Before I gave up drinking all I could think about was how much I’d lose by stopping drinking. Alcohol was my life and my identity. It provided confidence when I felt weak, numbness when I was sad, excitement when I was celebrating. Without alcohol as a mental crutch you’d be lost right? Wrong. That’s just your alcoholic voice manipulating you; you need to stomp that voice out. It’s a voice that weakens the longer you stay sober.
Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to focus on the many benefits you’ll enjoy from giving up alcohol. Trust me, there are a lot and there is no way I can list them all on one page. For everyone, this list will be different but I’ve jotted down a core list that I’m sure you’ll relate to.
Benefits of stopping drinking
1. No hangovers
Do I really need to elaborate on this? Hangovers suck and they only get worse the more progressed your alcoholism is. Waking up feeling 100% in the morning is the most wonderful feeling. It’s actually life changing.
2. Newfound love for food
Food is often a lower priority when you’re an alcoholic or you go the other extreme and eat too much when you’ve had a few.
Either way, you never genuinely appreciate food. After a month of sobriety it’s like your taste buds go into overdrive. Even a simple glass of mineral water is quite pleasant. That’s something I never thought I’d say!
3. More money
Drinking is expensive. Think what you’ll do with all that extra cash suddenly at your disposal. I used my first few months of extra money for a holiday to New York. What will you use yours for?
4. Improved liver function
For an alcoholic, the liver never gets a rest. It’s perpetually trying to filter out all the poison you’re pouring down your throat. Sobriety puts a lot less stress on vital organs, especially the kidneys.
5. More time
Drinking takes up a lot of time. This revelation was a major shock when I first gave up. I had loads of time to work on projects, run, be with my family and much more.
6. Less anxiety
Those horrible feelings of anxiety/terror when you wake up the next day will all but disappear. If you’re a naturally anxious person you’ll still experience these feelings. But in general the mood swings will be much better.
7. Better sleep
You think you’re sleeping well after drinking, but you’re not. Your body is so hard at work trying to process the alcohol that it never get’s the chance to actually recuperate. In sobriety, your sleep patterns should improve, leaving you feeling more refreshed in the morning.
8. Improved brain function
Forget about that foggy feeling from too much the night before. You’ll wake up clear headed and ready to take on any challenge the day throws at you.
9. Clear skin
Your kidneys aren’t under duress to the extent they were when you drank, so your skin in likely to look much clearer. It will lose that dull look that many alcoholics experience.
10. Love the little things
A simple nature walk takes on a whole new meaning in sobriety. You’re not thinking about where and when your next drink will be so you can just relax and enjoy the moment.
11. Improved family life
Giving your all to your family will lead to a happier living environment. They’ll appreciate the new you.
12. Less guilt
No more worry. No more hiding your empty bottles because you’re embarrassed at how much you drink. No more feeling embarrassed that the beer salesperson at your local store is on a first name basis with you. No more worry about whether you should be driving. The list goes on.