While I think my story will resonate with a lot of people, it is unique to me and is based on my own personal experiences. I am content with my life choices, both good and bad as they have helped to shape the person I am today, and driven me to seek better for myself and others.
A Little Bit About Me
I was born in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, twin islands that lie on the southernmost tip of the Caribbean Sea. We are a culture that loves to fête (that means to party) and we tend to celebrate with lively music and lively drink! I am the youngest of three children and our family of five immigrated to Canada in 1986.
While my parents were non-drinkers, many of their friends and family were. My father always being the host with the most, had a collection of alcohol on hand to provide to his guests while he never took part in those libations himself. I often wondered if he felt like he was missing out, but came to realize that he understood how to enjoy all the social experiences without partaking in the alcohol. A lesson that would take me almost 20 years to learn myself.
Life of the Party – I am what you would call a social butterfly. I love meeting new people, trying new things, and just enjoying the buzz and excitement of any event I am lucky to be attending. For many, many years this was in the form of partying, which for me meant having drinks and then going out and dancing the night away. I was usually considered the “life of the party”, up to do anything at any time, with no inhibitions and no holds barred. There are a LOT of stories here…but I’ll save those for another time when we are better acquainted.
My life path took a variety of twists and turns, and it was not necessarily easy for me. I suffer from depression (I was diagnosed as a teenager), and I’ve had a few setbacks in life due to my mental health. Add in the struggle to make ends meet while helping to support my family…I had some tough times growing up, and made some dumb decisions. I dropped out of university after one year (it was more like three months of class and the rest of the time I was partying), and thus had to work extra hard to compete and work my way up that proverbial corporate ladder.
Party Life to Work-Life, I was Still Indulging Heavily – From my early teen years, and throughout my career, alcohol was a huge part of my life. When I learned that the corporate world had a very close connection to drinking, it then became part of my job. The motto I heard and later adopted was “work hard, play hard”, and I did just that! I had a successful career in capital markets having worked for a variety of companies in the metals and mining space (small to large-cap), and later started my own consulting business providing corporate advisory services to a variety of publicly-traded companies.
But during those 20 years (and let me be real here, I was abusing alcohol on a very regular basis), my indulgence in alcohol was taking a toll on me. I had worked so hard to build a career and enjoy myself while doing so, but what I was neglecting was far more important. I came to the realization that my mental and physical health was suffering, and thus I needed to make some serious life changes.
Sobriety Led Me To DRNK!
I had taken a break from alcohol before (for about 3 years when I was 30). It. wasn’t an easy transition, and for one reason or the other, it did not last. However, at the age of 42 the hangovers got worse, my general health had deteriorated, and my mental health was very clearly affected. Combining that with my “all or nothing”, personality, I realized I had to remove alcohol from my repertoire completely! But I didn’t want to stop socializing and partaking in all the fun just because I was no longer drinking alcohol. And for the first few months, I had to remove myself from temptation. But certainly, I would find my way back to being around alcohol, and my colleagues and friends who drank, even if I wasn’t, right?
This Proved to be More Difficult than Expected – With alcohol being around for so long it is a very common and widely accepted drug. When you want to unwind and take the edge off, you grab a drink. It has become such a normal thing to do…not partaking is what feels abnormal. And while mocktails (non-alcoholic versions of a cocktail) have become more popular, I found them riddled with sugar. Ordering a mocktail depends on the bar staff’s ingredients on hand and their desire to create such concoctions. There are still limited choices of pre-mixed alternatives on the market, but they honestly don’t taste that great or still have way too much sugar.
Now I personally drink a lot of water but standing at a bar or in a club or at any other social event with a bottle of water in my hand, I stand out and not in a good way. And then you get the question, “Oh, you’re not drinking…can I ask why?”. As much as I am an open book, it’s a question that you get tired of having to answer repeatedly.
So what was I looking for? – Apart from the world becoming more accepting of choosing a non-alcoholic beverage (Yay, we are getting there), all I wanted was to enjoy a fun drink, that tasted great and wasn’t riddled with sugar or other additives.
I want to enjoy the buzz of the party, without the alcohol!
And that my new friends led me to develop DRNK. Alcohol-free concoctions that taste great, provide a healthier option to many competitors and offer a sleek and attractive design. I am so proud of what we have accomplished thus far with our first two mocktails, modelled after two of the most famous cocktails, a refreshing Mojito, and a classic Moscow Mule. Whether you are sober living like me, looking to reduce your intake, or simply looking to try something new, DRNK provides a non-alcoholic alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste or style.
I am so excited for our product launch and for you to enjoy a DRNK with me.