I knew my life would drastically change when I gave up alcohol. I had been drinking since I was about 12 years old, so it was almost like alcohol was a part of my persona. When I finally took the plunge, it was a little scary and a bit hopeful all at the same time.
The Truth Hits
I experienced some changes that I fully expected along with some pleasant surprises. Ultimately, everything that alcohol was ruining in my life got turned around. When I achieved sobriety, I finally realized the true extent of harm I had put myself through.
10 Benefits to Giving Up Alcohol
If you’re on the fence about giving up alcohol, know that it’s the only way for your life to improve. Things may get worse for a short time, but they get so much better when you’re on the other side of your addiction.
Here are 10 benefits to giving up alcohol that I experienced (and you can too!).
1. General wellbeing improves
When you first stop drinking, you might feel like you were hit by a train. At least, that’s how I felt. But it wasn’t long before I started feeling better than ever.
To be honest, I never felt great when I was drinking. At first, alcohol made me feel amazing. Then it just numbed me. But I was always exhausted and depressed. The fog lifted gradually when I got sober until I woke up one morning and realized I felt amazing. I hadn’t felt that good in years.
2. Skin’s appearance improves
Drinking alcohol is hard on the body, but it’s especially hard on the skin. I don’t think I fully realized how bad I looked when I was drinking. It wasn’t until I started getting compliments in sobriety that I figured out how bad it must have been. Then, I looked back at pictures and I knew.
I had that ruddy complexion that comes with alcoholism, and the area under my eyes was looking hollow.
Because alcohol is a potent diuretic, it dehydrates your skin and reduces elasticity. You may not be able to reduce all the damage, but the ruddiness will dissipate and you’ll get some elasticity back when you stop drinking.
3. Finances get easier
When I was drinking daily, life was a struggle. Not only was I spending way too much money on alcohol, but I wasn’t working as much as I should have. Alcoholism led me to take some unpaid time off work although I was still buying just as much alcohol.
Towards the end, I was settling for $2 bottles of wine (yes, they make those), but my habit was still costing over $100 every month.
Imagine someone was giving you $100 every month for nothing. That’s what it felt like when I stopped drinking.
4. Pounds drop off
In my darkest days, I wasn’t eating much. Instead, I drank most of my calories. The problem with this is that alcohol contains empty calories. This means they are completely devoid of nutritional value.
Alcohol is also converted to sugar in the body, which can cause you to store fat around your midsection.
Without making any other dietary changes, I lost 10 pounds when I quit drinking.
5. Heart health improves
I was young and lucky enough to be able to scrape by without heart trouble, but I knew it was a risk if I kept drinking. When you drink alcohol, your risk of developing high blood pressure and having a heart attack will increase. Fortunately, that risk decreases again when you quit alcohol.
6. Mental focus and clarity improve
Alcohol can interfere with your ability to focus, especially on small tasks. The good news is that mental clarity improves with sobriety.
One study followed 25 men and 23 women with an average age of 47 who were alcoholics in sobriety. At the time of the study, it had been at least six months since the participants had a drink. Researchers found that there weren’t any distinguishable differences between the cognitive abilities in the group of recovering drinkers when compared to non-drinkers.
With my newfound mental focus, I was able to pick up the guitar again. I was also a much better conversationalist, to say the least.
7. The liver can heal
Alcohol is hard on every part of the body, including the heart and skin, but it’s best known for damage to the liver. Severe and prolonged cases of alcoholism can lead to hepatitis, fatty liver or cirrhosis.
If you’ve been drinking regularly for years, you can bet you’ve done some damage to your liver. Fortunately, the liver has extraordinary powers of repair. If you quit drinking now, you may be able to reverse much of the damage you’ve done to this important organ.
8. Sleep may improve
I was a heavy drinker and an insomniac. I didn’t know the two were related. Actually, it’s well documented that chronic alcohol consumption leads to insomnia and sleep disruption.
When I stopped drinking, I re-learned what a good night’s sleep felt like. Not only did I spend fewer sleepless nights, but I also had more energy throughout each day.
9. Relationships get easier
In any good relationship, there’s balance. You’re there for your friends and they’re there for you. Unfortunately, alcohol prevents you from being a good friend. If you’re like me, you’ll notice that your friends slowly start dropping off. As you become more of a burden than a friend, they start pulling away.
When I stopped drinking, I was able to repair some of my broken friendships. I also learned that some were beyond repair, and that’s okay. I was whole again and perfectly capable of forming new friendships.
10. The brain heals
A 2013 study found that as little as two weeks of sobriety can reverse even severe damage to the brain. You’ll feel it as the fog lifts, and this may be part of the reason why your life improves so drastically in sobriety.
Basically, sobriety can help you get your life back. Your brain and body get close to their pre-alcohol conditions and you learn to appreciate your newfound health and happiness.
Are you ready to experience the benefits to giving up alcohol? Start reading a sample of This Naked Mind for free today!
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