I still have challenges with kids, accidents, dumb decisions, work stress, etc. And as before, I still deal with them. But I no longer need to decompress with alcohol afterward.
Throughout my life, I had used alcohol in what I thought were pretty positive ways. Alcohol helped me make friends at parties, win clients, make business deals, and play golf, to name a few. Family get-togethers had always involved plenty of booze, big parties, and hangovers. But eventually I started to bring the party home to those closest to me.
Friday nights became Daddy’s beer night. I would still do things with my kids – like game night, movie night, backyard campfires and cookouts. However, I always had beer handy. It was justified, right? I mean, I work hard all week and bring home a steady, reliable pay-check.
A pattern began to develop
My Saturdays became something I had to face, rather than something I looked forward to. I still got up, spent time with my wife and children, and got things done. But over time I began to spend too much time managing my physically run-down condition with medicines like Advil and Pepto Bismol just so I could get through the day. Rather than see the cause for what it was at the time, I expanded my beer nights to other nights of the week, depending on what I had going on at work or home the next day.
I had known about OYNB for a couple of years, but never really considered it. However, as I began to see my health deteriorating – something that hadn’t happened before – I finally connected the dots and realized that my relationship with alcohol was to blame.
In January, I started seeing OYNB ads popping up in my social media feed. It didn’t bother me like it had in the past. My usual scepticism had been replaced with a knowing – no, a certainty – that I needed to start doing things differently. One day I took the click bait, read the testimonials, watched some videos and decided to sign up. 28 days wasn’t enough for me to make a real change. 90 days seemed good but felt too risky, as old habits die hard. So, I signed up for the whole year. That was a little over three months ago.
Things beginning to change
After more than three months alcohol-free, I find that I am an even better leader at work and at home. I have learned to put more space between outside stimulus and my response. This has helped me improve relationships with my kids, employees, and clients, as well as think more clearly when opportunity or adversity arise.
OYNB’s daily emails and videos are a real anchor for me. I begin each morning with them, and they help put my days on the right track. The OYNB Connect group has been a big source of inspiration. I don’t create very many organic posts, but I do a lot of scrolling through each day’s activity, and when I see folks who seem like they can use a little encouragement, I do my best to give it to them.
OYNB has done a great job creating and maintaining a safe, positive, and non-judgmental place for people to reach out, take in, or offer their help, wisdom, and experiences.
I still have challenges with kids, accidents, dumb decisions, work stress, etc. And as before, I still deal with them. But I no longer need to decompress with alcohol afterward. It doesn’t feel necessary anymore. Could I successfully reintroduce alcohol into my life today and enjoy a permanently changed relationship with it? Maybe. But I signed on for the whole year, so that’s a decision I can put off for another 263 days or so.
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.