You’ll still find me on the dance floor, playing beer pong and singing at the top of my lungs.

I joined OYNB because I had stopped enjoying the aftermath of drinking alcohol. The hangovers and the anxiety after drinking just started to getting worse. I got to a stage where I questioned if drinking alcohol was worth it as it just wasn’t fun for me anymore. That’s when I started to think about taking a break.

My life beforehand

I was a social drinker, I wouldn’t really ever drink at home, hardly drank alcohol with a meal and never picked it up as part of a weekly shop. But when I would drink on nights out, bottomless brunches or events, I was an all or nothing kind of person.

There was never one moment that I thought that is it, it was a build-up of a few situations after nights out and bad hangovers that made me realise that I didn’t want to feel like this anymore. Basically became sick and tired of being sick and tired.   

Starting my alcohol-free challenge

When taking on this challenge I never had any expectations as it was all a bit new. I just decided to throw myself into it and give it everything for the first 28 days. At first I was apprehensive about how I was going to cope AF and readjust my lifestyle but the OYNB daily emails help educate and coach you through.

Hitting 90 days was the real game changer for me as it showcased more alcohol-free benefits which really pushed me to taking on the 365-day challenge. The biggest thing I learned was that you assume when giving up alcohol, you’re going to be losing out or no longer be as fun as you thought you were but all I have done from doing this challenge is gained.

You’ll still find me on the dance floor, playing beer pong, singing at the top of my lungs, handing out cocktails to my friends until 2:00AM. Just because I don’t drink alcohol doesn’t mean I want to be sat in a corner away from it all. I just think to myself go for it and have some fun, I’m genuinely just enjoying myself just as much as you are.

I am currently at about 15 months alcohol-free and heading for 2YNB. All this started from taking a 28 day AF challenge. I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

A mindset shift

Waking up on a Sunday morning hangover free will never get boring for me. I’m up early, fresh faced and well rested headed out for a walk, making myself a nice breakfast, or grabbing a coffee.

There has been a HUGE behavioural change. I hardly think about having a glass of fizz which used to be my favourite drink but I’m stocked up on AF alternatives if I do fancy one.

The thought of a hangover, anxiety, overthinking, checking my phone from the night before, search for my keys and bank cards, bad sleep etc is enough to put me off now. I've just got to the stage where if I’m still having the same experience going out AF and don’t have the deal with the above, Thanks, but I’ll give alcohol a miss.

What's next?

From the beginning of this challenge I did say I’ll never say never to alcohol, for me giving up alcohol is a lifestyle preference. I may enjoy the odd glass of fizz at a party in the future but right now I can’t see that happening, I just don’t need it.    

My goal is to reach 2YNB then re-evaluate things from there but knowing me I’ll be headed towards 3YNB and saying the same thing. When I put my mind to something I am pretty determined.

The alcohol-free benefits

There’s been so many positive outcomes for me, both mental and physical improvements. I just feel like a completely different person to before this challenge, which sounds really crazy but it’s true. There’s been changes I never thought would happen or ones that I thought would be linked with drinking alcohol. I’ve become a happier, calmer, level headed, determined, switched on, laugh at everything kind of person.

In terms of physical improvements, I have way more energy and so much more productive day to day. I’m healthier for it, fuelling my body properly and getting out and active. The biggest thing I have noticed is that it’s given me more confidence and constantly wanting to push myself. If I want to do something I’ll go for it, or if there’s something that needs actioning I’ll do it immediately, I’m so much more proactive now. Previously I would just leave it the last minute and do it when I could be bothered.

Finally the most important change is that I really like the person I have become and if I hadn’t of done this, I never would have found that out. 

The OYNB Support

The OYNB Facebook Group – The OYNB community is a group of likeminded individuals all striving for the same outcome, to change the relationship we have with alcohol. Without the OYNB Facebook group I really would not have got this far in my challenge. A break from alcohol has now turned into 15 months alcohol-free.

The support and stories you read on this group are amazing, as I never joined something like this before, I didn’t know what to expect. It is a positive space of 80,000 people based all over the world celebrating you on your AF achievements or sharing helpful and supportive advice. Basically, it is a massive group of AF cheerleaders.

1000% it’s been a real eye opening experience for me. I never lied if someone asked about why I don’t drink but I wouldn’t outwardly announce it if it didn’t come up. It was just my thing and I did it for me.

However, if someone asked for advice about taking a break from alcohol then of course I could not recommend OYNB highly enough it has been amazing. Thank you OYNB!


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