My first-year alcohol free (AF) journey

On Monday 27th June 2022 I celebrated being one year alcohol free.

For me a year ago I was definitely a don’t take away my chardonnay type girl.  Life was stressful, I couldn’t sleep, my exercise routine was compromised, my nutrition was poor, I had no energy, I had no time for anyone else. My mantra was, work is just so busy and I am so stressed and tired. There aren’t enough hours in the day and my main mantra, I can’t wait to get home and have a nice glass of wine. Of course, this would never just be one glass, I mean, who does that hey?!

But despite all of the tiredness, lethargy, stress of life I knew my glass of wine would fix it all come the evening. What I didn’t realise was that it was the wine causing the tiredness, lethargy and stress of life. So, I just went round and round in a circle.

So, what changed?

On 27th June 2021 my daughter said to me, ‘’Mum you couldn’t live without your wine’’ I snapped back ‘’yes I could’’ and in that moment I wondered if I could. So, I made a bet with her that I would give up alcohol for a year. We shook on it.

Did I believe I could do it? No. Did I want to do it? Yes.

So, what’s the big deal? What is so amazing about being alcohol free. Let me tell you.

My sleep is greatly improved and I wake in the morning feeling fully refreshed, not tired. I eat healthier than ever before, my exercise routine is consistent and as a result I am fitter than ever, I build proper rest into my day, and I spend more time with my family and friends. I have the energy levels of a toddler and all of the anxiety and stress I felt each and every day has disappeared.

Have I missed alcohol?  

Have I had fear of missing out (FOMO)? Yes. At the beginning it was hard but now being alcohol free is just normal for me.

Over the past twelve months I have partied, been to weddings, been on holiday, danced all night at Cream Ibiza on the pier in Liverpool, celebrated birthdays including mine, celebrated Christmas and new year, been to concerts and I have enjoyed every minute. In March this year I climbed Mount Snowdon. Last time I did this in 2016 it took a long time and I was very unfit. This time I got to the top in two and a half hours and I loved every minute of it.

The biggest impact being alcohol free has had on my life is this. Through a lot of self-development, I have realised my own potential, I discovered the future me and I knew that is who I wanted to be. I wanted a career helping others, to be able to also give something back to my local community.

I left a twenty-seven-year career to retrain and I have trained as a coach; I will qualify as an acupuncturist in 2024 and I have discovered a love of learning I never knew existed and I have transformed my life beyond recognition in just twelve months. I truly believe that if I had not taken a break from alcohol, none of this would have been possible, let alone being able to put my dreams into action.