Your thoughts are jumbled and you’re feeling worn out. Half-truths are evolving into flat-out lies. You can’t sleep at night, so you tie on another one. Then another. Depression is taking hold. What started as a quick and refreshing way to relax, has ballooned into the number one problem in your life. Your relationships are starting to take a back seat. You see worry painted on your family and friend’s faces. Taking the top place is your new friend, alcohol. You know you NEED to quit drinking, but do you WANT to quit?
Let’s look at a few scenarios: Maybe you’re beginning to see a downward pattern develop in your life. Or, maybe you just want to quit drinking “for a little while” and take a break. There are countless reasons to quit drinking. Relationships suffer, your health goes through the wringer, and your future could be impacted. Maybe you’re getting a little sick and tired of feeling guilty and find yourself apologizing constantly. Whatever your reasons are for wanting to quit drinking, that’s your business. If you feel you need help, there is counseling available. Call the Rehab Helpline for Drugs and Alcohol to begin a fresh start. 877-467-4825.
1- Alcohol causes hangovers. 2- Alcohol is expensive. 3- Alcohol causes health problems. 4- Alcohol takes a toll on your mental health. 5- Alcohol puts you and others at risk.
Waking up with a pounding headache, chills, and a supremely upset stomach is no way to start your day. Even if you have the day to yourself, is that really how you want to spend your day? Alcohol causes hangovers and who has time for that? When you consider quitting drinking, you’re considering a healthier lifestyle. Alcohol is a societal staple. Resisting can be hard, especially at first. Then there’s pressure from friends, colleagues, even family. However, the day after drinking they probably won’t be feeling too great. When all your friends are clawing their way out of bed, you can feel refreshed and find something productive to do with your day. With your new outlook on mornings, the unobtainable became within reach. Dig deep.
The reasons to quit drinking can go on forever. Perhaps one of the biggest is how much money you’ll save once you quit drinking. Even if you choose a finite amount of time to “test the waters” of sobriety, you might be surprised at the money you save. Take a look at your credit card bill. How much went to booze this month? If that amount went toward your loans, how soon would you be debt free? You can pick up a new hobby or revive an old one. Have a destination you’ve been wanting to see? With the money you save from quitting drinking, you’ll have the funds to take a trip. Another idea is to sack some funds away for “rainy days” by putting some money into your savings. It can be a great motivator to see the money in your account grow. What a way to do it! Despite what others might tell you, alcohol is not particularly healthy. When you quit drinking, you start a healthy habit that also saves you money.
Now let’s touch on the price of your health. When you choose to quit drinking, you choose to put your health first. Alcohol affects your body in many ways. From the very first sip, alcohol starts to slow down your central nervous system. Your liver is the organ responsible for breaking down alcohol. Cirrhosis of the liver and other serious issues can arise. When you decide to quit drinking alcohol, your heart and brain are less stressed. Your brain controls all functions of your body. If you’re a chronic drinker, to the point of being an alcoholic, your brain is already working overtime. You are in a constant state of inflammation. When you quit drinking, your brain begins the healing process. Also, excessive drinking causes weight gain and weakens your immune system.
Guilt, stress, depression, memory problems, and addiction can all happen as a direct result of drinking alcohol. More than that, it becomes harder to put thoughts together. Once you quit drinking, you’ll be able to think clearer and recall things better. Those who struggle with mental illness might turn to alcohol to self-medicate for a variety of reasons which can include depression, bipolar disease, anxiety, and others. Guilt affects our mental health too. Alcohol has a nasty way of causing deep-rooted guilt. When you choose to quit drinking, an onslaught of feelings and emotions might arise. Take some deep breaths, slow your mind, and remember your specific reason for wanting to quit drinking. You got this!
If you quit drinking alcohol, you’ll be less likely to put yourself or others in risky situations. Sober people never have the problem of “having one too many” before getting behind the wheel. They tend to not engage in fights or take part in acts they deeply regret. If you have a habit of binge drinking, your chances of hurting yourself or someone else increase drastically. Binge drinking means having at least 5 drinks for a man or 4 drinks for a woman in a 2-hour period. Heavy drinking means binge drinking on 5 or more days in a month.
There is no right answer to this question. It will be different for everyone. Perhaps more importantly, have you a reason that is compelling enough, to commit to change a habit? Making changes to your life is never easy. Making a choice that will affect your future, such as choosing to quit drinking, might have you biting your nails at the thought. A big belief in people who first quit drinking is that activities they once enjoyed, won’t be as fun. Well think of this, you’ll be able to better remember what happened the night before, plus there is a near-zero chance of making a fool of yourself. With a clear head, you’ll be more daring to tackle larger more challenging projects in your life. You’ll take on big new hobbies, your former drinking self would have wilted from. There’s a bright day up ahead. Believe it. If you, a friend, or a family member is struggling with quitting alcohol, there are resources near you available. Call the Rehab Helpline for details. 877-467-4825
Tom Falcone is freelance copywriter and web developer, contributing regularly to various health, wellness, and financial publications.