The Benefits of Giving Up Alcohol For Good
For some time I was playing with the idea of quitting drinking alcohol in my head, but the reasons not to were usually stronger (it seemed fun?!, a social thing, a celebratory thing, etc.). I did not like how booze made me feel neither while drinking (lazy, sleepy) nor after the fact (hangover anxiety, which was absolutely horrifying every time). Thinking about it now, I just don’t understand how I didn’t come to realise it sooner that it was doing me absolutely NO good and that I actually did not like it. But, when we normalise, even romanticise alcohol we usually do not see it for what it is.
Something changed for me at the beginning of 2021 (still not sure how or what exactly, but I am glad it did) and I decided to quit drinking for a while – you could say I was sober curious. After making that decision I drank twice more in January (which is nothing compared to my usual 2-3, okay 4 times a week) and both times even while still drinking I thought to myself what the ?! and why did I ever think this was enjoyable. Not to mention that the cripling hangover anxiety, or hangxiety, the day after is so not worth it. There was really no reason left for me to have that glass of wine now and then because I didn’t even want it anymore – that is when I made the radical choice not to drink anymore at all, and when the wonderful benefits of that decision came marching in my life.
During the month of sober curiosity and then a couple of months of sobriety, I can tell you at least 3 amazing things I’ve come to truly learn and appreciate about myself since going alcohol-free:
Noticing alcohol was only numbing me
If I was having fun drinking, it was because of the company and/or the activity and not the booze. Otherwise I was just numbing whatever needed to be numbed. Not wanting to drink anymore made me realise this and recognise it – now I attend activities and gatherings I want to, that are fun and exciting, and avoid the ones that are not (and only seemed like fun because of all the alcohol that numbed the truth).
Discovering I am a morning person
This may sound foolish, but for so long I thought I was not a morning person and hated waking up early, I was always tired and grumpy. Not drinking alcohol improved my sleep immensely. Being fresh and rested in the morning had an amazing effect on me – I developed an elaborate morning routine I am actually excited about and enjoy it. Now I can’t wait to wake up early – even on the weekends I am up before 8am, sipping my fresh cup of coffee by the window and just enjoying life.
Finding out my hidden passion for journaling and writing
This one is more of a rediscovery. Quitting alcohol has an amazing effect on ones introspection. I started to be more mindful and self-observing, allowing myself to reconsider my belief system, as well as my likes and dislikes. There was this surge of emotional revelations that needed an outlet and I somehow remembered myself as a kid – I LOVED to write. Journal, poems, short stories, you name it. I was always scribing something. And there you have it – the need to let all of these emotions out and my love for writing together created this blog.
I could name a dozen and more amazing things that happen when you decide your body and mind don’t deserve and don’t need to be abused by alcohol. But for now I will leave you with these 3, as they are the strongest and most captivating lessons I have experienced on this journey that has merely just began.
If you’re considering sobriety or you are in the early stages and need some additional tools to help you out, check out my post about 4 apps you can use to help you out in early sobriety.