For the alcoholic in denial, the obvious benefits of quitting alcohol are not always apparent.
Is it worth it to quit drinking? In the short term, one could argue that there are actually some benefits to drinking.
- Research suggests 1 glass of red wine a day can reduce your risk of heart disease
- Drinking can reduce inhibitations and help people bond
- Many social events revolve around drinking
- Drinking can be a nice way to unwind after a tough, stressful day
- Drinking can be fun
For an alcoholic however, the few short term benefits are far outweighed by the physical and psychological toll that alcohol abuse wreaks on your life. For the alcoholic, here are some of the many benefits of stopping drinking:
Reasons To Stop Drinking Alcohol
Improve Your Quality Of Life
When you’re a full-blown alcoholic, every aspect of your life suffers. Your health, your relationships, your career, your emotional well-being, etc. The more you spiral into the self-destructive cycle of alcoholism, the more damage you do to every facet of your life.
Quitting alcohol will not only give you an immediate improvement in your overall health, it will also allow you to slowly put your life back together.
Feel Physically Better
When you first quit drinking, the effects of alcohol withdrawal can be painful. But the average alcohol detox period only lasts 2-4 days, after which you’ll no longer be suffering the acute effects of alcohol abuse. You’ll no longer be in a perpetual cycle of hangovers, and your body can start to heal the damage done by years of chronic alcoholism.
Alcoholism is an expensive habit. Depending on your lifestyle, your level of alcoholism, and your poison of choice, you could be spending anywhere from $70 to $300 a week on alcohol and drinking related activities. That’s an average of $3640 to $15,600 a year, or $36,400 to $156,000 over a decade of alcoholism. You can read more about the financial toll of drinking here.
Alcoholism can also have a devastating effect on your earning potential. Once you quit drinking, you can start focusing on getting a job, or advancing your education or career again. All those wasted hours spent in a drunken stupor can be put towards more productive ends.
You will live longer
The statistics don’t lie – the average lifespan of a chronic alcoholic is 10-20 years shorter than a non-alcoholic. Quitting alcohol will not only improve your quality of life, it’ll let you enjoy more of it.
To someone ravaged by the self-destructive cycle of alcoholism, more life might not seem like a huge benefit right now. But when you actually sober up and take a holistic approach to improving your life, you’ll be able to build something truly worth living for.
Some alcoholics take the attitude that they’ve done so much damage to their body, they might as well keep drinking. This is a poor rationalization for alcoholism. Although its true that chronic alcohol abuse can do potentially do irreversible damage to the brain and liver, many of the negative physical consequences of alcohol abuse can be reversed. Furthermore, just because you’ve done some damage to your body, doesn’t mean you should continue to take more years off of your life.
Your relationships will improve
Overtime, alcoholics isolate themselves from those who truly care about them. Once you sober up, you’ll be able slowly rebuild those damaged relationships. You’ll also start to form new, healthy relationships as well. You’ll be able to communicate with people on an open and honest level, and frankly, you’ll be less of a jerk.
Quitting drinking also lets you cut out the toxic, destructive relationships that alcoholics tend to attract into their lives.
For some, the prospect of attempting to repair severely damaged relationships can be daunting, even downright frightening. However, you’ll never get the chance to try if you don’t quit drinking first. Don’t wait until its too late.
Take Action Today
Many of the benefits I’ve listed actually won’t seem like real, tangible benefits to the true alcoholic, especially if they’re depressed. To someone who’s done tremendous damage to their own health, their psychological well-being, their relationships, and their financial stability – the thought of rebuilding a life without alcohol can seem hopeless.
While it may seem hopeless and even meaningless at the moment, if you take recovery day by day, you’ll be able to slowly build the foundations of a life without alcohol. The benefits of quitting drinking are very, very real – don’t let the challenges of detox and recovery deprive you of a better life.
If you’ve managed to quit drinking, it’d be awesome if you could leave a quick comment below sharing your experiences in recovery. How has your life changed since you quit?
Who knows, your story might just strike a chord with another reader and motivate them to make a change in their life.