I am a 40-year-old very proud mother to 3 amazing boys who are my biggest ‘whys’ for giving up alcohol. I work in the IT industry, which I love.
I started listening to the free Over the Influence podcast sometime in 2020. I loved their zest for sober life and I wanted that life too.
I was a weekend binge drinker which definitely ramped up during lockdown. Every Sunday I’d be hungover, hating myself, vowing to not drink for a few weeks. Then come the following weekend I would be pouring myself a glass of prosecco to relax.
I wanted to climb mountains, run marathons, and progress in my career but it was never going to happen if I carried on drinking every weekend.
I had zero consistency in any goals I set as it would take me until Wednesday each week at least to feel semi-normal.
By the time the OTI Online Community launched in July 2021, my drinking was starting to cause problems in my life, and I was hurting the people I loved most in the world. So, I joined and decided to take a proper break from alcohol.
I would love to say that I hadn’t had a drink since then but unfortunately that’s not my story.
Between July 20 and Feb 2021, I was managing a month or 2 off drinking, but that’s all it lasted.
You see, what I didn’t realise was just how much I used alcohol to stop me from feeling or thinking about anything that was too difficult for me to face. Fast forward to Feb 2022 and I hit rock bottom, it was the lowest point in my life which caused a lot of pain for both my family and myself.
During these months of me having spells on and off the booze, the OTI Community never gave up on me and believed in me when I didn’t, I have made friends for life and I will be forever grateful to Shaz and Ben for creating this amazing Community.
Since giving up alcohol in February I have been to London, celebrated my 40th, and been on an all-inclusive holiday in Fuerteventura - all alcohol-free - and I loved every minute. I have climbed the Yorkshire 3 peaks and Snowdon in Wales with OTI which were the most amazing experiences. I joined a 5-aside ladies football team which I love, it was completely out of my comfort zone and I was so nervous the first time I went along but I loved it and have made great friends. I would never have joined or turned up each week consistently when I was drinking.
Every single aspect of my life has improved since giving up the booze, I am the happiest and most content I have been in years.
Of course, not every day is perfect, but because I no longer drink, I can deal with anything life throws at me, I am learning how to deal with my thoughts and feelings on the difficult days, and I know I can jump on a zoom or post/message in the Community forum if I need a rant or some support.
The time I spend with my boys is now proper quality time. I have always had a great relationship with my boys but it is definitely even better now I don’t drink as I am present 100% of the time with no wasted days hungover.
You don’t have to have a problem with alcohol to give it up. Because drinking alcohol is so ingrained in society, it makes it difficult to give up if you don't have a stereotypical 'problem'. It can feel really lonely when you take a break from alcohol if your family and friend social events all involve getting drunk which is why I think having Communities like OTI available is so important.
I truly believe that anyone can hit a rock bottom, alcohol is an addictive substance and as soon as you start relying on it to de-stress or suppress your feelings, you are heading down a rocky path.
Don't give up!
An amazing life awaits you!
Thank you so much Kelly for sharing your story; you are an inspiration! If you have a story you'd like to share as part of Sober October, don't hesitate to get in touch! Join our community for support, understanding, and a bunch of extra AF content.