Ten years ago I was in a very dark place.
The drinking of a close family member had escalated, and in less than 12 months, they would be lost to alcohol.
I started drinking at 15. I was a shy awkward child who realised that a drink helped me with my shyness and made me confident.
I could blame the 90s ladette culture. My ego was boosted by the fact I could drink with the best of them, and I went through my 20s drinking most days with no understanding of how bad this was for me.
Eventually, I turned to wine, drinking only at the weekend as I wanted to lose weight. This was the start of my 30s. I had 2 kids, and stopped drinking during this period, but it was followed by a failed marriage.
The wine became my friend, and kept me company on dark lonely nights, helping me to blot out the worries I had about what the outcome of my divorce was going to be.
When I finally decided to cut back it was hard. I did 30 days here and there, and got myself back to weekend drinking, as a life without drinking was unthinkable.
COVID was a stark reminder for me of how easily I could slip back into bad habits.
But through witnessing first-hand the negative impact that drinking can have on an individual, reading quit-lit, and listening to AF podcasts, I had started to really understand the negative impacts that drinking – any amount – can have on an individual, both physically and mentally.
Spurred on by the information I was reading & listening to, and the enthusiasm of the presenters on one particular AF podcast, I decided to do 100 days AF, as this is what I was hearing would give me a good period of time to really feel the benefits of going AF.
I treated it as an experiment, in the knowledge that I could decide to have a drink at any point - it was my choice to have a break.
I got to the end of the 100 days, and whilst it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows, I definitely felt better.
So I decided to carry on, until something, an event or some reason arose that was 'worthy' of a drink. That ‘event’, the ‘thing’ that would be just so special for me to decide to have a drink just hasn’t arisen – even celebrating my 50th birthday!
Now I just can’t see that having a drink would add anything to any occasion.
It's been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I like myself, I like the person I have become and I love actually doing the things I say I love or want to do... rather than just talking about them.
My only regret is not doing it sooner, but I am not to blame for that, I have been fooled by the greatest scam.
Thank you OTI, you have been the final piece of the jigsaw for me, chatting to others with one thing (if not many more) in common. People with a shared aim, to be and to stay AF and live life to the fullest. I no longer feel alone.
And Ben thank you to you, you suggested trying the 100, and I thought then why not, thinking that just maybe I could do it…
I have. And I'm still going.
Thank you Davina for sharing your touching story - we are privileged to have you in the community. If you have a story you'd like to share, don't hesitate to get in touch! Join our community for support, understanding, and a bunch of extra AF content.