with.  A bit of gallows humour can go a long way, in a good way

Sparking Inspiration

Whether you inspire a friend to explore OYNB or just start to examine their own relationship with alcohol; there’s every chance that your journey will spark someone into beginning their own!

 

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