Many people feel that alcohol is an intrinsic part of who they are. I was no different. I was born on an Island in Scotland with a rich history and culture of booze. I spent my life telling people to pronounce my name like "brewery without the b." And upon entering adulthood, I spent 10 years as an oil broker in London—just one of many high-pressure, alcohol-fueled jobs in the city.
Then, two years ago, everything changed. I made the decision to quit alcohol for 90 days. I wanted to prove to my wife it wasn’t the problem in our relationship and to myself that it wasn't an addiction. Sure, I loved to have a drink or five when out with my mates or entertaining clients, but I never drank alone. I was a normal, sociable drinker. And I thought that meant it wasn't negatively affecting me.
But when I went three months without the sauce, I learned the truth. My wife was right—it was the problem in our marriage. And I was wrong—it was definitely holding me back. Since that first 90-day stint, I haven't looked back. I even started a community for people who want to live their best lives—alcohol-free. It's called One Year No Beer.
Reflecting on my own journey of self-discovery and personal growth made me curious about what other people in our OYNB community found themselves wishing they had known before they let themselves become reliant on alcohol. So, I asked. These are a few of the ways people in our community didn't realize alcohol had been holding them back until they kicked the habit.