Updated: Feb 8
If you're anything like me, somewhere along your sober journey, you'll find yourself questioning why you started. Long ago, I wrote down a list of reasons or benefits of being sober. Today, I'm sharing my list with you to give you some perspective on what is possible.
These benefits are personal and are just an idea of what may come. I recommend writing a list of reasons why you want to quit drinking and then keeping a running list of any and all benefits you notice.
Truth is, when your brain is searching for excuses or reasons why you should start drinking again or just drink for one day, one vacation, or one holiday season, you need these reminders. Returning to your why and the benefits can help you quell a craving, refocus your mind toward the long-term outcome rather than the immediate desire to drink, and remind you of how much work you're accomplishing.
Benefits of Not Drinking Alcohol
Never experience another hangover
Sleep better (no midnight wake-ups or sweats)
Wake up fully sober and ready for what the day brings
Brush teeth without gagging on toothbrush or taste in mouth
Eat anything you want for breakfast (no need for a hangover meal)
Save money or have more disposable income to try new hobbies
Have money to try new, non-alcoholic beverages
Gain confidence in your memory, perception of events, and conversations that take place in the typical drinking hours
More trust in yourself
Drive at any time knowing you are fully sober
No "quick naps" to counter what you did the night before
Never wake up with a stranger
No more "walk of shame"
No more liquor store runs
Count on yourself and follow through with the plans you make
More time to do with as you please like read a book or write a blog or paint a picture
Stronger, shinier hair
Confidence that you know best for yourself
Pride in your ability to maintain sobriety from alcohol
Better relationships with people
More productive in every way
Deeper connection to your authentic (sober) self
Less anxiety and depression
Better decision making
Ability to really listen to others and be of support when needed
Money, money, money - even a drink a day adds up quickly
Repressed emotions can begin to resurface for proper healing
People trust you
People respect you
Not planning your life around whether or not you can have a drink
You can develop long-term goals that are more aligned with who you are not who alcohol tells you you should be
Better impulse control
You can actually stick to a sleep schedule, exercise routine, etc.
No backtracking on drunken promises
Your family doesn't worry about how you're getting home, if you're drinking alone, if you're okay
Flow in your life
This is not an exhaustive list- and it's not meant as medical information, either. What you get out of quitting drinking is highly personal and that's why I recommend writing your own lists, too. For now, though, I sincerely hope this has helped either get you through a craving, self-doubt, or rough day. I promise you this: There's nothing so bad that a drink will fix.