Quitting alcohol was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
That’s a statement that before 2014, I never thought I would make. Like everyone else, I had always assumed that my life would be worse without alcohol. I had always assumed that that sobriety would hurt my social life, that life would be less exciting, that my world would be much less fun, and that sober living would be miserable.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Quitting alcohol didn’t kill my social life as I thought it would. My life at this point is even more fun and exciting than it was when I was a drinker. And I’m actually happier than ever before.
Sobriety isn’t for everybody. Because as dangerous as it is, alcohol is still legal. And in all likelihood, it’s probably going to remain legal for a very long time. It’s everywhere. And many people don’t have a real need or desire to quit.
But a lot of people on the other hand—lots of people that I’ve spoken to—do have a desire to quit drinking, but haven’t made a commitment because they don’t know how to start or aren’t sure if they could ever find real happiness on the other side.
If you’re one of those people, this blog post is for you. The following are five life-qualities that I’ve Gained From 1 Year And 6 Months Of Sobriety—five qualities of life that you too will gain if you commit to giving up alcohol.
Happiness is the true underlying motivator for all human behavior. The desire to be happy is the true motivation behind every goal—whether it’s landing a great job, making lots of money, finding a life-partner, traveling the world, having sex, drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or helping others—that we chase after.
All we ever want from life is happiness.
So in a lot cases, people hesitate to commit to quitting alcohol because they’re afraid that they might lose out on the buzz, temporary happiness, enjoyment, camaraderie, and social interaction that alcohol adds to their lives.
But in reality, quitting alcohol is one of life’s greatest secrets for connecting with real fulfillment. Because the enjoyment you feel when you consume alcohol isn’t true happiness. It’s a short-term feeling of pleasure that fades away as you sober up.
The happiness that you feel when you aren’t consuming substances—purely from the enjoyment of your life—is more authentic, childlike, and permanent. And one of the best ways to tap into that childlike authentic happiness is by quitting alcohol and reconnecting with people, habits, places, that offer you real fulfillment.
True Happiness is the highest item on my list of What I’ve Gained From 1 Year And 6 Months Of Sobriety because quitting alcohol opened me up to connect with people, habits, and places—like meditation, exercise, writing, and green tea—that offer me real fulfillment. Quitting alcohol gave me the opportunity to find what makes me happy and do it.
Because when you no longer rely on the buzz, temporary happiness, enjoyment, camaraderie, and social interaction that alcohol provides, your only option is to go out into the world, find what makes you happy, and do it.
That alone is motivation enough to quit drinking.
Greater Excitement And Appreciation For Life
Quitting alcohol not only opened me up to reconnect with true happiness, sobriety also offered me a chance to reconnect with a genuine excitement and appreciation for life that I never felt as a drinker.
Drinking locked me into a cycle of excitement, anticipation, and appreciation for the weekend. Instead of pulling my excitement from the events, people, places, habits, relationships, and opportunities of my life, I was pulling all my excitement from that Friday-feeling that came over me during the weekends.
After I quit, I discovered that sobriety—on top of opening you up to connect with true happiness—forces you to stop living for the weekend and starting living for all seven days of the week.
When you start to live for every single day of your weeks, you’re going to find yourself getting excited for the little things that you couldn’t appreciate as much before like getting your goals accomplished, going to work, spending time with your friends of family, hitting the gym, talking a walk, spending time in nature, or simply just being alive. After you quit, you’re going to remember what it feels like to be excited purely for the opportunity to be alive.
When you’re hyped up, excited, and grateful for your life, it’s going to feel like nothing can stop you.
Authentic Inner Confidence
One of the main reasons that people gravitate to alcohol is for the liquid confidence, courage, or lack of inhibitions they feel when they’re drinking—the social-anxiety-release that opens them up for easier social interaction.
But the truth—the truth that alcohol corporations don’t want you to know—is that alcohol doesn’t boost or help your confidence. It actually hurts your confidence.
Drinking doesn’t boost your confidence. All it does is wipe away your inhibitions, allowing you to interact socially without any anxiety. But as far as building genuine confidence, alcohol doesn’t help. Instead, it acts like a crutch that holds you back from developing the authentic inner confidence that you need to interact with attractive people without the use of alcohol.
Being able to deliver a speech, perform a show, take the stage, nail a job interview, or approach a gorgeous woman without the use of substances is real confidence. Alcohol can’t give that to you. Real confidence is a quality you can only develop through overcoming your fears, taking control of your life, and getting your goals accomplished.
Quitting alcohol was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because sobriety gave me the opportunity to stop relying on alcohol for “liquid courage” and develop a sense of true inner confidence and freedom. And it will do the same for you when you make sobriety your lifestyle.
Hundreds If Not Thousands Of Dollars Of Saved Money
The next item on my list is simple.
I used to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on alcohol when I was a drinker. And now I don’t.
Have you ever considered tallying up the number of dollars you’ve spent on bottles and drinks over the past month, the past six months, or the past year? If you ever do decide to tally up the number of hard-earned dollars from your bank account that goes to alcohol, you might be shocked to find out that drinking is one of your biggest expenses—right up there with food and shelter.
For lots of people, saving those hundreds or thousands of dollars that could be spent on much more important stuff is reason enough leave alcohol behind. Because we all need money to get by.
I’ve found that over the past year and six months that I haven’t been drinking, my mental and physical health have improved by leaps and bounds.
Mentally, my memory is much better, my mind is sharper, and it’s easier for me to focus. Physically, I hit the gym much more often than I used to, I feel much more energetic, and my abstinence from beer has allowed me to get closer to a six-pack than I have ever been before!
Alcohol is the underlying cause behind certain types of cancer, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, mental health problems, domestic problems, unemployment and more. What makes drinking even worse is that it encourages you to take up other bad habits like smoking cigarettes.
Sobriety on the other hand not only improves your health, but also encourages you to take up positive habits like reading, reconnecting with family or friends, hitting the gym, and meditation.
Alcohol shaves years of longevity off of your lifespan. Sobriety adds more on.
Better Health is one of the most powerful benefits of quitting alcohol—more valuable than saved money. Because nothing could ever be more valuable than boosting your health and allowing yourself more time to walk this earth and enjoy your life while you still can.
For more motivation to quit your alcohol habit, make sure to subscribe to our weekly updates! And stay tuned for news about my forthcoming guidebook for quitting alcohol, to be published sometime in early 2016.