11 Benefits of Quitting Alcohol (Or Not Drinking At All)

Drinking alcohol is fun for a few years until the constant hangovers take hold. The benefits of quitting FAR outweigh the benefits of drinking.

Quitting alcohol can feel impossible. It’s especially difficult for those who are addicted to it.

Oftentimes, alcoholics feel as if, for them, there is no life without booze. Despite all of the negative side effects it has on their life, they continue to drink.

Unfortunately, too many people are stuck in the prison of alcoholism. As the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism tells us, more than 15 million Americans are hooked on the drug.

Luckily, however, quitting is possible. Despite the fact that sobriety seems a million miles away, it only takes a few steps.

And, the benefits are amazing. By not drinking alcohol, people are able to improve their lives in all kinds of ways.

Here are just some of the benefits of quitting.

Feeling Better

#1 When You Quit Drinking Alcohol, You Feel Much Better

Alcohol isn’t a healthy substance. People tend to forget that. Sure, there is evidence that one or two drinks can prevent certain illnesses. However, chronic and binge drinking is downright dangerous.  

When someone drinks excessively, their body is required to work overtime to process the drug. The liver goes into overdrive to metabolize it. The brain goes haywire as it tries to calibrate itself. The heart and lungs pump at irregular speeds.

It’s not how the body is intended to work.

People who don’t drink, on the other hand, tend to be much healthier. They aren’t prone to alcohol’s effects on the body. Because the body is freed from processing toxic chemicals, it can focus its energy on other things. As a result, the mind and body are able to function at optimum levels.

The Mental Health Benefits of Giving Up Drinking

Drinking isn’t always good for mental health. In moderation, it can help to relieve stress. In excess, however, it often causes people to make choices they regret.

One side effect of these choices is the “moral hangover”. As Theo Brenner-Roach recently wrote for The Observer, “Alcohol inhibits the ability to make decisions, often leading to undesirable and regrettable behavior.”

So, drinking is often accompanied by shame and guilt. Describing moral hangovers, the author writes, “You find yourself analyzing the events of the night before with your emotions swinging from discomfort to shame and remorse.”

Over time, this can take a toll on a person’s mental health. One of the greatest benefits to quitting drinking, therefore, is the elimination of guilt. Of course, even sober people do things that they regret. But, without alcohol in the picture, those events are likely to happen less and less.

I Just Quit Drinking…How Long Does It Take to Feel Better?

The timeline varies from person-to-person. Physically, people should start to feel better within the first few weeks after they quit. Alcohol doesn’t stay in the body for very long. Even long-term alcoholics can detox within a week or so. If they eat healthily and exercise, they should start to feel better quite quickly.

But, drinking also has emotional side effects. These aren’t always easy to fix. If an alcoholic has a co-occurring disorder like anxiety, for example, their condition will still be there after they quit drinking. However, the elimination of booze can help them get to a place of stability. If they consult a doctor for help and commit to sobriety, their mental state should improve.

Looking Younger

#2 You’ll Look Younger If You Quit

Alcohol tends to make people look older. It’s quite bad for the skin. It’s a diuretic, which means that it dehydrates the body. Without proper hydration, the skin dries out and becomes less elastic.

It also causes body tissue inflammation. This is why we see some people get flush in the face when they drink. That red flushness is their skin becoming inflamed. Of course, the redness usually goes away once they alcohol leaves their system. But over time, constant inflammation will damage their skin.

Additionally, research suggests that drinking actually ages the body’s cells. It reduces the lifespan of the cells in the heart, liver, skin, and other organs. If someone’s body is too unhealthy to produce new cells, the aging process becomes apparent. Their skin and other organs will start to deteriorate much faster.

What Does an Alcoholic Face Look Like?

Every drinker is different. Some are lucky enough to have good genes, so booze might not have drastic effects on their skin.

In most people, however, alcohol lowers collagen levels. Collagen is a protein that connects the skin cells and strengthens the tissue. When it breaks down, the skin becomes loose and saggy.

Additionally, alcoholism may cause jaundice. The symptoms of jaundice include yellow skin and yellowish eyes.

This condition occurs when the liver is too weak to process toxins adequately. If the liver can’t filter out toxins, some toxins are sent into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. When these toxins make it to the skin and eyes, both start to take on a yellowish color.

All in all, those who want the healthiest skin possible should avoid alcohol.

Saving Money

#3 Sobriety Saves You Money

The benefits of alcohol detox aren’t just physical. It can have financial benefits, as well.

After all, as anyone who drinks knows, the cost of alcohol can add up. By themselves, a few beers or a bottle of wine is only a few bucks. But, when someone drinks daily, or even weekly, the costs compound over time.

Not to mention, poor financial decisions often accompany drinking. If any legal issues, such as a DUI, occur, they’re going to cost a lot.

Best Alcohol for Your Money? None!

The National Institute of Health has a great alcohol spending calculator on their website. This tool is designed to help drinkers calculate the amount of money they spend on booze. Just plug in the average cost of each drink, the average number of drinks consumed, and the number of days.

Anyone who drinks regularly will be shocked at the amount of cash they spend on alcohol. Those $5 mixed drinks at the bar, for example, can add up over time. Even if someone goes to the bar once just a week and has only two of them, they end up spending more than $500 per year! That $500 could go toward much better things!

Former alcoholics usually find that their wallets are much thicker once they quit. Even casual drinkers, however, can reap the benefits of quitting, too!

Social Stability

#4 When You’re Not Drunk, You Can Connect with People

Many people become isolated by their drinking problem. The condition causes folks to feel guilty, ashamed, and alone. Blinded by the booze, they often forget that there are people in the world who love them and want to connect with them.

In his article “Addiction as a Disease of Isolation”, published on PsychologyToday.com, Dr. Shahram Heshmat suggests that addiction stems from a lack of connection. Drugs and alcohol, he writes, give addicts a sense of stability. Whenever they want to feel connected, they can use their favorite drug. Booze, after all, can’t judge anyone. It offers a kind of safety to alcoholics.”

“Avoidant individuals, who attempt to detach themselves from psychological distress, can use alcohol and drugs as a means of avoiding painful emotions and self-awareness,” Dr. Heshmat says.

Of course, the connection between an addict and their drug of choice is not real. It’s not healthy, either. Everyone craves personal, human connection. Sobriety offers that. One of the biggest benefits of not drinking alcohol is that the safety of drunkenness is removed, forcing people to form real connections with those around them.

Alcoholics Anonymous: A Place for Addicts to Connect

Because alcoholism is so isolating, many former addicts have a hard time during the early days of sobriety. With their crutch pulled out from underneath them, former alcoholics are forced to confront their reality. This can be overwhelming.

Fortunately, there are plenty of resources for newly sober people. Alcoholics Anonymous is one of the best. This organization was formed to give alcoholics a place to connect with each other. The group holds meetings in nearly every town in America on a daily basis.

AA is based around the idea that compassion is the key to sobriety. In order to avoid a relapse, alcoholics must learn to accept themselves and others. In “The Program”, addicts spend time connecting with others and interacting without judgment. For that reason, it helps a lot of people get sober.

Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t right for everyone. For whatever reason, some alcoholics find that they do better without it. However, for those folks who benefit from it, AA opens up a world of friendship and gives them a new lease on life.

Losing Weight

#5 You Can Lose Weight When You Give Up the Drinking

Alcohol is very high in calories. And, the calories in alcohol are empty. The body processes and stores alcohol as sugar, which eventually converts to fat. People who drink excessively usually carry more weight around than those who abstain.

In fact, research shows that excessive alcohol consumption is closely tied to obesity. The more a person drinks, the more likely it is that they’ll gain extra weight.

Of course, some folks have faster metabolisms than other people. So, there is no direct correlation between someone’s weight and the amount of alcohol they consume. A person’s drink of choice can affect their weight, as well, because some drinks have higher sugar content.

But, if a person is looking to lose some weight, they should start by not drinking. Weight loss is a great benefit of giving up alcohol.

How Long After I Quit Drinking Alcohol will I Lose Weight?

The exact weight loss timeline varies from person to person. Some people process sugar and burn calories faster than others.

Quitting beer, wine or liquor can be a great way to shed some pounds. However, if someone really wants to lose weight, they should adopt a healthy diet and get some exercise, too. After putting the booze aside, this is the best way to lose weight rapidly.

One of the best benefits of quitting drinking is that the desire for carbohydrates diminishes. It’s common, after all, for people to reach out for high-carb foods to cure a hangover. This is because the comedown from a carb-rush causes blood sugar to drop, which triggers the brain to crave more carbohydrates.

So, if a person is able to avoid high-carb foods in addition to abstaining from alcohol, they’ll see faster weight loss results.

Healthy Heart

#6 Put Down the Bottle, Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack

Drinking can be very bad for the heart and the pulmonary system. Particularly in people who are prone to pulmonary conditions, habitual drinking can increase the risk of heart disease. One of the best health benefits of not drinking is the reduction of this risk.

There are 5 million Americans who suffer from heart failure. According to Dr. Luc Djoussee and Dr. J. Michael Gaziano, more than 500,000 people are diagnosed with it each year. In their review entitled “Alcohol Consumption and Heart Failure”, the two doctors state that the risk of heart failure was nearly twice as high in heavy drinkers (more than 14 drinks per week).

One of the greatest benefits of quitting alcohol, therefore, is a healthier heart and a longer life.

Why is Alcohol so Bad for the Heart?

The problem with drinking is that it increases the amount of fat in the bloodstream. Specifically, it raises the number of triglycerides. This can result in higher cholesterol levels.

Fatty blood is bad for the heart. Essentially, it slows down the speed at which blood moves through the body. This requires the heart to work extra hard to pump blood. Over time, high cholesterol may result in heart failure and a number of other conditions.

The American Heart Association says that, in order to maintain a healthy heart, men should drink no more than two drinks per day. They say that women should have no more than one.

New Activities

#7 You Can Pick Up an Old Hobby (Or Take Up a New One)

Drinking takes up a lot of time. Partying, of course, is time-consuming by itself. But, add on all the time it takes to get alcohol and tack on recovery time and, well, it adds up.

In fact, it’s so time-consuming that a lot of newly sober people have difficulty occupying their time. They just don’t know what to do when they don’t have to think about drinking.

But, finding a new hobby is important for staying sober. Some former alcoholics turn to exercise. Others focus on music. Some people prefer to fish, read, or garden. It’s not important what the hobby is, as long as it gives the addict something to occupy their mind. As one anonymous author writes, “Boredom is counterproductive to sobriety.”

Those who already love an activity, of course, will be thrilled to reap the benefits of not drinking. They’ll have much more time and energy to focus on doing the thing they love without being interrupted by booze and hangovers.

Whoever said “Quitters never win” didn’t have the chance to enjoy the benefits of giving up alcohol.

Healthy Liver

#8 If You Abstain from Alcohol, You Can Heal Your Liver

Drinking beer, wine, or liquor is bad for the liver. After all, the human body isn’t built to process alcohol. When someone consumes large amounts of booze, even just a few times, their liver must work extra hard to process it all. Over time, the liver gets exhausted.

In extreme cases, alcoholics may develop liver disorders such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, or fatty liver syndrome. As was pointed out above, these conditions can result in both internal and external damage to the body.

Fortunately, the liver is a regenerative organ. This means that it can repair itself when it’s given the time to do so. In order to prevent it from getting worse, then, heavy drinkers should stop drinking and give their liver some time to recover.

What Happens to Your Liver When You Stop Drinking?

The liver constantly works to regenerate itself. It generates new cells with the intention of fixing any problems that pop up. It’s one of the human body’s most important organs, after all, so it’s crucial that it stays in good shape.

Alcohol, however, throws a wrench into the regeneration system. When the liver is soaked in booze, it has a more difficult time producing new cells. Over time, it may start to deteriorate.

When someone gives up alcohol, their liver starts to flush out all of the leftover byproducts that were produced over time. This process can take several weeks under normal circumstances. In extreme cases, it can take a few years. After the byproducts have been flushed out, it returns to its normal functions.

Unfortunately, some liver damage is irreparable. In most cases, though, people who quit drinking will feel the benefits within a few months.

Making Amends

#9 When You’re Sober, You Can Right the Wrongs of the Past

Everyone on Earth has done things that they regret. But, hard drinkers tend to do more regrettable things. One of the greatest benefits of quitting is having the chance to apologize and to make up for those things.

In many cases, an alcoholic may have acted in a way that caused their family or friends to distance themselves. But, once the person quits drinking, they have tangible proof that they’re taking steps toward being a better person. As long as they stay sober, at least some of the people around them will grant forgiveness.

Making Amends: The Notorious Ninth Step

An important part of the 12 Steps is making amends. During Step 8, alcoholics are required to make a list of all the people who they’ve harmed or done wrong in some way. For Step 9, they’re expected to make amends with the people on their list.

Members of The Program are quick to differentiate between apologizing and making amends. Amends, after all, are not always words. In certain cases, like when an alcoholic has stolen money to buy drinks or crashed someone else’s car, they are supposed to compensate the person for the damage. Even if the alcoholic can’t pay in full, making amends is about taking steps to repair the relationship.

“Anyone can make a mistake and run. It takes a special kind of person to make a mistake, admit to it, and face the pain and trouble that comes with making amends.”

~ Anonymous AA member

One of the greatest benefits of quitting drinking is being able to start fresh. However, if there are still ghosts in the past, it’s hard to move toward the future. Sobriety gives people the opportunity to right their wrongs in order to start over.

Better Sleep

#10 No Alcohol Means Better Sleep

Most people don’t realize how much drinking affects their sleep habits. But, it does.

According to the Sleep Foundation, alcohol triggers activity in the brain referred to as “delta activity”. Delta activity is a type of deep sleep that helps with learning and memory restoration.

But, alcohol also triggers another type of activity at the same time. This type, called “alpha activity”, is one that usually only occurs when someone is awake. So, these two types of brain activity have opposite effects. When they both happen at the same time, the individual is unable to enter into a deep sleep cycle. Thus, they don’t rest very well.

This may seem strange due to the fact that alcohol makes people sleepy. After all, it is a depressant. However, a drunk person’s sleep quality is not as good as that of a sober person. Once someone quits alcohol, they’ll reap far more benefits from their sleep.

But I Quit Drinking and I Can’t Sleep At All…Why?

Some folks find that they’re unable to sleep once they get sober. Certain people have trouble getting to sleep for the first few days. Others experience long-term insomnia that lasts months.

But why?

Well, alcohol withdrawal has a lot of side effects. One of these side effects is anxiety. Usually, anxious thoughts are at the heart of insomnia. The alcoholic, nervous about their future as a sober person, stays up late and allows their mind to race. If they’re committed to sobriety, they won’t drink even if it might help them sleep.

There aren’t too many solutions to this problem aside from therapy and natural supplements. Or, as Dr. Rubin Naiman suggests, quitting caffeine. Eventually, however, the individual will settle into their post-alcoholic life and get some sleep.

Focused Perspective

#11 When You Quit Alcohol, You Can Make Your Dreams Come True

It may sound corny, but it’s true: sobriety offers alcoholics a second chance at life. Without the constant burdens of exhaustion, hangovers, and illness, recovered drinkers have much more time to focus on their goals.

Of course, these goals are different for everyone. Certain people want to go to college. Others want to write books. Some alcoholics simply dream of being decent parents.

Whatever a person’s goals are, the best way to achieve them is to eliminate alcohol. It opens up all kinds of physical, emotional, and financial doors that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

And, at the very least, those who quit drinking reap the benefit of living a longer life.

No Alcohol for a Year: You Don’t Have to Be a Drunk to Quit Drinking

Sobriety isn’t just for alcoholics. Nearly everyone could benefit from quitting alcohol. The physical, emotional, and financial upsides apply to all.

It doesn’t have to be permanent, either. If someone with a healthy relationship to alcohol feels that the drug makes them tired or sick when they drink it, they could probably benefit from stopping.

A number of therapists and health experts have promoted the idea of quitting alcohol for a year. This time period allows the body to regenerate itself and for the mind to straighten itself out. It’s likely, at the end of the year, that the individual won’t want to drink anymore, anyway.

If you feel like you have an unhealthy relationship to booze, it could be time to get help.

Some people are lucky enough to have the ability to drink in moderation. However, other people are unable to do this. If someone experiences negative consequences from drinking, it’s a sign that they may have a problem. These people should not just quit for a year. They should quit permanently. Failure to get sober could end badly.

Are You Struggling with Alcoholism? We Want to Help!

“I quit drinking and I feel great.”

~ Anonymous Ashwood Resident

There are so many benefits to giving up alcohol, especially if it’s causing problems in a person’s life. Here at Ashwood Recovery, we’ve been lucky enough to see a lot of alcoholics get sober. If you’re currently suffering from alcohol addiction, please give us a call. We want to help you get your drinking habits under control.

Ashwood Recovery at Northpoint is a professional addiction treatment center located in Idaho. We have campuses in both Boise and Nampa. We offer detox, rehabilitation, and a number of other services. Our staff is comprised of professional doctors, counselors, therapists, and addiction experts. All of us are eager to help you turn your life around.

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September 2nd, 2018|100 Comments


  1. Sue March 29, 2018 at 7:16 am - Reply

    This as been so helpful thank you . This is the start of the new me .

    • Decky November 20, 2018 at 5:08 am - Reply

      How are you doing, Sue? I havnt drank in 14 weeks,.

  2. Peter April 2, 2018 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    Hi, nice post. I would add one more significant benefit to the list:


    Four weeks after I quit drinking, I started to notice things more clearly, things I’ve been missing for a couple of decades. Like the beauty and grandeur of nature, and more nuances in for example social situations. Also, I seem to perceive my inner physical and mental health as well, which is a sort of a bummer as I have had to restart healthier eating habits, physical exercise and meditation 🙂 This change in perception is most likely due to brain recovery, although I don’t have any clever science links to back it up with.

  3. Tom Sorge April 12, 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    I use to think everybody else was the problem but I woke up one day and came to the realization that me and alcohol was the problem. Today is the beginning of the new me. Wish me luck

    • Allen M. August 30, 2018 at 2:43 pm - Reply

      I hope you are doing well!

    • JANET MCCANDLESS October 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Hope you are doing well in your quest to stop drinking .I drink a bit too much so today I decided to quit.
      Let me know how you’re doing.

      • jay December 31, 2018 at 12:38 pm - Reply

        15 years and still counting, one minute, one hour, one day at a time, good luck

    • Gary Scaife October 2, 2018 at 9:30 am - Reply

      As you Tom,I am giving up the alcohol,realising its a poison ( as the barman says “what will your poison be sir ” ) I was beginning to feel the adverse effects of the poison. So Onwards and Upwards to us all seeking sobriety.

    • Alex November 29, 2018 at 4:02 am - Reply

      Good luck ive been sober for 3 1/2 months!!

  4. Chris April 25, 2018 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Good Luck Tom!! You got this.

    Peter – I noticed the same thing. I was never dependent on alcohol but a heavy social drinker. I noticed my memory, patience, and focus had gotten really bad lately. Had my last drink on March 15th. Haven’t felt this good in a long time!

  5. John May 18, 2018 at 12:32 am - Reply

    How long does it take to start feeling the benefits? I was a daily drinker…..6-10 beers everyday. I am now going on 6 weeks alcohol free but have not noticed much of a difference.

    I do notice I am not spending as much money and getting cranked up to go in the morning is easier but my energy level seems to be the same.

    • Ashwood Recovery May 22, 2018 at 3:12 am - Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to leave some feedback. Each person may see the benefits at a different timeline. However, congratulations on your sobriety! If you continue to stick with it you will see more benefits as time passes. Best of luck!

    • Brian June 13, 2018 at 1:05 am - Reply

      Same for me. It’s been 3 weeks but my energy is real low. Harder to go to work and put in 8hrs, than when I was drinking.

  6. Michelle May 20, 2018 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    This is a great article, i used too really enjoy a wine and drink regulary, i then cut down too once a week , on a saturday night when i went out, but ive grown tired of being hungover on a sunday , so im looking forward too alcohol free days, and not wasting half of my week recovering from a hangover 😊

    • Ashwood Recovery May 22, 2018 at 2:58 am - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Best of luck on your sober days, and I’m sure you will soon see the benefits of not drinking alcohol.

  7. Taylor May 31, 2018 at 12:11 am - Reply

    I am only 23, alcoholism has taken over my life for the past 4 years, excessively drinking throughout the entire week. 9 days ago I decided to *put the bottle down.* It hasn’t been easy as I work in a bar. I resognated with this article immensely, so thankyou! Hopefully I can hit the 1 month mark! Already feeling like a different person after only 9 DAYS!

    • Ashwood Recovery June 2, 2018 at 3:32 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing! Stay strong, we know you can hit the 1 month mark and your body will thank you for it!

  8. Kai June 6, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

    I’ve been abstinent for 3 months now feel much better my face is no longer red and puffy my depression and guilt in morning’s has gone and my face has returned to a thinner chiselled feature. alcohol is poison and will ultimately kill you better to change earlier instead of until it’s too late

    • Ashwood Recovery June 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information. Glad you were able to get sober and find the benefits! Continue on your path and thanks for sharing for others!

  9. Zoe Bateson June 10, 2018 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Reading this post has really gave me some will power I drink around 1-2 bottles of wine every week sometimes the odd beer and cider aswell once I start I can’t stop , I’ve known to turn nasty said and done things that wouldn’t of happend of i haven’t of been so drunk it really dose not agree with me what so ever I’m really looking forward to the new sober me x

    • Ashwood Recovery June 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you! Wishing you the best for your sober self – you will find many benefits without alcohol.

  10. Shyra Cross June 10, 2018 at 8:29 pm - Reply

    I’m tired of throwing up I am a alcoholic have been for sometime now. I don’t slerp well and have gone broke for bottles of liquor I found reasons why to stop very appealing!

    • Ashwood Recovery June 15, 2018 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. There are many reasons to stop drinking alcohol and start sobriety! Wishing you the best!

  11. Linda June 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Very good read. I was just wanting to read the benefits because I decided recently to quit drinking wine and I am absolutely loving it even though I enjoyed drinking wine too. It got where at times I got tired of it though and wanted to either drink less or stop. When I started to feel anxiety from withdrawal I said to myself I’m out!! I’m not going to touch anything that can make me feel this way if I stop. I’m into fitness and taking great care of myself so this is a natural step for me. I love how I feel and I am finding new ways to unwind in the evening like getting into my pajamas and sipping on some cold juice. It’s so nice to feel great all the time and not have to worry about being sluggish, not sleeping well or rehydrating!!

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 4:07 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your personal story! Wishing you the best as you continue your sobriety.

    • Courtney November 28, 2018 at 5:24 pm - Reply

      Best of Luck to you! it is so worth it!!!

  12. proculus June 21, 2018 at 10:12 am - Reply

    its been 3 months now of the piss and there was no aa or any other mob to make me do it i just woke up and its a pity i never started earlier but ahe three months off i feel better i save more money, and there has been no with drawsle of any type i jyust went cold turkey. i feel a sence of acomplish ment and theres no way in this world i would ever go back to it. all i can say is well done to me

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 4:03 am - Reply

      Congratulations on your sobriety! Wishing you the best for your future!

  13. Sasha June 24, 2018 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    These are great reason to quit drinking. Today is the first day of me being sober. My boyfriend on the other hand wants to keep drinking. This will be tough to be around but I know I can do it. God be with me. And if I decide I can’t do it, I’ll be packing my bags and be on my way. I want to love my life and restart it. God bless you all.

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:58 am - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Wishing you the best on your sober journey!

    • Danielle September 7, 2018 at 5:46 pm - Reply

      I am in the same situation. I want to quit drinking so bad but my boyfriend wants to stay drinking.. I was wondering if its going well for you or have you ended the relationship…? I want to feel healthy, happy and awake again instead of just sick and bleh and depressed most of the time :/ Im just in love with my boyfriend and have told him that him drinking alcohol makes me want to drink too. But he says he can handle his and I cant which is true… So I’m in a bind.

      • Ben September 19, 2018 at 10:32 pm - Reply

        I was in the same situation with my girlfriend. I love her but I love me more. I dumped her. She understands. You have to do what’s best for you. Get a sober boyfriend, later. Take care of yourself first. Good luck!

  14. MFEZZ July 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    This was very comforting to read, actually in the process of Dry July and I’ve been a drinker since a wee young one. Probably only real drinker in my family now I’ve hit 30, I come to the realisation my brothers and sisters have grown up and moving on with their lives, happily in a relationship and working hard for what they want. I was a fool thinking I was cool, time to keep going forward!

    • Ashwood Recovery July 10, 2018 at 5:31 am - Reply

      Glad this article was helpful to you! Wishing you the best moving forward through your recovery process!

      • Dutch September 14, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

        Blessed thank you.

  15. Bonface July 8, 2018 at 7:40 am - Reply

    The article has helped me a lot. I have now a focused mind towards achieving a better life in the society. Alcohol is like slavery. It is time to free ourselves.

    • Ashwood Recovery July 10, 2018 at 5:03 am - Reply

      Glad this article has helped you. Wishing you the best through your recovery!

  16. Dennis July 8, 2018 at 10:05 am - Reply

    I have been sober for almost a year & i feel very good, no more hangover’s more money lost over a stone in weigh feel much better in myself

    • Ashwood Recovery July 10, 2018 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Congratulations on your sobriety! Glad you are feeling better and wishing you much success in your future.

  17. Cali Kokka July 8, 2018 at 5:45 pm - Reply

    I had my first drink at 16 and it all stared off as just social environment fun. Bar hopping, clubs etc. I started drinking alone at around 25. Things started to take its turn but I refused to believe I had a problem because I loved partying, and never waned to miss out on any fun. I’m 36 now and little did I know 20 years after my first innocent drink, I was a full blown alcoholic. People never take that first shot forecasting what their life would be like 20 years later. It’s all fun and games at first and then you start to lose focus of yourself and others. Ruining relationships and nearly costing my marriage, I decided it was time to stop making silent promises and just do it. Choose to stay sober. The first week was rough because of the physical withdrawals but it got much better after. That’s too bad some people don’t feel more energy after quitting. One big thing that made a HUGE difference for me to feel better quickly and regain my energy was working out and doing lots of sauna time. Be sure to stay hydrated of course! Sweating all those toxins and getting good sweat helps so much with mental and physical clarity. If you haven’t tried that, try it! Worked for me. Good luck to everyone. It’s a start to a new beginning. Cheers to bliss and freedom on tap!

    • Ashwood Recovery July 10, 2018 at 5:12 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for the insight and taking the time to share your success! We wish you all the best through your recovery process!

  18. Alison Usher July 12, 2018 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    As a previously “high functioning” alcoholic I have been free for almost 100 days, have read a great deal about other people’s experiences and have decided that without an “off switch” there is no point in reverting back to my old habits! I (like yourself) feel heaps better and have started to question why we legitimise this addictive substance and allow ourselves to be brainwashed by the perceived glamour and sociability associated with alcohol consumption. At the end of the day, it is an individual choice, but until a period of abstinence has been experienced it is difficult to appreciate the benefits. Well done to you and keep the “off switch” on.

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:38 am - Reply

      Congratulations on your 100 days of sobriety! Wishing you the best as you continue on your journey.

  19. GARY P July 17, 2018 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    I needed to read this. Since my wife passed 2 years ago I’ve been living in a bottle every day. I didn’t think I was an alcoholic but I. Eventhough I workout daily I’m always tired and feel like crap! I’m stopping today, thank you!!

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:36 am - Reply

      Sorry to hear about your loss! Glad you found the article helpful. Wishing you the best with your sobriety.

  20. i July 24, 2018 at 10:55 pm - Reply

    I have 49 days sober…And I can absolutely.say yes to all the benefits
    ..The Brain fog has gone away!!! I can remember a lot of my past that I was slowly forgetting and I’m more productive at my job. I feel happy and not hopeless…Keep up the hard work it pays off in the end 😊

    • Ashwood Recovery July 26, 2018 at 3:23 am - Reply

      So glad you are seeing the benefits of your sobriety! Best of luck moving forward and staying sober.

    • Steve October 11, 2018 at 4:06 am - Reply

      I read all the comments above yours, but your comment resonated with me. I started drinking when I was around 17. Now I’m 42 and still drink. I started with beers, but as I got older I started drinking the hard stuff. I sometimes drink too much – maybe a quarter or half a bottle of Jack in one sitting.

      I haven’t really felt good physically for the last 10 years or so. I have anxiety. I sometimes feel depressed and lose hope. I sometimes feel like I’m going crazy. I have a hard time sleeping sometimes. Even when I get a good 6 or 7 hours of sleep, I wake up feeling tired. For the last couple of years, I feel like I’m losing my memory. I can’t think clearly like I used to. I can’t express myself verbally, as I have a hard time choosing the right words.

      I never thought I was an alcoholic because it wasn’t something I needed. It was more about wanting it and not resisting. I don’t remember a time when I refused a drink.

      I have 2 kids now, so I’m really thinking about the future. I want to be there for them. I don’t want to be another statistic.

      I don’t have a physically dependence to alcohol, but I think I’m hooked mentally and emotionally.

      Hopefully, I can overcome. I really want to feel good again. I’m not sure if I’m strong enough to do it on my own, but I honestly can’t say I’ve ever really tried to quit.

      God Bless you all.

      • Kris December 10, 2018 at 12:21 am - Reply

        Steve, how are you!?
        We have very similar stories, and I too used alcohol to cover my anxiety. Especially is social situations. I’m coming up on two weeks and today has been one of those fatigue/foggy/icky days and I’m struggling. Your story really helped…….how are things going? Has your anxiety gotten better?

  21. Sabrina July 29, 2018 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    Early days of sobriety….reading this article helps. I’ve been daily drinking liquor for YEARS sad to say. Started out social, slowly turned into a mess. Recall an old Chinese proverb “first the man takes the drink, then then the drink takes the drink, then the drink takes the man”. Best wishes to anyone reading this article and comments.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Thanks so much for this insightful information. Wishing you the best on your sober journey!

  22. celeste August 2, 2018 at 8:56 pm - Reply

    I am three days sober. I was in denial that I was a alcoholic but I am. I drank everyday for 10 years until I got a buzz or worse drunk. I have almost ruined my marriage with alcohol,. & have spent way to much money on booze! I am feeling better already. I am trusting God will see me though.I want to be free of this . It was exhausting planning my next drink!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your personal story! Best of luck on your sober journey, you can do this!

  23. Emmy Bosch August 16, 2018 at 5:25 am - Reply

    Thank you for the post. Today is the day that I officially declared a war on alcohol. To me I’m not interested in those benefits, they will be just bonus. My cause is ‘my free will vs alcohol’.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Best of luck on your sober journey!

  24. Jaime August 16, 2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    I quit drinking, found mental clarity and took the LSAT. Since then I was admitted into law and now sit in the top of my class. My grades are so impressive I was offered a full ride after the dreaded 1st year of Law School

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you. Awesome job with your sobriety, best of luck to you!

  25. Allen M. August 30, 2018 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    Every day I would go to bed thinking about how I would get more alcohol the next day, wake up thinking about it. I lost everything I loved… Everything! About 8 months ago I stopped doing a bunch of drugs, I started eating healthier, exercising, but I couldn’t shed alcohol, it was a crutch and I was afraid to do it. It’s been almost 3 weeks now and the fear of not being drunk is finally subsiding and I feel more myself than I have in years. Since I’ve started cleaning up I’ve lost over 60 pounds, got accepted to college, and have a smile on my face! It’s articles like yours that inspired to me to climb that mountain. Thank you so much and I wish everyone the strength to give it up, because there’s no luck involved… You can do it!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 5:52 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! Glad you are finding the benefits, and wishing you the best on your sobriety journey!

  26. Patrick September 4, 2018 at 1:48 am - Reply

    This is a great site thanks. Thankfully I’m not completely dependent on this trash, but it’s troublesome for me nonetheless (binge drinker). To a life of sobriety!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 5:40 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

  27. Rona Enosa-Joe September 5, 2018 at 1:38 am - Reply

    thanks this so helpful to stop drinking

    • Ashwood Recovery September 8, 2018 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

  28. Taylor September 8, 2018 at 3:24 am - Reply

    I’m beginning my sobriety tomorrow. Lately I’ve been feeling ill, mentally fogged and pain, panic attacks, and puffy eyes. I’m sick of it but I’m terrified I have done brain damage to my hippocampus. I’m a musician but don’t have the motivation or concentration for it anymore. I’m sad that I’ll be like this forever. Even when I drink I get stressed. I’ve been drinking everyday for 2 and half years. I’ve cut down a few times but go back. I’m 21 but I only drank for fun not stress. Now it’s ruined me. I don’t know what to do

  29. Noe September 14, 2018 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Everything written in this article is absolutely true. It’s been about 48 hours since I have been sober and I can feel all of what is written already beginning or happening… I am so in love with the new me… This is how I was supposed to be in the first place…

    • Ashwood Recovery September 16, 2018 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

  30. Anthony September 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Alcohol has almost killed me on a number of occasions in my life. At this point I have been sober for 36 hours. Face and skin looks better. I am more productive at work. An it seems like me eye lashes are growing thicker ( I am a man ). I was drinking about 2 beers everyday which I think gave me a beer belly. Which is one of the two main reasons I’m trying to quit. I almost milked my self last year as I got seriously drunk and flipped my Dodge Challenger on its side and totaled it Guys you couldn’t even recognize that the was a Challenger after the wreck. God was with me as I only ended up with a bruise. God is great. Please wish me luck on my sobriety

    • Ashwood Recovery September 23, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story and wishing you luck as you continue your sober journey!

  31. Andrew September 19, 2018 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    This was a great read to remind me why I stopped drinking. Nearly one year sober here and my life truly is much better now without alcohol.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 23, 2018 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing! Wishing you continued success on your sobriety!

  32. Azna September 24, 2018 at 4:21 am - Reply

    Im in need to read this article, I’ve been drinking for 4 years “ 15 “ beer everyday. 24 hrs since my last beer i will quit it. I started to drink when my father passed away to escape from tears and sadness. Alcohol was push me down and down. Im in school now i want to graduate i want to return myself and be productive again. I read all of your comments guys, all of you inspired me. Keep up and lets live and make our dreams come true. God bless you all.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 3:28 am - Reply

      Blessings and best wishes to you, as well! We are glad this article and community resonated with you!

  33. Monique October 2, 2018 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    I drink a bottle maybe even more everyday. It’s very expensive because I buy expensive wine. Iits wonderful when your drinking. You find all kinds of excuses to justify it. My sleep is horrible, I feel like hell in the morning and I know my looks are definitely different. I’m sick of feeling sick. I want to feel great. May I also mention that it has caused all kinds of problems in my life from texting people and saying things I would never say when sober. You don’t consume alcohol, it consumes you. I’m so ready to give this up!

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 3:13 am - Reply

      Glad to see that this article has reinforced a developing commitment to recovery! Best wishes.

  34. Dustin October 3, 2018 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I am 25 days free from alcohol after 9 yrs of drinking nearly everyday, and I’m sleeping again. I’m positive. I feel alive!

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 3:10 am - Reply

      Please accept this virtual fist bump, from the bottom of our hearts!

  35. Rachel October 8, 2018 at 12:51 am - Reply

    Ive been drinking everyday for over the past 2 yrs heavily. I need and want to quit. I haven’t had a drink today. Im just worried about withdrawal. I have gone almost three days in the past. My mom is a RN shes worried ill get d ts. She scares me but i need to stop this altogether. Im soo sick of it literally. I want to feel better im tired of thinking about drinking all the time. I just need people like me to talk to maybe help me along through this.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:57 am - Reply

      You have made a strong step forward by declaring this, Rachel!

    • Courtney November 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Hi Rachel… Just a suggestion….. I am prescribed Gabapentin, which helps with withdrawals , and it also helps cravings and social anxiety incredibly! You can talk to your Doctor about this. But I also go to meetings, I have a sponsor, I have a sober support network, and I stay away from bars, or any other places that I used to drink at. If you need to talk, I am here for you and i can give you some guidance/advice!

  36. Jenny October 11, 2018 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    I have drunk wine everyday for the last 15 years it started off just a nightly event but gradually crept up to drinking as soon as I woke up I drank 2 bottles of red wine daily I stopped leaving the house after I retired unless I was going where I could get wine ,I have become a recluse iv’e never tried to quit as I enjoyed it although iv’e suffered with depression and anxiety for years also sadness and fear I had no interest in anything just sitting on the sofa with a glass of wine all day everyday my husband never questioned it although my son did ,I put on almost 4 stone in this time and i was very miserable I hid away from friends and family for the last 5 years ,last Tuesday I decided to see if I could stop drinking I made it through a full day I carried on its now over 2 weeks with a couple of little slip ups but after reading this it has greatly encouraged me to keep going I pray I can .

    • Ashwood Recovery October 16, 2018 at 2:50 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing your perspective and present experiences on your road to success, Jenny. Best wishes, we are here for you.

  37. Margaret October 23, 2018 at 1:17 pm - Reply

    Just read all of the comments and the article. I made the decision to stop two days ago. It is causing problems with my family and I have a new grand daughter. I want to be better for all of them. I also have been feeling overwhelming anxiety and panic. I wondered if it was in fact the wine, (2 botttles a day) over the years that is really the culprit. I’m a couple of days sober and feeling much clearer and less anxious. I worry about withdrawl but so far so good. Wish me luck.

    • Ashwood Recovery October 31, 2018 at 5:29 am - Reply

      We hope that your new commitment is going well, Margaret! Take care, and best of luck!

  38. Joaquin Jaime Camero December 1, 2018 at 5:51 am - Reply

    Given up drinking for 3 months took the LSAT and got into Law School. Had some celebratory drinks due to the good news. The more I abstain from alcohol the better I am in Law School. “Who would have thought” My sobriety has me competing for best in class.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 1, 2018 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing! Congratulations on your commitment to bettering yourself and focusing on schooling!

  39. Kris December 10, 2018 at 12:16 am - Reply

    I’m a day away from being clean for two weeks, I feel better………I do have tough days though, fatigue and anxiety. Nothing close to the anxiety I felt after days of binge drinking though. I can’t wait until I have been sober for a year!!! Congrats to everyone!!

    • Ashwood Recovery December 13, 2018 at 12:04 am - Reply

      Congratulations to you Kris! Happy holidays.

      • Kris December 13, 2018 at 4:08 am - Reply

        Thank you 🙏🏻
        Tomorrow will be day 16!!!

        • Ashwood Recovery December 19, 2018 at 8:37 am - Reply

          Keep it up, Kris! Congratulations.

  40. Tan December 16, 2018 at 5:07 am - Reply

    This was an excellent article, one of the best I’ve read in this genre. Kudos and thanks to the clearly compassionate author. Gratitude too to all the commenters. I’m hopeful most have managed to stay sober.

    I will come back and share my story later but for now wanted simply to register my appreciation to all. 🙂

    • Ashwood Recovery December 19, 2018 at 8:35 am - Reply

      Thank you, Tan! We look forward to it. Happy holidays.

  41. Nicole December 18, 2018 at 2:15 am - Reply

    I called into work on Friday and knew I had to make a change. Had my first drink at 14 years old. I’m 37 now and wine has become a dark part of my life. I’m tired of the hangovers and feeling like crap all the time. It’s not worth it to me anymore. I function so so, but have been reading up on it for a bit and know it’ll get worse, so it’s time to stop.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 19, 2018 at 8:32 am - Reply

      Well said, Nicole! We are so glad this article resonated with you.

  42. JP December 22, 2018 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Thank you for a very helpful, informative and above all, non-judgemental article.

    I started drinking at 16 and after 35 years, my mind and body have told me that it’s time to let it go (sober for 2 1/2 months now).

    Your Article is spot-on, that what used to be so much fun, just isn’t anymore.

    You can’t overindulge in one of the world’s most addictive substances for that long, and not expect something to give.

    That said, knowledge (and support) is power over this poison – and your Article was so very helpful, especially as the Holidays approach.

    Thank you again, and wishing everyone 1 more day without booze.

    JP in Canada

    • Ashwood Recovery December 27, 2018 at 5:28 am - Reply

      Thank you for the compliment. Happy new year!

  43. Pavel December 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    I quit drinking for 3 weeks now because of a severe gout attack, i was drinking moderately in my opinion : about 6 cans of Czech beer ~ 500 ml of beer daily @ 5.5% alcohol ~ 9 drinks a day based on your calculation.
    I still get up of bed overnight, i still cannot go back to sleep for 1 or 2 hours, the daily life is very depressing, dealing with the issues i have to face at work and at home is very difficult.
    I found that i lost some weight ~ 4 kg or 9 lbs in Imperial weight.
    I went to Christmas Party with around 20 friends, and they seem to shy away from me since i told them i cannot drink, it is not well viewed by my male friends at all, they look at me as not a “normal” person…
    The gout crisis seems that it is now tamed, i can walk again although still have pain in the joints but overall i think i lost my social life, it is a lot harder to go through the day.

    • Ashwood Recovery December 27, 2018 at 5:27 am - Reply

      It will get better, Pavel. Take it one day at a time, and there is nothing wrong with working toward a healthier you. Best wishes, have a wonderful week.

  44. Le January 1, 2019 at 6:44 am - Reply

    I’m 58 and have drank regularly my entire life since I was 15. I’m done, I quit 8 weeks ago, since that time I have lost 17 pounds, feel much better and enjoy so many other things. I’m no longer focused on the next beer or weekend drunk. It’s wonderful and new for me. My wife and I both have gotten clean of it and really appreciate our choice together to do this. I feel great and encourage anyone and everyone to give sobriety a chance! God bless you all

    • Ashwood Recovery January 4, 2019 at 2:21 am - Reply

      Thank you for those kind words of encouragement. Best wishes!

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