I love a drink. I always have done and I loved it so much that at times I could easily drink two bottles of red wine in a night, by myself. And with this, I could easily have drunk a few beers beforehand too!
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a competition. But a reminder of how easy it must be for people to drift into alcoholism. A horror that I have witnessed first hand, and wouldn’t wish onto anybody.
The Build Up
Why would you want to stop drinking? For all its appeal, alcohol can overtake you. It can consume you quickly if things in your life go wrong. This could mean that you lose your job and to combat the feeling of worthlessness, you rely on your buddy that is a beer. But for how long?
As a society, we are conditioned in many ways and alcohol is a part of this. Whether it be meeting with the lads once a week, football, retirements, birthdays…it’s not uncommon that there are multiple occasions like this in a week.
You can imagine the impact this may have, not just on you, but your wallet and your health too. I understand that people want to switch off from reality as I have done this. But for me, this was too much as the voice inside my head was commenting every morning after I woke, to let me know that I had ‘never again’ syndrome.
Do you remember the video released showing the alarming behavior from David Hasselhoff after he had been drinking and trying to eat a hamburger? This video was a stark reminder of how vulnerable we can be when overwhelmed by alcohol. However, I had the same type of incident except I was talking gibberish as opposed to eating food. This was recorded on a phone and I couldn’t watch myself due to embarrassment as well as realisation that I was tipping ‘over the edge’. It had to stop.
The search had begun to find a solution to remove me from the situation. Something that I could attempt, and then conquer the problem….the solution was this, One Year No Beer challenge. Andy and Ruari are the guys responsible for the challenge and they have inspired many people to do this. On their Facebook page, they have 25,000+ members with a 96% success rate. This was for me!!
Signing up the day after I left the Bull and Dog Inn, Burscough, I was determined. Monday 30th July 2018 is the day I decided to give the challenge a go. I didn’t know how to react if I’m honest but I knew there was more inside of me than being a slave to the beast of alcohol. Initially, it was fine but that’s not to say there were no crossroads on this new adventure.
The group itself is amazing. Full of inspiring people who struggle daily to come to terms with the removal of alcohol from their lives. Some are truly mesmerizing and some are pioneers with the activities they do to ensure they stay on track. One thing I would say is to ensure you interact with your peers and look to join in any local events near to you, so you can mix, make new friends and enjoy the journey with like-minded people.
Ruari and Andy provide you with their updates of how much their lives have changed and benefitted from not drinking and this is spreading across the globe. The wonders of the internet!
Everything that Andy, Ruari have done, is absolutely amazing.
The proof that the group works is clear to see. There is encouragement, information, events, and guidance to help you through the worst parts of the process but it is possible. People have succeeded to complete further than a 90-day challenge and are happy to talk about it.
This is me…..on the right is when I was drinking and then one month later:
I am happy that I am not drinking. Everything they said would happen, has happened. The social occasions where you can be ridiculed for not drinking, people thinking you are weird for not having ‘fun’, the feeling better, losing weight and generally feeling good about yourself for the achievement.
For me, the introduction of alcohol-free beer (AF) has been brilliant. The choice is good and the taste is also just as good as the original, if not better. However, I still miss the taste of wine and San Miguel but even if I were to have a drink of that, I wouldn’t want it to become a part of my life that it had been previously.
Benefits of not drinking
But that is not all. Although I am suffering from mental health issues at the moment, I am extremely thankful that I found the group and what it offered me. The cost for me was £25 per month for the 365-day challenge and there are others available, and it was extremely good value. Here is why:
Blood Alcohol – blood is clear from alcohol after one day
Cell Regeneration – after three days, brain cells start to regenerate
Withdrawal Symptoms – after one week, anxiety, nausea, and hallucinations start to ease
Physical Health – after two weeks skin health, sleep and digestive system improve
Neurons – after three weeks, new neurons are developing to support your cognitive functions
Grey Matter – one month on and the brain increases in size!
Cognitive Functions – after two months the functions return to a normal state
Mental Health – three months and your mental health improves (reduction in anxiety and depression)
Weight Loss – after four months, there can be a great deal of weight loss due to less empty calories entering your body
Physical Fitness – after six months, physical fitness becomes easier and enjoyable!
These results above, are from an app I use called ‘Easy Quit Drinking’ which is both a good guide and information to help keep you on track. But here are some more advantages below from One Year No Beer so give it a thought?
And I don’t feel that alcohol is having the same effect on society as a whole now as pubs are serving a selection of AF beers to meet the demands which are good. In the UK there are many places that like a party and Liverpool is no exception. However, normally what happens in London, spreads across the land, but we will see.
I feel great. Not at my best but this is down to how I currently feel health wise but all the same, it is a challenge I recommend as it is a liberating experience. Once I have eliminated all the toxicity from my life, I will be the person that I want to be and this is in part, to all associated to One Year No Beer – Thank you! xx
Let me know how it goes…..
Have your say: join my private Facebook group, The Silent Man, today.