A problem with alcohol doesn’t develop overnight.
Having a few drinks with friends to socialize turns into drinking alone when you’re sad or stressed about a bad day at work. One glass of wine turns into finishing the whole bottle. Instead of feeling like alcohol is part of your life, you start to wonder if it’s your whole life.
Quitting drinking isn’t easy, but there’s always hope for sobriety. At Mountain Laurel Recovery Center, we offer comprehensive evidence-based care for men and women with alcohol use disorders. Consider these 8 benefits of quitting drinking, then give us a call to learn how we can help you start your recovery journey.
1. You’ll Save Money
If you’ve been drinking on a daily basis, you’ll immediately notice the financial savings associated with sobriety. You can put this money towards paying down debt, buying a new home, going back to school, planning a special vacation, or whatever else strikes your fancy.
Try tallying up the money you spend on alcohol in a typical week or month, then resolving to put that money in a special savings account instead of drinking. Seeing how quickly your balance grows can help you stay motivated and committed to your sobriety.
2. You’ll Look Better
Alcohol causes the blood vessels in your face to dilate, giving you a red, blotchy appearance. Drinking heavily will leave you dehydrated, which will make your hair and nails brittle. Alcohol abuse also speeds up the aging process, which can leave you looking up to 10 years older.
Looks certainly aren’t everything, but positive changes in your appearance may help boost your self-esteem. This can make it easier to continue on with your recovery journey.
3. Your Mood Will Improve
Alcohol is often portrayed as a social lubricant that leaves people feeling relaxed and happy. Alcohol is actually a depressant. Drinking heavily dulls the senses and leads to an increase in the symptoms of depression or other mood disorders. This can include feelings of guilt, shame, worthlessness, sadness, and anxiety as well as a loss of interest in relationships or activities that once were a source of pleasure.
In some cases, drinking can cause thoughts of self-harm or suicide. Getting sober and seeking appropriate mental health care can put you back on the path to wellness.
4. You’ll Have More Energy
Alcohol is linked to poor quality sleep, which can leave you feeling sluggish during the day. The excess calories in alcohol can also lead to weight gain that zaps your energy.
If you quit drinking, you won’t feel like you need endless amounts of caffeine to get through the day. Increased energy will let you work towards making positive changes at work and home, in addition to giving you more of an opportunity to spend time on hobbies you enjoy.
5. Your Chronic Pain Will Be More Manageable
Many people turn to drinking to self-medicate chronic pain, but this approach only has short-term benefits. Regular heavy drinking leads to increased inflammation in the body, which can increase chronic pain.
Quitting drinking won’t necessarily make you pain-free, but it will significantly decrease your overall pain level. Talking to your healthcare provider about drug-free ways to manage your pain, such as massage, acupuncture, or physical therapy, can help you get your pain under control once and for all.
6. You’ll Lower Your Risk of Serious Health Problems
Drinking heavily is associated with an increased risk of several types of cancer, including cancers of the oral cavity, liver, esophagus, larynx, pharynx, rectum, and colon. Other conditions linked to heavy alcohol consumption include anemia, nerve damage, ulcers, gout, pancreatitis, and heart disease.
Drinking can also make it more difficult to manage diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea and other chronic health conditions that become more common as people age. A sober lifestyle that includes a healthy diet and regular exercise is the best way to lower your risk of serious health problems.
7. Your Relationship with Loved Ones Will Improve
When you’re sober, you’ll start acting more like your true self. You won’t need to lie to cover up your drinking or make excuses for embarrassing behavior while you were intoxicated. Friends and family who’ve been frustrated by your excessive drinking will then realize that you’re back to behaving like the person they know and love.
You may also make new friends by becoming part of the diverse and accepting recovery community in your area. Building connections with people who understand the challenges you’re facing as you build a sober life for yourself can provide the encouragement and accountability you need to stay on track with your recovery.
8. You’ll Rediscover Lost Passions
When drinking becomes the focus of your life, you lose time for hobbies and special interests. Getting sober will help you rediscover your passions, whether you’ve always dreamt of learning to play the guitar, writing the next great American novel, or opening your own business.
When your mind is clear and your body isn’t struggling to deal with the toxic effects of excess alcohol consumption, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish. At Pennsylvania’s Mountain Laurel Recovery Center, we are committed to helping clients build a life filled with passion and purpose. Our evidence-based treatment programs can help you develop the skills you need to stay sober and embrace all of the possibilities that recovery has to offer.