I was just happy to be in a group of people who actually felt the same feelings of wanting a better and more clear way of living
My journey with alcohol all started when I was 14 years old. I remember my first shot of vodka like it was yesterday. I took the shot surrounded by friends and the line of clarity to blurred vision was crossed. I loved it. I felt so out of my skin and being in my skin was not always a comfortable place to be.
For the next ten years, I lived a lifestyle that included copious amounts of alcohol, late nights and partying. High school was easy because drinking was always an option on the weekends, and sometimes we even made it an option during the week.
Where I grew up, it was completely normal and quite hysterical to black out and have to be told about the crazy shenanigans that had taken place the night before. If it wasn't my night to slip into oblivion, I would be there to witness the others make decisions that clearly were alcohol's persuasion. Now I can honestly say I do not regret this chapter of my life, because without it the lessons learned and the people I met during this time and love wouldn't have brought me to where I am today. And today I am in a beautiful place.
My partner and I were living in two different countries, and when he came to ask my parents if I could move back with him to Canada I soon found out I was pregnant with my son. For six weeks, however, I was completely oblivious. One night while I was out drinking and just after taking a shot, I looked at my friend and blurted out,
“what are the signs and symptoms of pregnancy?”
Say what? I wasn't quite sure where it had come from, but as she sat there describing each one, I knew I could check almost everything off the list of what I had been feeling. The next day I headed to my mothers with a pregnancy test and sure enough, it was positive. I was in complete shock.
My relationship with alcohol had to be put on hold
I was then faced with a crystal clear and sober mirror, and when I finally mustered the courage to take a peek, I did not like what I saw. There was a beautiful, divine and abundant soul which had been darkened by a toxin full of empty promises which had completely taken me down through a dark hole of oblivion. This was my first awakening.
After the pregnancy with my son, I occasionally drank but when I did it was usually too much. This is the only relationship with alcohol that I knew. One always led to two which usually continued to three or four. My anxiety would skyrocket the next day and the feeling of shamed ensued.
The cycle continued in a more subtle manner, but the feelings within were raging. I had to stop, and it would take another night of blacking out to give me the push I needed. I remember waking up from going to a concert with a friend and I had no idea how we got home. My son had camp, but I was still too drunk to drive him and couldn’t move. My kids had to sit there all day and watch their mom in hangover agony, and I knew this was not the life I was meant to live nor the memories I was to pass down to my children.
When I joined One Year No Beer
I was just happy to be in a group of people who actually felt the same feelings of wanting a better and more clear way of living. This challenge supported me through my first days of sobriety and encouraged me to feel all of the feels that come along with the journey. The thing is, I had a lot of feelings that I needed to feel. I went through anger, through deep sadness, a lot of pure joy and each time I allowed myself to fully feel each feeling that arose – I saw the beautiful soul within light up a little bit more.
My AF lessons
I've learned that alcohol is not the culprit, but I allowed it to take over for many years because I didn't know how to live without its erroneous comfort when all I really needed was a way to go within and allow life to flow throughout no matter what the circumstances were surrounding me.
My biggest success thus far is of course staying sober. I’ve managed to grow in my career by actually purchasing my own health and wellness store and with complete clarity each morning walking into the store with confidence and love for others around me struggling to find health on their journey.
The OYNB support
The most valuable aspect of the support was having like-minded individuals there to listen, respond, and support me throughout the process. Previous to OYNB, I would try to talk to others around me about how I felt and would be dismissed. In OYNB I have created relationships and made new friends for life that have deep connection and substance that goes beyond the surface level relationships I had developed through alcohol.
I do not have a relationship with alcohol anymore. It doesn’t even phase me when we are out and about, and everyone is drinking for me to pick up an alternative and enjoy my evening. I feel a deep sense of relief and it is actually quite “sobering” to realise I’ve broken the chains of something that once help me down in life.
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.