When you stop drinking, you’ll quickly notice lots of changes and benefits – some big, some small. Some days it’s easy to take it all for granted and forget just how bad things were. So here’s my list of all the things I love about not drinking. It’s a work in progress. Let me know what’s on yours.

Money: I had no idea how much I was spending on alcohol because I tended to pick up a bottle of wine here and there. It’s still hard to put an exact figure on it, but nights out + plus several bottles of wine a week, (and all the extras that came with that, like taxis, takeaways and days off work) were a real drain on my finances.

Skin: My skin began to look brighter and clearer almost straightaway. I never have a puffy face any more and my eyes are whiter.

Weight: This one took a while, but I dropped a dress size after I stopped drinking. Hardly surprising, as wine has so many calories in it.

Sleep: I get eight hours solid every night. No more waking up at 4am for me. I love my bed.

Eating better: I always liked cooking healthy food but could never be bothered. Now I think about what I’d like to eat and I actually go to the supermarket before the fridge is empty.

I get things done: I’ve always been a list maker, but I was also a great procrastinator. I love getting things crossed off my to-do list.

More energy: This must be linked to the sleep/food thing.

I feel happier: I’d noticed that drinking made me feel very depressed the day after a big binge. But I’d almost got used to the constant stream of negativity that ran through my head every single day. If I wasn’t worrying about drinking I was hating myself, feeling guilty and upset by my lack of control. Getting rid of all that noise has been pretty amazing.

Memory: I can actually remember the plot lines on TV shows so I don’t have to keep watching the same episodes twice!

Time: This is a big one for me. It feels like finally, there are 24 hours in a day. Drinking steals time from you. There’s the time you waste when you’re thinking about drinking, the blurry hours lost while drunk and the time spent recovering from it all. The whole process can swallow up days at a time. How I ever got anything done I will never know.

Feeling my feelings: I used to numb out everything, good and bad. Sobriety means ploughing on through the bad days but as a result I think there are fewer of them. Emotionally I think I am more balanced than I ever was before. And the good days are really good 😀

 

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