I live a life of colour, no longer numbed by the effects of alcohol
I never considered myself as having a problem with alcohol, a child of an alcoholic mother, and a wife of an alcoholic husband, both of whom dying from alcohol related deaths. I had had a period of 12 years being alcohol-free, unconsciously triggered by my mother’s death, I had this alcohol thing nailed, it wasn’t going to get the better of me…. Or so I thought…
Fast forward 18 years
I had just called time on my second marriage. What I hadn’t realised was in an attempt to survive in it I had started to use alcohol to cope and numb the pain.
I found alcohol had crept up on me and looking back my drinking had started to follow a pattern, only ever drinking on certain days. From that moment I decided I was not going to be a victim to a failed marriage and alcohol, and I was worth more than that. There was a new beginning out there and I was going to grab it!
So, heading online I signed up to OYNB before I could talk myself out of it, and posted my first accountability post. This was one of the best decisions I have ever made (apart from having my boys).
My OYNB experience
Knowing that I can be an all or nothing type of person, I decided to start with small steps signing up for the 28-day challenge to see what it was like. I had no expectations, only that I knew I needed something, a support network that was outside of my own immediate circle, at least for now.
What has surprised me most has been the warmth and openness of the OYNB group. We are all on our journey’s, for our own reasons, and we all share a common goal. Without OYNB I know I would not have been able to do this.
It’s difficult to sum up the impact and support of the OYNB community, but here goes…It’s a place where I have found non-judgemental and genuine support. A place where I can ask questions like, “is this normal to feel x,y,z”, and people reply with care and compassion. A place to read and take inspiration in other people’s stories and experiences, to share my own, and offer my support to others.
The OYNB challenges are designed to give you the best possible chance of success, and if you follow the plan, lean on the group, this has been the recipe for my success so far.
I no longer experience anxiety, I sleep much better, my relationships are flourishing, and I have become more assertive at work resulting in a much better work life balance, something I would have been too anxious to tackle before.
I live a life of colour, no longer numbed by the effects of alcohol. I have become present in all areas of my life, my sense of humour is on fire (or so I’m told) and my boys have noticed just how relaxed and happy I have become.
The weight hasn’t dropped off but that’s ok, I have re-engaged with my passion of health and fitness, I have changed my diet and set a challenge to compete in a sprint triathlon next year. Finally, the Biggy, the unintended consequence of my alcohol-free journey on my 27 and 21-year-old boys has been profound. I have seen a major shift in them, replacing pub visits with healthier activities. To see the influence of my behaviour change on my sons is something all the money I am saving just can’t buy!
The OYNB community is amazing! It has helped inspire me and support me in my alcohol-free journey, a place where stories are shared, and support is not only asked for but is freely given. Tell me a place where you will find all that?
A change for life
Even though I have changed my behaviour and relationship with alcohol, for me my journey will not end in 365 days, this is the beginning of the rest of my life.
I know I will have difficult days where the stress of work, divorce, or general family and life trials could de-rail my progress, but I know that the OYNB community, and now my friends and close work colleagues have my back.
If you are thinking about changing your behaviour and mindset about alcohol, this is the place for you. Why not start small, 28 days, you don’t have to post, just read others and get comfortable, I really don’t think you will regret it, maybe only that you didn’t do it years ago. So good luck and look forward to seeing you if you choose to take a challenge.
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.