Many things start to happen when you quit drinking.
Some of these things are discussed frequently, whether they’re positive or negative.
You’ll often hear talk of the withdrawals that are experienced by alcoholics when they stop drinking, or you’ll hear about some of the positive things like being more healthy…
But here are some other effects of quitting drinking that might not be as widely discussed, but are certainly worth keeping in mind for anyone who is on the fence and is starting to think about alcohol cessation as a new lifestyle.
The Cold Hard Truth about Quitting Drinking
Something you’ll need to realize is that this experience is different for everybody. We can’t just tell you, here’s the one way to fix your own alcoholism, and that’s it.
Everyone’s path towards alcoholism is slightly different, everyone’s tolerance is different, everyone’s genetic susceptibility towards alcoholism is different, and everyone’s environmental factors are different. There are a lot of traits that can be tweaked even just a little bit in one direction or the other, that can lead to wildly different outcomes.
So, that’s the cold had truth. This experience won’t be the same for every person. Some folks reading this will decide they want to quit drinking, they’ll stop, and that’s it. They’re done. They never have another drink again.
Others, however, will struggle for years or even decades before coming to the realization that they need to quit drinking. Then, they’ll build up the courage and self-realization to take a step. They’ll stumble, and they’ll stumble again. They’ll give up. They’ll hit rock bottom, they’ll try again. They’ll stumble, and then finally things will click, whether it’s finding the right therapist, reading the right passage at the right moment, or meeting the right person who can help them. At the end of the day, it has to come from within, but there are so many factors that can effect someone’s recovery.
It would be much easier if everyone had the exact same experience, because then we could find the answers in the exact same place, and use the exact same strategies to help them get better. But that’s just not how it works.
The point of this isn’t to discourage you, it’s to let you know that while your situation is unique to you when it comes to the finer details, on a surface level, you’re not alone and there are countless other people struggling with the exact same demons that you’re battling.
Because of this, if you learn about someone who has an easy time quitting, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll also be able to just quit like you’re flicking a switch anytime you want. Some people trick themselves into thinking it’ll be easy, and they can quit whenever they want, which means they allow their alcoholism to keep hold over them for much longer than they should have, which means it digs its claws in deeper and becomes more difficult.
On the other hand, some people read horror stories of decades-long battles with alcoholism, and they use that as an excuse to not even try. “If so many other people have struggled and failed to overcome it, then why should they even try?” That, too, is a bad mindset to have.
You need the mindset of realizing that there are proven methods, strategies, and professionals who can help with alcoholism, who can help tailor something to your specific situation and needs. Everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s alcoholism is different, but there are enough similarities where a professional can help you take those first few steps, and then to find a program that’s suited to you.
Let’s talk about the effects of quitting drinking that aren’t always discussed…
With that out of the way, we can go over some of the less-often discussed things that you could expect to see, or to happen, when you quit drinking alcohol.
The Effects of Quitting Drinking on Your Social Life
This one can go either way.
If you’re someone who has isolated yourself from a lot of your friends and family, or burnt bridges due to your alcoholism, or hurt people you care about…
Then quitting drinking is an important step towards mending those bridges. Now, not every bridge is going to be mendable, but there are surely some people who will be happy to see you doing better, and will feel okay with letting you back into their lives once they see your progress.
The Effects on Your Mental Health
There’s a reason you drink in the first place. Oftentimes, that has something to do with a mental struggle of some sort. Whether it’s someone who drinks because it helps keep them numb, or they just can’t relaly have fun or feel like they’re good company unless they’re drinking, or something else – a lot of this ties back into mental health. It’s not just about quitting drinking, it’s about digging into the underlying issues, which can be the trickier part.
You won’t miss waking up with headaches, feeling dehydrated, yelling at your loved ones, missing important events, and all of the other negative effects of alcohol, but you probably will miss having a crutch to lean on when you’re in your own head.