How much were you drinking before we started working working together?
I was drinking most nights half a bottle, sometimes a bottle, occasionally a bottle and a glass, so over a week, 4/5 bottles of wine.
Do you think being in lockdown added to that?
Lockdown certainly increased things, although it had been ongoing for a long time. Lockdown, boredom, and anxiety didn’t help.
What was it that prompted you to do something about your drinking?
I did feel completely out of control for a long time. I had severe health issues a long time ago; It put me in a situation where over-drinking was not a good idea.
So when we started working together, were you confident that this would work?
I was sceptical because I had tried many other methods before, like not drinking on certain days and reducing the amount I drank, but nothing worked. So no, I wasn’t confident it was going to work.
How did you find being part of a small group?
The group is fantastic; it makes a big difference to have that connection, mainly because people are at different stages, and that works really well. Joining the group when other people are at different stages, I remember being blown away at the beginning when I learnt that others were no longer drinking and were buzzing about it. I was thinking I was going to feel deprived, and it was evident that that was not the case, it was really inspiring. The process is really powerful.
When you got to 30 days (the final month), how did you feel about taking a break from alcohol?
I still felt very nervous. The months before build-up to it was very helpful, where you have tested out how it would feel.
You have a big social group in your life, and others around you are still drinking; how did you navigate that?
That has been quite mixed; it was difficult to start with because the social side was based around drinking, nights out, and meals out with a heavy alcohol base most of the time. I was lucky that all my friends embraced that I was AF and helped me along the way, for example, checking that there were AF drink options at the venues that we were going to before we went out.
You finished the challenge and were Alcohol Free how long have you been Alcohol Free now?
… 8 months.
When you finished the 30 day challenge, you joined the Upgraded Life mastermind group for six months; what was that like?
That was really good because again, people were at different stages, and it was so helpful to share different experiences, and also learn how you can use the extra time you have from not drinking and finding other positive things to put in its place.
You mentioned your health earlier… how does it feel to you now you are AF for 8 months?
It feels fantastic, the freedom from not being controlled by alcohol is incredible. The feeling that you are not doing something detrimental to your health is great and I get pleasure when I have to fill in a medical form to answer ‘zero’ to the ‘how much do you drink question’.
When you think back a year ago, would you ever believe you would be alcohol-free for 8 months?
No way, not at all; even approaching initially I wanted to moderate rather than become AF. There is absolutely no way I would think I would not be drinking; Thanks to you Sandra for helping me to do that.
If someone was reading this and thinking they should do something about their drinking … What would you say to them?
I am so glad I did, go for it!