Oh my gosh, how I have changed! – Tina Hyder
I wanted to know how it felt to earn OYNB – what would my life be like with a year without hangovers or drunken foolishness and better health?
I was a weekend binge drinker who had slowly turned into a daily drinker plus binging on the weekends who was slowly turning into binging on the week nights. I drank a six-pack of beer on a week night, or a combination of beer and red wine. The weekends were a free-for-all with beer, wine and/or vodka.
I noticed that I was “suddenly” a weekend day drinker. At 12 noon the booze whistle rang, and it was time to drink. I chose restaurants based on their drink menu/prices and if the drinks were strong enough – never once did I care about the food. I was a black-out drunk. I blacked out so often that I would be proud of myself if I managed not to black out on a given night. Of course, my memory was still shit, but as long as I could string fuzzy memories together, I had done myself proud.
I joined OYNB a few months after I saw an ad on Facebook. Ironically, I saw the ad on a day that I was so hungover I wondered if I could actually die from it. I had to crawl to the bathroom when I woke up that morning, and spent most of the day so weak that I couldn’t stand up straight. I was in full hungover misery when I saw the ad that showcased someone who achieved a full year AF. I was in awe, and desperately envious. My hangovers were getting terrible, and my hands had started to shake in the mornings while I made coffee. I wouldn’t join OYNB for another two months, but that ad never left me. I knew life had to be better than it was, and because of the ad, I knew of a community of regular people who were proving it. I wanted in!
Starting my own challenge
I was really excited to be with so many like-minded people, all of us wanting just one thing – to live without alcohol (or a lot less alcohol, for some). I wanted to know how it felt to earn OYNB – what would my life be like with a year without hangovers or drunken foolishness and better health? There were many surprises – how much better everyone looks after a certain time AF. It’s absolutely astonishing!
How I've changed
Oh my gosh, how I have changed! My job is so much easier, I have more empathy for everybody, I’m far more patient with everything, I’m no longer in the deep depression I was in, my anxiety is gone. My skin is clear! I used to have uneven skin tone with lots of visible veins. I would also get unexplained bruises on my legs and hips, which was most likely signs of liver damage. I don’t get those anymore. Oh the sleep! My sleep is incredible. That one fact alone is why I’ll never drink again, but there are a hundred other reasons why also. Truly restorative sleep is its own reward after a long day. It has been absolutely miraculous!
The OYNB support
Seeing everyone’s OYNB achievements, and the joys it has brought to their lives. It’s so uplifting and inspiring. Another notable help for me are the brave people who post about drinking again after a long stint AF, over a year or more. I hold those stories close to me because I want to learn from their experience. My relationship with alcohol is like my four marriages – very much in the past! Life is so much easier, I’m more confident, I’m happier, I’m more peaceful, I’m nicer.
I highly highly recommend it! I’m at 515 days AF solely because OYNB exists. I never would have been inspired enough otherwise. I stay AF because OYNB exists. I enjoy helping others through their struggles, and learning from others.