If a full-time working mom with 3 young girls in quarantine during a pandemic can do it, anyone can!
I have been a social drinker most of my adult life, and being a very social person, rarely was there an occasion without alcohol. It was something that most people expected of me, if I was there, we were having drinks. I was always a fun person to be around while drinking, but that seemed to change over the past few years as 2019 brought on a series of unfortunate events in my life, including my oldest daughter being diagnosed with a rare disease. I found myself reaching for alcohol too often and for the wrong reasons and ultimately fell into a deep depression. I realised fairly quickly that those two things do not mix, and I needed to make a change.
I had seen ads for OYNB on FB and was very curious about it for most of 2019. I finally decided to join officially in January 2020. My initial intent was only to do the 28 challenge as a reset, which honestly seemed impossible at the time! But after joining the OYNB community, I was incredibly surprised at how many others had stories just like mine and the 28 days flew by. The support you receive is so uplifting and non-judgemental, so I extended to 90 days and then ultimately the full 365 without any reservation at all.
There is such a stigma associated with seeking help really for anything in your life, especially alcohol. So many see it as a weakness and this stigma keeps so many people from trying to improve their lives. The perception is that only people who hit rock bottom need help, and that only option is AA. This is so untrue! This is the beauty of OYNB, there is another option and it can help a wide range of drinkers. It is hard to make that jump, but once you do, you see that you are one of a very large population and that there is absolutely no shame in trying to better your life, whether that means giving up alcohol all together or moderation. The ultimate goal is to change your relationship with alcohol, however your journey plays out, they are there to support you.
The alcohol-free benefits
By the end of my first challenge, I immediately saw improvements. My energy level was up and the quality of sleep I had was amazing. By the end of my 90 days, I had lost over 15lbs and now at over 6 months alcohol-free, I am down over 25 lbs and still losing! While the physical improvements I have achieved are fantastic, most important is the improvement to my mental fitness. My confidence has skyrocketed, and my anxiety level is almost nil. Being mentally present at all times is likely the most rewarding. Especially with my three daughters. It is amazing what a fog alcohol creates, even days after. The mental clarity you achieve without alcohol is a thing of beauty.
I started with OYNB with the intention of only a reset after 28 days. The benefits I continue to achieve are undeniable, so I am still working towards my goal of completing one full year. With the support of OYNB, it has been an incredible journey and not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be, although some days are harder than others. I have been to countless get togethers where the alcohol was flowing as well as two full vacations during my challenge and not felt left out at all! I keep NA drink options on hand for those times I may feel tempted and they have been incredibly helpful as well. I have found that it is more the ritual I crave than the alcohol itself. I am so encouraged to see such a positive swing in sobriety that even liquor stores are expanding their NA options! There are so many new options now and I have really enjoyed trying them out. I am able to enjoy the taste and ritual without the fog or imminent hangover. It is a win win!
There is nothing to lose
I would recommend this program to anyone who has ever questioned their relationship with alcohol. From those wondering if you are drinking too often, to those who just want to lose a few pounds. For some it may sound simple to just stop, but our entire world is set up around alcohol and it isn’t truly easy to escape without support from likeminded people. Even if your goal is just to cut back, OYNB can help. It is just so worth investing in yourself and seeing the benefits of cutting out alcohol. I can say with confidence that my life has improved infinitely by this one decision. And if a full-time working mom with 3 young girls in quarantine during a pandemic can do it, anyone can!