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

Drugs & Alcohol

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

What happens when you quit drinking? If you’ve been thinking of quitting drinking, now’s the time. Here are 15 benefits of not drinking alcohol.

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.

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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 treatment 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.

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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.

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#12 Those Mood Swings Will Becoming Things of the Past

Like many people, you probably use alcohol as a way to improve your mood. A lot of people drink to cover up symptoms of anxiety and depression, and others do it because it helps get them in a better mood. But what you probably don’t realize is the fact that if you have been dealing with major mood swings, it could be because of the alcohol.

Alcohol should never be viewed as a tool to improve your mood. It should also not be used to solve problems, yet people drink for these reasons every day. Excessive drinking has the ability to create short-term mental health problems. When you drink too much, you put yourself at risk for a whole list of negative consequences.

How Might Alcohol Impact Your Mood Short-Term?

When you drink too much, you run the risk of suffering many types of issues, such as:

  •     Blacking out
  •     Drowsiness
  •     Throwing up
  •     Problems with balance and coordination
  •     Slurred speech

But these are not the only issues you need to watch out for. There are several mood issues that you may have experienced as well, like:

  •     Becoming angry easily.
  •     Acting out with violence.
  •     Becoming inappropriately affectionate.
  •     Feeling close to people you don’t know.
  •     Becoming impulsive, such as driving a car under the influence or having unprotected sex.

How Might Alcohol Impact Your Mood Long-Term?

As you know, excessive drinking behaviors often lead to chronic, long-term health conditions. People put themselves at risk for cancer, liver problems, strokes, and high blood pressure when they drink too much. But there is another side effect of long-term alcohol use that you might not be familiar with – Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) is a condition that demonstrates the fact that alcohol affects both the mind and the body. It happens because alcohol depletes the body’s stores of Vitamin Thiamine, or B1, in the body. When your body doesn’t have enough B1, lesions can form on the brain. The result is problems with confusion and memory. Both can lead to angry or violent behaviors.

WKS is actually two different conditions that occur simultaneously. They are Wernicke’s disease and Korsakoff syndrome. Most people experience the symptoms of WD before they get the symptoms of KS.

While WKS can have other causes, most cases are caused by long-term alcoholism. The most common symptoms include:

  •     Feeling confused, which can lead to violent behaviors.
  •     Having trouble walking because of a loss of muscle coordination.
  •     Ptosis, which means that you have a droopy upper eyelid.
  •     Double vision.
  •     Strange eye movements that go up and down or side to side.
  •     Memory problems regarding events after you were diagnosed.
  •     Problems with understanding instructions.
  •     Problems forming sentences or putting your thoughts into words.
  •     Hallucinations.

What Happens Once Your Mood is Improved?

So many great things can happen in your life once your mood is improved. Your family will be overjoyed that you decided to stop drinking, and you’ll be able to enjoy your time together again. You may even be better equipped to repair former relationships with friends and loved ones. In fact, your entire outlook on life might change for the better.

#13 You Can Make Serious Gains in the Gym

A lot of alcoholics stop going to the gym – not to mention that they stop taking care of themselves altogether. Instead, they focus on drinking and that tends to take up most of their lives. The same can be said for athletes with drinking problems.

Angie Asche, R.D. is a sports dietician and clinical exercise physiologist. She says, “From an athletic performance standpoint, alcohol can impact hydration status, motor skills, and muscle recovery. Research has shown that consuming alcohol after strenuous workouts can actually magnify delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by slowing the recovery process and increasing soreness. Alcohol can make it challenging for athletes to see the progress they’d like in their training with such negative impacts on both body composition and muscle recovery.”

The Consequences of Alcoholism on Athletic Performance

Athletes who drink too much are likely to deal with a long list of consequences. They include the following:

  • Problems with aerobic performance – Because alcohol is a diuretic, it can lead to poor hydration. It also causes problems for the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Many athletes find that when they do drink, they don’t have the stamina they need and they get tired much faster.
  • Problems with strength, motor skills and sprinting ability – Alcohol tends to slow down your reaction time. It also makes it hard for you to be precise, which is important for athletes. You may find that your equilibrium is off and your hand-eye coordination suffers as a result of drinking too much. Your power, strength and speed could be impeded for as long as three days after you drink.
  • Problems with recovery – For athletes, recovery is so important. Without it, they cannot perform at their best. Drinking too much has been shown to delay the body’s ability to repair its muscles. That means more injuries and less time participating.
  • Problems with body composition – Athletes typically spend a lot of time in the gym keeping their bodies in shape. But drinking too much can result in an increase of body fat. Because it has a stimulant effect, people usually eat more when they drink. This contributes to unwanted weight gain, as we discussed earlier.
  • Problems with nutrition – You may not have realized that alcohol could be impeding your body’s ability to absorb vital vitamins and nutrients. Many of them may be used to help your body get rid of the alcohol, which leaves them unavailable to do their jobs. For an athlete who should be paying close attention to their nutrition, quitting drinking is important.
  • Problems with illnesses – Excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to have a negative effect on the body’s immune system. In fact, liver disease and even liver failure could be linked to autoimmunity. This is when the body starts attacking itself, to put it in the simplest of terms. You’re also likely to get sick more with stomach bugs, flus and other illnesses.
  • Problems with sleep – As you sleep, your body uses that time to restore and repair itself following a workout. But if you’ve been drinking, it may be harder to catch those Zs you crave so much. Alcohol reduces the amount of time you spend in deep, restful sleep.

What Happens Once an Athlete Stops Drinking?

When an athlete stops drinking, it may take some time for them to get back to their peak performance. But if you’re someone who plays sports or who works out a lot, please don’t be discouraged. Try to remember that it took some time for you to get to this place, depending on how long you’ve been drinking. Likewise, it may take some time for you to completely recover.

#14 You’ll Learn Better Coping Strategies

As we mentioned earlier, people often turn to alcohol as a way to cope with symptoms of many mental health conditions. But it’s possible that while you haven’t been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, you drink because of stress. This is actually one of the most common reasons people become alcoholics. They use alcohol as a way to escape their problems and it becomes a coping mechanism for them. The problem is that it’s not a good one because of all the other health issues it can cause. In addition to that, alcoholics never actually learn healthy ways to cope until they stop drinking.

One of the issues with using alcohol as a way to cope with stress is that it actually works for a while. When you drink, you may feel as though you’re being flooded with warm feelings that make you feel good. Alcohol may allow you to temporarily release that tension you’ve been holding onto all day long. The result is that it drove you to drink again to get the same results.

All kinds of people use alcohol as a way to cope. This includes executives, college students, parents, and veterans, among others. People who have watched family members use alcohol this way have a higher risk of repeating that behavior.

Why is Alcohol Use a Dangerous Coping Mechanism?

There are a lot of reasons why it is dangerous to use alcohol as a coping mechanism. For example, it can:

  • Lead to an addiction – You might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t always take very long to become an alcoholic. Depending on your drinking behaviors, it could happen in as little as a few weeks or months. It might seem as though you’re having a good time, but really, you’re putting yourself at risk.
  • Damage important relationships – Our loved ones usually spot the signs of alcoholism long before we do, which can be a good thing. But refusing to stop drinking can cause a lot of problems at home, as well as with your friendships.
  • Cause you to lose your job – You may be a person who enjoys drinking only on the weekends or someone who drinks every night and sometimes during the day. Either way, you might be an alcoholic. Drinking excessively can cause you to become less productive at work. It can also lead to a lot of absences. When you combine the two, it’s not surprising that so many alcoholics lose their jobs eventually.  
  • Cause mental health conditions – We’ve talked a lot about people using alcohol as a way to self-medicate. But drinking too much can also cause mental health issues as well. It is not uncommon for people to develop psychiatric symptoms once they start drinking too much. But the good news is that when they quit, they are very likely to improve.
  • Steal your money – Certain types of alcohol are cheaper than others. But for an alcoholic, money is usually far from their minds. If you have a drinking problem, you’ve likely spent thousands of dollars getting your fix. You may have depleted all of your savings, cashed in your 401K, or even stolen money from others. If nothing else, it is a way to find yourself in financial ruin.

Recovering From an Alcohol Addiction Helps You Form New Coping Skills

You’ll notice a dramatic change in your life once you stop drinking – you no longer have alcohol to turn to. At first, you might panic at that thought, but please know that the long-term outcome will be well worth it. This gives you an opportunity to develop new and better coping skills. When you learn how to cope with your problems in healthy ways, there are so many immediate benefits.

Some of the coping skills you may want to focus on developing include:

  •     Talking to your friends and family about your concerns.
  •     Using meditation, prayer or mindfulness to help clear your mind and relax.
  •     Practicing your social skills to help lower your anxiety levels.
  •     Taking up a sport or starting an exercise regimen.
  •     Practicing breathing techniques to help yourself stay calm.
  •     Distracting yourself by reading a good book, watching TV or listening to music.
  •     Talking with a therapist about the issues you face.
  •     Journaling about your feelings and experiences.

All of these can be healthy alternatives to alcohol. We’re sure you can even think of some more. Why not take up a new hobby or make some new friends? Both can keep your thoughts far away from drinking.

#15 Your Cancer Risk Goes Down

The CDC reports that the less you drink, the less your risk for cancer is. There are some types of cancer that are considered to be more common among people who regularly consume alcohol. They include:

  •     Mouth and throat cancer
  •     Esophagus cancer
  •     Colon and rectum cancer
  •     Breast cancer
  •     Larynx cancer
  •     Liver cancer

When you drink, your body breaks the alcohol down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. This chemical damages your DNA and it prevents your body from repairing it. Your DNA acts like a set of instructions for your cells. It controls their functions and growth. When it is damaged, the cells of your body can start to grow out of control. Sometimes this results in cancer.

The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services confirms that alcohol use can cause cancer. It lists it as a known carcinogen, and it has a lot of evidence for doing so. The risk tends to increase depending on how much time a person spends drinking, and how long they drink. In fact, even people who are considered to be light drinkers have an increased risk of being diagnosed with the disease.

Could Your Genes Play a Role in Alcohol-Related Cancer?

Yes, it’s possible. This specifically refers to the genes that are responsible for encoding enzymes that are involved with breaking down the alcohol in your body.

Dehydrogenase (ADH) is one enzyme that converts ethanol into acetaldehyde. This takes place in the liver, and it may also happen in the oral cavity. But its production can be influenced by the number of bacteria in your mouth. Some people may have a super-active form of ADH, and others may have a less active form. People whose ADH is more active have a higher risk of pancreatic cancer than those who don’t, according to Cancer.gov.

Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is another enzyme that can become problematic for certain people. Its job is to metabolize acetaldehyde into substances that are not toxic to the body. But for people with defective ALDH2 enzymes, this process doesn’t always happen as it should. Instead, their bodies build up acetaldehyde when they drink. This is why those individuals often suffer from heart palpitations or they get red in the face. People with this type of ALDH2 should not consume large amounts of alcohol.

What if You Only Drink Red Wine?

You may have heard that drinking red wine could be good for your health, but there is a lot of misleading information on this. Resveratrol is the chemical in grapes and red wine that is said to have anti-cancer properties. Research has shown that this compound can stop a mutated protein that is found in more than half of patients with breast cancer. While this is good news, it does not mean that it’s OK to drink red wine as long as you stay away from other types of alcohol.

Further studies have shown that in small amounts, red wine may repress cancerous cell grown in breast and esophageal cancers. But for someone who is an alcoholic, a small amount is usually never enough.

The best way to lower your risk of cancer is to stop drinking completely.

The Benefits of Lowering Your Risk of Cancer by Quitting Alcohol for Good

No one ever wants to hear their doctor tell them that the health condition they suffer from is cancer. If you quit drinking, you may never have to hear those words from your doctor. You’ll be around for your family, and be alive to experience everything life has to offer you.

Cancer doesn’t appear to care about how much or how often you drink. But if you are currently having four or more drinks a day, it’s time to rethink that.

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 with 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.

Treatment for Alcoholism is Available to You Right Now

We hope that after seeing the benefits, you’re eager to stop drinking. But we want to caution you not to stop on your own. Doing so puts you at risk for dangerous alcohol withdrawal complications, such as delirium tremens and other issues. It’s best to recover from alcoholism with professionals by going through detox and rehab.

Delirium tremens refers to a form of severe alcohol withdrawal that can be life-threatening. It is possible to avoid it, but you will need to go through alcohol detox. This should only be done on an inpatient basis because of the risks involved with complications.

After detoxing, you should continue to a quality alcohol rehab program. Rehabilitation is where you will learn new coping skills that you can use in place of drinking. You’ll work with a therapist individually, and receive group therapy, among other forms of treatment.

About Ashwood Recovery’s Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Program

At Ashwood Recovery, we offer one of the best outpatient alcohol treatment programs in Idaho. We know that our clients all have their own challenges when it comes to recovering from an addiction. That is why we have three levels of care to help us better meet their unique needs.

Our partial hospitalization program requires a weekly commitment of 30 hours. It is our most intensive level of care, and it is where many people need to start. Our clients attend treatment as much as six hours per day, five days per week, if necessary.

We also offer our intensive outpatient program, which is our middle level of care. It requires as much as 15 hours of treatment per week, which may include therapeutic activities and therapy sessions.

Finally, our outpatient rehab program requires a weekly time commitment of three hours. This is often the final step for those who are transitioning through our entire program.

We offer two locations to help us serve your needs even better. We have facilities in both Boise and Nampa.

Alcoholism Recovery Can be Yours! We’re Here to Help

At Ashwood Recovery, we understand the challenges of recovering from alcohol addiction. If you or someone you love is an alcoholic, you may not know where to turn for help. But we are here to provide you with the support you need.

You’re going to experience so many benefits when you quit drinking. It will be an honor for us to help you through it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

When a person who has been drinking alcohol for a long time suddenly stops, the result is alcohol withdrawal. This term refers to what happens in the body and mind as alcohol is processed out of your system. The more a person drinks, the more likely they are to have withdrawal when they quit.

People typically start experiencing symptoms in as little as 8 hours after their last drink. But it might take as long as a few days before you begin to notice symptoms. They usually come to a peak between 24 and 72 hours after the last drink.

The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal usually start out mild and then they become more severe. They can include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares and insomnia
  • Sweaty, clammy skin
  • Fatigue
  • Mood swings

It is important to get treatment for alcohol withdrawal because complications are possible. In some cases, it can even be fatal if it is left untreated.

What is Delirium Tremens?

Delirium tremens, or DTs, is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal that can be fatal if it is left untreated. It can happen to people who stop drinking and:

  • Who have a history of alcohol withdrawal.
  • Typically consume a lot of alcohol every day for several months in a row.
  • Have used alcohol for more than ten years.

But if you do not fit into any of these categories, that does not mean you might not experience it as well. It can happen to anyone who does not eat enough food when they stop drinking and begin working on recovering.

The symptoms of delirium tremens usually surface within 96 hours of your last drink. But people have experienced them as long as 10 days after their last drink. The symptoms can include:

  • Having delirium, which means sudden bouts of confusion.
  • Having hallucinations.
  • The onset of seizures.
  • Quick mood swings.
  • Feelings of restlessness.
  • Feeling exhausted and sleeping for a day or more.
  • Becoming over-sensitive to touch, light and sound.
  • Body tremors.

It is best to go through alcohol detox so that you have a better chance of avoiding DTs altogether. If you do experience symptoms, a medical facility that offers detox services is your best bet. They can help you get the treatment you need.

Are There Ways to Help Someone Quit Drinking?

If you have a loved one who is an alcoholic, their drinking behaviors might break your heart. You might spend a lot of time worrying about them, and you feel powerless to do anything to help them change. If you have not done so already, you may want to try:

  • Talking with them about their drinking behaviors.
  • Talking with them about your concerns in a way that is caring and encouraging.
  • Avoiding arguing, accusing or lecturing when you talk with them.
  • Taking the time to learn more about alcohol abuse and addiction.
  • Research treatment and support options and present them to your loved one.

It can be hard to convince someone with a drinking problem that they need to get help. People often live in denial for years because they think they have their substance abuse under control. If you have tried all of the above to no avail, you might want to talk with a professional about staging an intervention.

How do You Know if You Are Addicted to Alcohol?

It is not uncommon for people to be completely unaware of their alcohol addictions. They may know they drink excessively, but they feel in control. If this is how you feel, it might help to take a look at some common signs of alcoholism. They can include:

  • Taking risks that you would not normally take if you were not drinking.
  • Frequent blackouts.
  • Problems making good decisions that will benefit your life.
  • A history of accidents or injuries that happened while you were drinking.
  • Strong desires or cravings to drink.
  • Going through withdrawal when you have not had a drink in a while.

If you are still unsure, it might help to take an alcoholism quiz to give yourself some more insight.

The hardest part is often admitting that you have a problem that needs treatment. But please know that if you are an alcoholic, help is available for you.

What Happens When You Give Up Alcohol for a Month?

Some people find that it is really hard for them to agree to give up alcohol forever. But they may be persuaded to do it for just a month. It is truly amazing to see the changes that can happen in your body if you agree to stop drinking for just 30 days. You might find that you:

  • Are sleeping better than you ever have before.
  • Have more physical energy.
  • Have more mental energy with clearer thoughts.
  • Start to look younger as your skin’s hydration returns to normal levels.
  • Lose weight and feel more fit.
  • Have better moods and feel happier overall.

In just a month’s time, your liver fat can be reduced by as much as 20%. That makes it better equipped to detox your body. Your cholesterol will also decrease and your blood sugar will stabilizes.

What is the Best Way to Get Help for an Alcohol Addiction?

If you are addicted to alcohol, getting professional help to stop drinking is highly recommended. An alcohol treatment program will help you with your withdrawal symptoms as well as with the underlying cause of the problem.

Your first step will be to go through the detoxification process. Alcohol detox involves lessening the severity of withdrawal and helping you feel better until the majority of your symptoms subside.

From there, you will move on to alcohol rehab, where you will learn why you started drinking. By treating the root cause, you will have a much better chance of long-term success.

Would you like more information about alcoholism recovery or our outpatient rehab center? Please contact us right away.

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Full Infographic:11 Surprising Benefits Youll Enjoy When You Quit Drinking Alcohol

January 28th, 2020|207 Comments


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

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

    • Decky November 20, 2018 at 5:08 am

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

    • Erika costell April 26, 2019 at 11:54 am

      After pregnancy i have decided to quit drinking for the health of me and my baby, and honestly it has changed my life. Me and (Ashley) My two year old have benefited so much from this and are trying to encourage Ryder my bf to give up on smoking. This article is so relate able and i hope you all well as you try to prosper in your new life of sobriety!

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

    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.

    • Matt March 13, 2019 at 11:25 pm

      This is so true!! I have been searching everywhere for this, My imagination and perception have exploded after 70 days alcohol free.

    • Adam khan July 18, 2019 at 8:49 am

      The blog was wonderful. It actually helped me to make my mind to quit alcohol from today. I left smoking 3years back too ,which i had been doing for 11years almost. This blog was very informative. Thank you so much. INN SHAA ALLAH i will be alcohol free soon.

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

    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

      I hope you are doing well!

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

      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

        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

      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

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

    • Loretta July 11, 2019 at 12:17 am

      I’m on day 3 and have some real drama at home and stress. It will be hard to give up my wine. I feel proud at the end of the day when I make it. I ordered oil paints today. Miss painting. Keep craving carbs at night badly. Thinking more clearly during the day. Hard to fall sleep. But sleep deep.

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

    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!

    • Christian June 13, 2019 at 11:13 pm

      Im starting sobriety today. Im 29 and im excited to see how my earlier new life will prosper. Drinking has never done anything good for me and i think its time to throw thw towel for good. Good luck everyone! God bless

      • Ashwood Recovery June 26, 2019 at 4:40 pm

        Best of luck on your sober journey!

    • Deekay July 28, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Still sober ?
      Or given in ?

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

    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

      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!

      • Mantas March 2, 2019 at 5:38 pm

        Alchohol is bad,but worst one is strong alko like vodka or whiskey,ive been drinking home-made vodka for 3years now and in general 8 years im alchoholik and im only 25,ive been sober for 5weeks now,and i realized that i have only one or two real friends ,it was drinking that connected us,one great bonus now is that i feel more taste and food is deliciuos)))wish me luck,and i will pray for you guys doesnt matter what is your religion))))

        • Ashwood Recovery March 6, 2019 at 9:41 pm

          Great job on your sobriety! We wish you continued success on your recovery journey!

    • Brian June 13, 2018 at 1:05 am

      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.

      • jack February 15, 2019 at 2:59 pm

        @John, same low energy problem for me and it lasted two months. I was so tired and physically exhausted that all I could do was get to work and then back home into the bed for nearly 12 hours of sleep every night. All I kept thinking was the bottle of wine and 4-6 beers I would drink every night and how terrible that must have been for my body.

        About 9 weeks of sobriety until I was literally a new man. At 12 weeks I started to do a daily walk and added in some pushups and squats. At 48 years old I have ruined the physique I used to have and doubt I will ever be good looking again…have to accept the damage from all those “fun” nights over the last 20 years.

        Being sober is the best thing I have ever done for myself. I could not imagine ever drinking alcohol again. When I want to drink I find my girlfriend and spend the energy on her satisfaction…works great.

    • Freida March 21, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      Hi John –
      When’s the last time you had a complete physical examination (with lab work)?
      It’s always a good idea to visit your Dr and get a complete physical. Sometimes people have other physical or medical problems that may not be related to drinking. If you stopped drinking for that many weeks and don’t feel much better, I would go the Dr and get a check up.
      Good luck!

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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

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

      • matty June 1, 2019 at 10:11 am

        Am starting from today .. it makes me depressed and down.. i say things i would never say when sober i feel its killing my chance of having a relationship also.. i will drink shandy as i do like to socialise so i do like going to the pub.. but i realise that alchol brings a diffrent side out to me and i dont like it .. i do only go out prob once a week and i dont drink in the house . But that one day seems to ruin everything

        • Ashwood Recovery June 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm

          Thank you for sharing your experiences! You can do this sober journey! How are you doing now that you are a few days in?

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

    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

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

    • Courtney November 28, 2018 at 5:24 pm

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

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

    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

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

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

    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

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

    • Danielle September 7, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      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

        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

    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

      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

        Blessed thank you.

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

    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

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

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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

      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

        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?

        • Steve July 13, 2019 at 5:33 am

          Hi Kris,

          Sorry for the late reply. I actually forgot about this page, and then I found it again today by doing a Google search.

          Since my last comment, I haven’t really changed anything. Still drinking, but I’ve had to stop recently due to a gout flare up on my foot. It was really painful for a couple of days, and now still sore after 2 weeks. So, I haven’t drank for about 2 weeks now. I’ve had urges to drink, but remembering the pain gives me the motivation to resist drinking.

          I also recently got a checkup and the doc told me I have borderline high blood pressure, so that’s another thing I need to think about.

          To sum up: Mentally I feel better, less anxious. My mind is still not sharp/clear and my memory is subpar, but I do feel like I can better articulate my thoughts. Physically, I don’t feel any improvements yet. I still feel tired and lack energy.

          I’m really glad that my story helped you in some way. Despite my own struggles, I would love to see others succeed and live good lives.

          How are you? I hope you’re doing well.

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

    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

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

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

    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

      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

    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

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

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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

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

    thanks this so helpful to stop drinking

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

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

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

    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

    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

      So glad that this article resonated with you.

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

    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

      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

    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

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

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

    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

      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

    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

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

    • Jeffery June 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      With nearly 20 years of abuse, drugs and alcohol no longer have the desired effect on me. I admitted myself into a detox centre, and will be soon attending Rehab. Only One week into sobriety, but I am astonished that being sober actually feels “high”. It’s like I’ve been living in the dark and quitting has turned the lights on! I know the journey ahead will be difficult, but at least I can see where I’m going now, and remember where I’ve been.

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

    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

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

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

    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

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

    • Courtney November 28, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      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

    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

      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

    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

      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

    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

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

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

    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

      Congratulations to you Kris! Happy holidays.

      • Kris December 13, 2018 at 4:08 am

        Thank you ??
        Tomorrow will be day 16!!!

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

          Keep it up, Kris! Congratulations.

        • Bill McG July 29, 2019 at 4:13 am

          Congratulations Kris. This is day 1 for me. I recognize that I need to stop drinking. It has become an every night occurrence and it triggers anxiety, depression and other acting out behaviors. I will be better off without alcohol. I hope that you have been effective in your own recovery.

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

    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

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

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

    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

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

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

    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

      Thank you for the compliment. Happy new year!

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

    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

      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

    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

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

  45. T January 10, 2019 at 5:51 am

    I made it through day three. I know anxiety is an issue and I’ve been doing things to relax, care for myself and find sites like this to read in the evening. It helps to not feel alone. So far I’m doing well and haven’t felt severe withdrawals but I haven’t slept too good. I feel pretty tired now and think tonight will be better. Even with less than 8 hours of sleep I’ve still felt better during the day the past 3 days then I would have if I was drinking. I have some health issues and some recent blood tests showed high liver enzymes. This scared me pretty bad as well as other not so favorable blood results. Even though I’m scared, I’m grateful that I got a wake-up call. I’m truly tired of feeling like crap everyday. Glad I found this site. It’s been very helpful. Almost forgot to mention… Quit cigarettes too. On day 5 now. Double challenge but also double the quitting benefits. Yay. Thanks everyone.

    • Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      That is awesome T! You’ve definitely got this! Glad you are already feeling the benefits and wish you nothing but continued success and positivity!

  46. J. V.R January 10, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    I quit drinking after one guy I went out to dinner with got me so drunk that he took advantage of me. I was devastated and this happened before and I always blamed alcohol or people but it was time to quit pointing finger and man tf up! I made a list of why I wanted to drink and why I didn’t want to drink.. I quit completely.

    I recently went out to the nightclub and was having fun just on juice, I had never tried this before but I was so surprised of the positive effects it had on me. I love to go out sober now because I look sexier, I go home on time, and I sleep very good.
    And also when you’re sober you really get shocked how terrible and nasty fellow people can look dancing and bouncing with the most disgusting guys on the dance floor which they all regret the next day. And yes I was one of them! Nobody can mess with me ever again because I love the new me and won’t change it for nothing!

    I’ve been sober for 3 months now, I wish everyone good luck & never give up!

    25 year old girl.

    • Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 3:59 pm

      That is an awesome revelation about sobriety! I’m glad you shared your experiences of still going out and having fun, as many think they cannot. Great job for your 3+ months of recovery – keep up the great work!

    • Crissy June 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Ugh! I had the same situation happen to me. I swore I would never drink ever again. But instead I resorted to drinking at home by myself or family ONLY. This approach still has a negative effect as I am always working out, trying to eat healthy but not reaching my full potential physically and in my business. I honestly can say that for the past 6 years that I have called in sick to work, missed an important event, deadline or lost a fitness challenge, it was all because of alcohol. I want to quit so bad, but I live in as household that drinking every day is “normal”, my co-workers’ and friends “reward” everything with alcohol and frankly feel like I am in a situation where if I don’t drink at least occasionally, I am not “normal.” I have tried quitting many times but always convince myself that I just need to have more control. But I really don’t. I am a functioning alcoholic. Somewhat successful who is trying to make up for the abuse alcohol gives to my body by eating healthier and exercising, even when hungover. The days where I don’t drink is it almost impossible for me to sleep. I am going to do it. I really want to be in top shape and also use up all that time for better things. I am 39, divorced, no kids and this addiction has ruled my life for the past 7 years!

      • Ashwood Recovery June 6, 2019 at 7:30 pm

        You can do it Crissy! If you need help we are here for you. We wish you all the best on your journey!

  47. Lynn January 11, 2019 at 11:21 pm

    I have been sober for 34 days…. Day 1 was the day after I fell down my basement steps drunk. I ended up in the ICU with many broken ribs, both of my lungs were punctured, had a fractured vertebrae and a laceration on my spleen. It was a wake up call for me. I drank everyday for the past two years. Drinking until I passed out. I am lucky to be alive. Quit before you make a mistake like I did. One day at a time. Good luck on your journey. You are worth it

    • Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing Lynn! Yes, one day at a time, and before you know it the days have added up! Awesome job on 34+ days of sobriety – keep working hard and wishing you nothing but the best!

      • Debbie July 6, 2019 at 10:26 pm

        I know I have a problem but would never admit it or say I was weak! My friend said some really important words to me you have never been a weak person since I met you but beer is your Kryptonite and that only weakens you but you have never been a weak person. That means so much to me considering so many people do not get it and are trying to actually sabotage my choice for detox.

  48. Kawaljit January 16, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    True. Thanks for true, nice and inspiration knowledge and aware for better life by quit alchohal. I felt my face skin glow and i used to spend time to reading books and other positive activities of life after quitting alchohal. My life changed now and i feel better life.

    • Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for sharing the benefits you have experienced after stopping alcohol! We wish you nothing but the best as you continue your sober journey!

  49. This has been a helpful read. J January 17, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Very good supportive info.
    I drank wine ?.. no biggie..(my thoughts) I would find more time thru the day to hv a glass.. while cookn.. out in bkyrd with husband…sittn out on Terrace with husband.. after a walk with husband.. after and before Open Houses with husband…..and husband of 4 yrs drinks a whole lot..usually and mostly beer…some wine n shots.
    So..he come up age 60 and Insomnia..he’s still figuring cause.. it’s been bout 2 weeks. My thinkn quit my drinkn to support him thinkn to quit..due to his insomnia.. sleep snoring..(I’ve seen all the above alcohol/alcoholic)..with husband . .I also hv an alcoholic sister in Family .. I’ve seen and dealt with all that mess too (made choice to not be her door mat anymore)..then thru my recent Dad’s passn.. seein how others in family hv alcohol issues as well/crutch.
    Anyway..I am feeling better.. I seem more patient I’m sleeping good I’m interested in doing other things I don’t have to fall asleep while watching TV. I think I need to continue this nondrinking. I wouldn’t drink to the point of over excess I felt I knew when to stop. I’m experiencing a good Feeling over all.
    I have mentioned to husband he needs to have his blood work done and start from there. He has cut down pretty drastically but it’s only been about two weeks I would say he’s like 85% cut down. But I believe he knows and he has said he needs to cut down. So I can see me not drinking is going to help his issues in the long run. This has been a helpful read.

    • Ashwood Recovery January 21, 2019 at 3:38 pm

      There are definitely positive benefits in quitting drinking alcohol, even if you weren’t doing it excessively to start. Wishing you both nothing but the best!

  50. Mike January 25, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Im not addicted to alcohol but I like to go out on Friday or Saturday night with friends and get tipsy at the night club or local hang out. Then I drink to much and hate feeling like crap the next day. I’m in really good shape and well in my BMi range but alcohol can even make me feel like crap and deteriorate even a healthy person that eats right and trains. I’m a personal trainer and in the health industry so I should be smarter about this and know how alcohol can swerve u from ur goals. I was an athlete for about 15 years before I even had a drink and felt super great with unlimited energy. Alcohol can depriciate that. I work out 4-5 days a week and have seen and felt what alcohol can do by depreciation in my work outs. I’m quitting completely now cuz I know how it can take away time, money, well being, and u can make stupid mistakes. I’m 40 now so it’s time to take a bigger step in the right direction and goals. God bless and say no to booze. Stay strong

    • Ashwood Recovery January 29, 2019 at 3:54 pm

      Thank you for sharing your personal experiences with alcohol, Mike. We agree that there are major benefits to quitting drinking. We wish you the best on your sober journey!

  51. Jonathan S January 29, 2019 at 1:48 am

    I’m a chronic relapser. I want to quit but haven’t been able to. I’ve done a few weeks or months here and there before I convince myself that I’m cured, that this time will be different. It never is. And it’s always worse. My accute withdrawal is beyond intense and would defer any normal person but yet I’ve always gone back. Today is day 1, I’m still determined. Thanks for all the great posts. Going to get there.

    • Ashwood Recovery January 29, 2019 at 3:50 pm

      Jonathan, you are strong enough to do this! If you find yourself needing help we are always here 24/7! We wish you the best on your sober journey!

  52. John M February 4, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Hi everyone. I had been drinking heavily for a few years, a bottle of wine every night was easy. I’ve wanted to stop for quite a while but it was always tomorrow! Why did I drink? Because I liked it. I knew it was not good for me but I did enjoy it.
    So what made me want to stop? Just the thought of what would my liver be like in 5 years time. Plus, I hate the thought of my wife spending her later years on her own if I died early. (We don’t have children)
    Tonight is the end of day 7. So along way to go to let my body repair itself, but I feel I’ve taken a huge step in the right direction. My energy levels have gone through the roof and can now easily complete an extra 15 mins with my exercise routine.
    I tried alcohol free wine but I just didn’t like the taste.
    I have found alcohol free beer to be a great alternative, it has just enough taste to takeaway the desire for wine.
    Good luck to everyone, stay strong.

    • Ashwood Recovery February 6, 2019 at 9:39 pm

      Thank you for sharing your personal experiences and great job making it through the first week! That is definitely a huge step in the right direction! Wishing you all the best for yourself and your wife as you continue your sober journey!

  53. Annette February 4, 2019 at 8:10 pm

    Great article! I love drinking…but, I hate the way I feel afterwards. I am tired of hurting my body and feeling crappy all the time. I don’t drink every day. But, when I do, it’s like I have a hard time stopping. So I have decided to quit. I know it will be tough but, I want to feel better..in body and in mind

  54. Michiel February 17, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for the article and reactions. I’ve been sober for 38 days now, also quit smoking at the same time. I decided to check into a clinic cause i wasn’t able to do this myself. Normally that program takes 6 weeks but I checked myself out after 6 days cause i have kids and a busy job (I’m a ‘controlled’ alcoholic). I do feel all the benefits that most people enjoy. Lot’s of energy, sleep well, skin looks better, look younger in general. I’m so much more productive at work and such a better father for my kids.
    It’s getting easier every week to not smoke or drink but some evenings either my mind or body or both seem to want some. Reading or writing something like this helps. I was drinking every day for at least 25 years and lot’s of it. Your mind will not forget that in a few weeks but it gets better every day and it is so worth it.
    All the best to all of you doing or wanting to do the same thing.

    • Ashwood Recovery February 19, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with quitting alcohol and smoking. We are glad to hear about your 38 days of sobriety – you are doing great! Feel free to provide us updates on your progress, we wish you all the best!

  55. John J. February 18, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for the thoughtful article with so much great info!! I came here for validation that quitting was the right thing for me and found it! Just knowing others feel the same as I do helps immensely! One month of no alcohol and I already feel peaceful, sleep better, skin cleared, more focused at work, and a better member of society by never driving “buzzed” again! There’s a blissful feeling that I haven’t felt in years although I do find I cry easier at emotional movies/tv….not sure why but not a terrible side effect of sobriety! Thank you for your contribution to people wanting to stop drinking. I started at 15, stopped at 49, so anyone can do it if I can!

    • Ashwood Recovery February 19, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you! It is likely the crying easier is just a reaction to being sober when viewing sad items, as you are now emotionally sober too and can experience all the emotions. We wish you nothing but continued success on your sober journey!

  56. Alex February 19, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    I recently had an ultra sound of the pelvis and abdomen and my GP also told me that my liver looked rough. So…I poured the 2.5 litre bottle of pear cider down the sink and a bottle of wine and started a new Life. I liked wine and a beer, but was eating many many packets of crisps with this and could easily drink a bottle of wine. And this over many years..

    When I think of the chemicals, fat and nasty things I poured into my body ad soaked my brain and blood stream with this muck.

    But it was especially bad when I lost my two beloved dogs within the space of two months and just found life very hard. I suppose that alcohol was a crutch.

    I like the taste of alcohol, going out and treating myself to a bottle of Shiraz orMerlot but it rally affected my sleep and my heart would b pounding away all night till about 4.30am and then finally..I would sleep. Get up groggy and never eve be fully awake.

    When I got the liver result, I thought – this is a wake up call as I thought – it is now or never. I on;;t want to die or ruin my body and happiness.

    Anyhows, I have been dry for a fortnight and feel a lot less tired, have more energy and a getting more things done. Sleep is still not the best, but I just feel more “with it”, alert and have started doing things I used to put off.

    I have started nutri bullets and have no desire for crisps as I am not drinking alcohol. I have started eating healthily and feel like a new me. IN fact, my best friend said that even my voice has changed and I sound more alert and alive.

    I think that alcohol is a silent drug and a killer.

    I am proud of myself, but the wake up call was what the GP said “I can ell you drink from teh shape of the liver”.

    I realise now that there is a life without wine and ale and cuider ad that I d not need these things to e happy or escape lifes ups anddowns.

    I want to be kind to my liver and build my life

    • Ashwood Recovery February 19, 2019 at 6:09 pm

      Awesome job on starting your sober journey off strong! Glad you are feeling/seeing the benefits of not drinking! We wish you nothing but continued success and happiness!

  57. sslaxy February 21, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Thank you all for your wonderful expiriences. i lost my mum at age 9 and started drinking. there were hitches because i use to stop for weeks even months and awwch the booze will start again. am on my fourth day of sobrity and i promise my self after reading the above articles that iam stopping dinking. this time no turning back. Jah help me.

    • Ashwood Recovery February 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you! Congratulations on your 4+ days of sobriety – Keep going you are doing great!

  58. Andy Chequers February 23, 2019 at 4:19 pm

    I’m on day 54 of no drink and this helped a lot.


    Andy (uk)

    • Ashwood Recovery February 26, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you! Congratulations on your 54+ days of being alcohol-free! We wish you all the best as you continue on your journey!

  59. Ahmad February 26, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Thank you. A very helpful article and comments by everyone.

    Alcohol started as a fun thing to do with friends over the weekends for most of my 20s, but then life threw a couple of blows at me with family issues, work and a relationship in my early 30s and I escaped my problems by drinking more.. daily.. 1/2 a bottle of hard liquor in extreme days.. until I was diagnosed with a mental disorder called “unrealization” which, in short, is an extreme case of anxiety.. kills the ability for anyone to be happy, let alone function as a normal person..

    I blamed everything and everyone around me except my drinking and when things went out of control, I eventually decided to go to therapy and found out that 99% of what I had to struggle with for a good 3 years was because of alcohol.. I am 34 now..

    Despite me understanding that alcohol is the main reason for mental disorders like anxiety, depression etc I still find it hard to accept it.. living in denial perhaps.. but this article and comments shared by everyone (and I have read many) went right through me and I have decided to quit drinking for good, hoping for a better life.. My 3rd day..

    Wishing everyone else the best in their attempt to live happier as well..

    • Ashwood Recovery February 26, 2019 at 5:27 pm

      Glad this article resonated with you! We wish you all the best as you continue your sober journey and if you ever find it too hard or want help on your journey we will always be here for you.

  60. Freida March 21, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    I noticed more drinking causes more eating and now my waistline is showing it. I work out regularly (always have) and generally eat healthy foods. I am planning to cut down from 2 glasses of wine to one or none.
    I am not buying any larger clothing. I am getting older and I know my body cannot handle this much alcohol anymore.

    • Ashwood Recovery April 3, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experiences! We wish you all the best on your journey!

  61. Krish C April 25, 2019 at 7:04 am

    I am starting the journey of no alcohol. (after 20 years of regular drinking) so help me god.

    • Ashwood Recovery April 25, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      You can do it! Whatever your reason for making this choice, we believe in you and hope you are finding great benefits in your newfound sobriety!

  62. Kai April 25, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Great information, thanks for this

    • Ashwood Recovery April 25, 2019 at 9:54 pm

      We are glad the article resonated with you!

  63. Samantha April 29, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Thanks for the insight. I have two children and believe that alcohol is just not something that agrees with parenting. I am doing this for my kids and myself! Wish me luck.

    • Ashwood Recovery May 15, 2019 at 7:58 pm

      We wish you all the best for you and your family!

  64. AB May 10, 2019 at 2:54 pm

    67 days without any alcohol, 45 without a cigarette. It took a lot for me to quit because I thought I would loose my freedom, my social life, some piece of myself if I quit drinking. It’s true, my habits have changed, but I have come to realize just how conditioned I was to think I needed alcohol to mark every milestone or just relax. I love having a clear head and knowing that I have the willpower to make good decisions for myself. I hope this helps someone take that leap for themselves, too. Good luck to all.

    • Ashwood Recovery May 15, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing! Congrats on the 67+ days of sobriety from alcohol and 45+ days without nicotine! We wish you nothing but continued success!

  65. Nick May 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Hey everyone, I’m currently at my 2 week mark alchohol and marijuana free. I have suffered from anxiety for the last couple of months pretty severely. At points almost feeing like i would never feel normal again. After quitting I started to go to the gym again after almost 8 years not being active. It’s helped me so much and has given me the motivation to keep on staying sober and my anxiety has almost gone away substantially. If there is anyone experiencing anxiety like myself I just want to say it will get better with a life of sobriety. I’m going forward and never looking back. Wish the best to all.

    Sincerely, Nick 25

    • Ashwood Recovery June 3, 2019 at 4:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, Nick! We wish you continued success on your sober journey!

  66. John May 19, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies, for the hardest victory is over self. Aristotle

  67. patricia May 31, 2019 at 6:44 am

    I feel grateful that I discovered this blog. I have been on again off again for a long time, and reading all of the people so willing to share their story is uplifting and encouraging.

    • Ashwood Recovery June 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you and that you are enjoying the community here as well. We wish you all the best!

  68. John May 31, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    It is been two days without alcohol and I feel better. My productivity has improved. Alcohol has wasted my finances and it has been around only three years but now I have called it quits.

    • Ashwood Recovery June 3, 2019 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you for sharing and offering hope to those searching! Glad you are already seeing benefits after just a few days! We wish you all the best as you continue!

  69. JM June 3, 2019 at 11:05 am

    The first step to quitting alcohol is to decide that you do want to quit. This article would really be able to encourage people to take that step once they know the benefits they would get from quitting. Making them “want to” is the key.

  70. lil baby zo June 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    i was addicted to pills at 17 and went to rehab at 19. I have been sober 3 years and still am very young! giving up alcohol saved my life and gave me my soul back. I almost died several times I am so lucky. i will stay sober the rest of my life, i rediscovered my passions, have positive relationships, and still look 19 in comparison to others my age drinking a lot that look way older than they are. this is a great and true article! thank you

    • Ashwood Recovery June 26, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Great job on your sobriety! We wish you continued success on your recovery journey!

  71. Xcort June 17, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    After years of drinking beers and sometimes whisky everyday, now im sober for a week and found lots of benefits,financially, physically and mentally. I love being sober. I can concentrate on my jobs and activities which i do after being sober for just a week.

    • Ashwood Recovery June 26, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      That’s awesome! Glad you are finding benefits in sobriety after just a week! We wish you all the best on your recovery journey!

  72. adeel ahmed June 17, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    A very nice and a very helpful article if you areserious about quitting read it once a day and don’t let your thought on quitting run away.well done

    • Ashwood Recovery June 26, 2019 at 4:37 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you! We wish you all the best on your recovery journey!

  73. Gill June 21, 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Hi I have just come out of hospital treated for acute pancreatitis. Have finally had to be honest about how much I was drinking nearly every day and following treatment my scan shows some fattiness to liver, but told this is reversible……..But if I drink alcohol again it could literally be the end of me . Pretty scary, but a wake up call in time for me to do something about it. Gonna be hard…but will try keeping a diary to see positive changes to mind and body as a reminder to self why I have to admit I cannot just ‘drink occasionally’ am an all or nothing kind of person. Any tips to stay strong much appreciated 🙂

    • Ashwood Recovery June 26, 2019 at 4:23 pm

      Keeping a diary is a great idea! As for tips to stay strong, I would suggest staying busy – start a new hobby or pick up an old one. If you are too busy to think about it, then the time will pass faster. We wish you all the best!

  74. E July 6, 2019 at 1:02 am

    These “moral hangovers” were truly the worst part for me. I could remember nothing after only the first few hours of drinking.

    I recently stopped, but getting back to the excellent performance I’ve shown at work in recovery seems slow. However, alcoholics are inherently impatient. I encourage all of you to simply count on what this article insists will improve if you stay the course! God bless.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you for sharing! We wish you all the best!

  75. Debbie July 6, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Thank you for the diary idea I think as I become a bit more clear this would be great way to express my feelings, something new to do just for me and keep a record of my great, good and bad days. I Pray I will start new habits when I come home from detox

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 6:12 pm

      You are most welcome for the idea! Hopefully, this will help you out, and you may even notice some triggers as well.

  76. Mick July 12, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Hi I’m doing dry July I drink nearly 12 to 16 beers nearly every night and smoke cigarettes and somehow still get up and go to work .im on the second week without a drop.I feel great I’m loosing weight and my mind is getting clearer. A lot more time with my two young boys and feeling a lot happier in life .hopefully at the end of the month I won’t get back into my bad habits .

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      That’s awesome! Glad you are finding the benefits of no alcohol!

  77. Lianna July 13, 2019 at 5:49 am

    After many failed attempts in the past, I have now been sober for 16 days. From one day to the other, I did not even think that I was going to do it! I have not felt this good in my life: I stay focussed, I have control over my emotions, I am in balance, I am happy and patient, I am so much more aware of the world around me, I sleep 7+ hours a night. I am so determined to stay this physically- and mentally healthy and happy that I sincerely don’t care about the reactions within my social circle. For all I know they are simply envious that I took this step and that I am hanging on to my life without alcohol. How cool is it to say with a lovely smile: “no wine thanks, I don’t drink alcohol”. Oh sacred and sexy sobriety.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 5:59 pm

      Great job on your sobriety!

  78. csd July 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm

    I’m 35 from the UK. I have been drinking since I was 13/14 and decided it is time to give it up. I’m a binge drinker so like to get drunk at the weekend maybe one night, maybe two or three nights. I seem to plan around when I can have my next drink. I did dry January and lasted a month and a half. This is one of the best sites I have come across to hear other stories and seek advice. All of my social activities revolve around family and friends drinking of a weekend. Luckily my partner is not a big drinker so that is helpful. Good luck to everyone out there and remember to take one day at a time that makes it seem more achievable. I try to keep a diary and read articles to help. 2 days sober

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Awesome job on your sobriety – Keep up the great work!

  79. Maggieu July 19, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Into my 2nd week and every day I make a top 10 list of the benefits am feeling and seeing

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 5:57 pm

      That’s awesome! You will continue to see the benefits, so keep it up!

  80. Ivan Turner July 22, 2019 at 2:46 am

    Well today marks the first day on my journey. I have been an alcoholic for going on 22 years. I have lost a wife, a small fortune through the divorce which was definitely alcoholic related. I have only consumed the liquor after 5 p.m. It has gotten so bad that people tell me that they smell alcohol on my breath even 12 hours after having drank. My skins has began to sag and there is just a weird tone to my skin. At any rate, I want to live and prosper and would not want to die and my loving daughters being told that I died of consumption. Thank you all for sharing your stories and thank you for allowing me to share mine. Peace and God Bless!

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 9:59 pm

      Thank you for sharing! We wish you all the best on your recovery journey!

  81. Janet July 28, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Quit in 2003… life has been better ever since. No more hangovers, no more regrets and not remembering my bad choices will not ever happen again. I suggest everyone stay clean and sober. Alcohol not only effects your decisions, your memory and have a negative impact on your life but if you chose to get behind the wheel it can be deadly. I lost an 18 year old child to a drunk driver and this I will never recover from. It was a senseless death.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you for sharing your experiences, and sorry for your loss! Alcohol can definitely impact a person’s life in many ways, so great job on your sobriety since 2003!

  82. David Yutar July 31, 2019 at 10:11 am

    A really informative and interesting article and website. I had a serious heart attack five years ago. Since then I have become a devout and committed exercise freak. I walk on average 6km at least four times a week and sometimes (like yesterday) up to 13km. In summer I swim an average of 40 lengths of a 25m pool. I have never smoked and 8 months ago I decided to quit drinking and have not returned to the habit. I feel much healthier and my weight has dropped from 84 kg to 74kg. Quitting drinking was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Do the health benefits of abstinence increase, the longer one abstains? Thanks for the post. David

    • Ashwood Recovery August 1, 2019 at 10:18 pm

      Every person is different, so it is hard to know if more health benefits will occur the longer you abstain. However, once all toxins are removed from the body you will notice a difference. That can happen right away, or develop over time. Great job on your sobriety and healthy habits!

  83. Ted August 1, 2019 at 3:02 am

    I need help. My life is ruined because of drinking. I want to live a sober and better life than this. I’m tired of damaging my body. One time I was throwing up so bad that I thought that I had torn my esophagus. My skin turns red and my eyes turn yellow. I ache because my insides hurt from all the throwing up and the heavy drinking. Please keep me in your prayers.

  84. Karen August 22, 2019 at 4:14 am

    Today is day 4 of a long road ahead. You see I started drinking 40 years ago and I am only 57. I already feel better. I had to taper my drinking for the past 3 weeks. My last drink was on my 57th birthday… my last margarita. This article has helped me understand what I can look forward to. I can do this, as I have a great support system.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 26, 2019 at 5:52 pm

      That is awesome! We are glad you tapered and are already feeling better! Keep up the great work and feel free to continue to update with your status, providing others with hope and encouragement!

  85. Damian August 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I have decided to stop drinking im 41 now and I have been drinking heavily since my early twenties it has given me health issues like severe fatigue.
    It has also has put a strain on my relationship with my Partner. Tbh im surprised she has stuck around my mood swings have been up and down because of the alcohol. So I’m now determined to make a fresh start.

    • Ashwood Recovery August 26, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Awesome choice to get sober! Since you have been drinking for so long, you may want to check with a clinic that can help. Depending upon the amount you have been drinking, your withdrawals can get too severe. Ashwood can help, if you want to give us a call at (844) 678-7713 or visit us online at https://www.ashwoodrecovery.com/contact-us.php We want the best for you and your partner!

  86. Gordo August 28, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I’m a casual drinker and I’ve been cutting back. I’ve found buying a lot of water, especially the carbonated water with no sugars in cans takes the place of having something in your hand to ease anxiety in social gatherings. I remember Sam on Cheers used to drink bottled water to stay sober and I learned that was an actual technique used in real life. The only thing I’ve seen is a hit to my social life. I’m not as welcome anymore in clubs or music venues that depend on booze sales to stay afloat if I go in and just order a club soda for $3 instead of spending $20 a night. Almost treated ambivalently from owners and bartenders who were once friendly.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 5, 2019 at 4:21 pm

      Thanks for sharing your tip – that’s definitely a great one! I have also heard others put the carbonated waters in a cup so it looks similar to a drink, to avoid questions about not drinking. We wish you all the best on your journey!

  87. Candice R Reed August 30, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    This article really helped me. My husband died of a massive heart attack last September, and although he was athletic and healthy, he drank about 6 cocktails a day. I think alcohol killed him. Now that he’s gone, I really want to stop. I drink about 3 glasses of wine a night, but I also binge at parties. I am a grown-ass woman and it’s time I take a look in the mirror and stop for my granddaughter, my friends, myself and my husband. Here I go!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 5, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      Sorry about your husband, but you have much to continue living for! Once you have decided to stop for you, there should be nothing to get in your way! We wish you all the best and if you feel like you need a little boost, we are here!

  88. Rob September 1, 2019 at 8:53 am

    Every story is different. At the age of 68 I suppose you could say I’ve got away with drinking and I’ve never been into total excess, however – I’ve lately been drinking at least half a bottle of wine a day, I “treat myself” to a few G&Ts on the weekend as a reward and then there’s a beer here and there, oh, and a friend is coming round who likes whisky – I’d better buy a bottle which then only lasts a few days. I’ll go a month or two each year to re-set the goal posts and tolerances, then I’ll creep back to the exact same place I was before. Here’s my conclusion: For people like me, drinking alcohol has been a long one way street which I cannot go back up no matter what, you can only slip further down the road. The answer is simply get off the road. I’ve always felt great when I stop, so this time is for good. I’ve instantly replaced my drinking with 6 days a week exercising and other activities, and have binned the blood pressure tablets and hope for some extra years of fulfilled and active life.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 5, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is never too late to get off that road and hope you enjoy the many benefits that come with no alcohol!

  89. Mario September 4, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Amazing article! I had drinking problems in my family. Here is a great way I found to quit with alcohol. I hope it helps some others!

    • Ashwood Recovery September 5, 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Glad the article resonated with you and we wish you all the best!

  90. Tova Martin September 8, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Seven days ago my husband I both decided to stop drinking. Between the two of us we were regularly finishing off a bottle of whiskey every night, and never drinking before 7 or 8pm. This has gone on for the last four or five years. During that time I also quit running, which was something that once brought me a lot of joy. We both have gained weight, I’ve gained so much the my workout clothes are multiple sizes too small.

    Last week I just decided I was tired of being tired all the time. Since we stopped drinking, I have slept so well. So much so, that I took off work one day to keep sleeping. I can only assume this is my body detoxing after years of abuse. We went to a party for a friend last. Ugh this and just drank pop. It was fine, we left early because drinking was the primary focus of the party…

    I’m hoping to start running again this week.

    • Ashwood Recovery September 9, 2019 at 6:55 pm

      That’s awesome that you and your husband have decided to not drink together. I applaud you both for also not giving in at the party! Best of luck on your running and your sober journey!

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