Pretty much my entire life has changed, and quicker than I thought it would.

I decided years ago that alcohol was causing blockages in my life. I’d become sick and tired of using it as a crutch for when I felt low or angry and although I didn’t actually realise at the time, it was exacerbating all of these feelings horrifically.

I wasn’t happy with my life choices at the time, I’d made some big life mistakes, and I didn’t appear to be doing anything other than repeating history over and again. I was in a challenging relationship which also wasn’t helping the situation.

Becoming sober curious

I managed to quit alcohol for a few weeks here and there and felt good at the time, but kept giving into cravings. I read a book which started the process of me thinking differently by learning what alcohol does to you. I began to realise that was I was experiencing was pretty normal and that maybe I just needed some help and support. I’d stumbled across OYNB on Facebook and the advert kept appearing. I decided to take their 365-day challenge.

A turning point

The relationship I was in ended and I thought it was a good time to try and make positive changes. It took a few days of reading other members posts before I plucked the courage to tell my story but when I did, I was totally overwhelmed by the support I received from other members. This was what gave me the courage to participate and join in with other discussions.

You see, we’re all completely relatable here. We’ve all had the same thoughts, the same feelings, the same stirring of emotions that led us to picking up a drink, even when we knew it wasn’t the most productive thing to do. That sharing and connection is what creates the togetherness that helps you through the difficult early stages.

Finding support

I made a few close connections, they know who they are, and they helped me enormously. Both were a little ahead of me in their journeys, but we related to each other. Now looking back, I realise these relationships were pivotal in me keeping the conviction to keep going when things seemed impossible.

Where am I now?

James after his challengeNow I’m almost 2 years alcohol-free and everything is different.

I’m sleeker, I gave up red meat, I take essential supplements, I care about my health, what I eat, what I drink, walking when I don’t need to drive and cycling when I can. Work has improved, I don’t feel anxious, I don’t feel depressed, I read more and I’m more positive. I could go on for another 10 minutes here but the most important change has been my relationship with my children – it's the best it’s ever been. Pretty much my entire life has changed, and quicker than I thought it would. I’ve saved over £17,000 and I’m now doing things for me, that make me feel better.

What's next?

Occasionally the thought of a drink passes through my mind. I realise after drinking regularly for 30 years, that’s going to happen. Now I can play thoughts forward and recognise that I don't need to rely on a drink. You never wake up wishing you’d drank the night before, instead it’s a blissful feeling, being fresh, alive and full of gratitude.

I’d definitely recommend OYNB to anyone who like me has ever googled ‘do I drink too much?’. Those first thoughts for me at least, were the very first realisations that I felt I needed to find control. Now I realise I simply do not need it in my life, and I’m enjoying the ride now, and can actually remember it.


Take the challenge


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