I was pretty good at the whole partying, getting drunk, staying out until the sun came up and backing up to do it all again caper. I had absolutely no reason to give up alcohol at all, or at least that’s what I thought at the time. For 20 years, every time my mates and I went out, it was almost always the same routine. We’d meet at someone’s place, I’d share a bottle of bourbon/vodka/rum/etc. with someone before heading out to a pub or club. The rest of the night consisted of drinking as much as possible, telling the same stories we’d told a million times before, maybe try our luck with the fairer sex (almost always failing miserably), then grab a cab home via the nearest kebab shop.
And what did this routine cost me financially each time? In today’s dollars, every time was at least $150, but most of the time it would be more. Of course, when I first started drinking all I needed was $50, but $50 then is not the same as $50 today, and everything is much more expensive now. But it didn’t bother me, I was having a blast and in my prime I was probably going out at least twice a week. Wednesday night was Uni night, and that was always a favourite, then at least once on the weekend as well.
But by the time I was 35 I was sick of it, I’d literally burnt myself out. Even though it still took me another four years to actually quit drinking, I’m so glad I no longer drink. As I always say, I’m not here to try and talk anyone into quitting drinking, that is totally up to you. However, if you feel it might be time, here are 16 reasons why giving up drinking has been so fantastic for my lifestyle.
I have a lot more money in the bank
I don’t know how much I spent on alcohol during my 20 years of partying like a maniac, but it was A LOT! Some of my friends still go out once a week, and have a few drinks during the week as well. Let’s say they spend, conservatively, $200 per week on booze. That’s $104,000 every 10 years! I can think of plenty of better ways to spend that sort of coin. My wife, son and I recently went travelling for a year, and I have grand plans to do it all again in the not too distant future. This is what I would rather spend my money on.
I have a lot more time
I never want to die. I’m not sure if I’m scared of dying or not, I just know I don’t want to do it…EVER! So quitting drinking was an easy decision to make when you consider how many days you spend on the couch hungover instead of doing something constructive, and how many extra years I’ve potentially added to my life for being healthier.
I want to be a good role model
I have a young son, and I want to show him that drinking doesn’t have to be a normal part of being an Australian male. If he wants to enjoy a drink responsibly I’ll be 100% supportive. However, the Australian culture almost dictates that you MUST drink, and that’s total BS as far as I’m concerned.
I want to be healthier
Alcohol does really nasty things to your body, and while I am on this Earth, I want to be as healthy as possible. The quality of the life I lead is important to me, and I want to minimise the chances of getting liver diseases, nerve damage, unnecessary weight gain and a wide range of cancers.
I like the sober me better
If you haven’t been out sober with a group of drunk people, do it once and you’ll see what I mean. It can be lots of fun being drunk, especially if you’re around other drunk people, but if you’re the sober one then you’ll be thinking “do I really act like that when I’ve had too much to drink”?
I don’t like the feeling of being drunk
Many people love the feeling of being drunk, and I did too. But after 20 years I really got sick of it. In the end I was just doing it because it had become habit and everyone else was as well. Since quitting alcohol, not once have I wanted to get drunk because I want to feel that way again.
I don’t feel lethargic for half the week
In my younger days I’d be able to have a huge night drinking alcohol, then feel pretty good the next day. Not perfect, I’d still feel some effects from the previous night, but pretty good nonetheless. The day after that I’d be 100% again and ready for another night on the town. But as the years went on my ability to recover nosedived dramatically. In my 30’s, if I had a big Saturday night I wouldn’t be fully recovered until at least Wednesday. Again it goes back to the quality of life I was talking about earlier, I’d rather not be tired for half the week. Don’t get me wrong, I have a young son who likes to jump on me at 6.30am EVERY morning, so I’m never totally well rested. But I’ll take that over the fuzziness of alcohol induced tiredness any day of the week.
I’m now healthier in other areas of my life
By not being tired for half the week thanks to drinking too much alcohol, I now go to the gym more often. I also eat better food, and I’m much more interested in researching great ways to train and what to eat for optimum nutrition. Quitting alcohol has had a domino effect into other areas of my health.
The body begins to heal immediately
No matter how long you’ve been drinking for, and how hard you’ve been going at it, as soon as you stop drinking alcohol your body starts to repair itself. The foggy feeling in your brain will start to lift, bringing with it clarity and depth of thought. Your liver will begin to repair itself, your skin will look much better, and you may even experience clearer vision. Your immune system will get stronger, meaning you’ll be less susceptible to getting sick and contracting diseases.
You’ll look better and feel younger
As already mentioned your skin will look much better, and you’ll have a healthier glow about you. People who have hit the drink hard over many years look tired and weathered. Sunken eyes, a puffy face and a dull complexion are all consequences of drinking too much alcohol. It doesn’t have to be this way. Quitting alcohol will see aches and pains slowly dissipate, and you’ll feel an energy and vitality in your body and mind that you may not have felt for many years.
Imagine witnessing someone fill their body with a fluid knowing full well they were going to be sick for the next day or two. You’d probably call them crazy! Why is drinking alcohol any different? I do not miss hangovers at all!
You’ll sleep much better
While getting drunk tends to send you off to sleep much faster, your body isn’t resting. Instead it’s working overtime to rid your body of the poison you’ve filled it with. So when you wake up you still feel tired, and you’re always playing catch up.
A big reason why people drink is because they feel more confident, and with that confidence comes a better chance of scoring in the bedroom. People may not admit to it, but the truth is people drink to give themselves a better chance of picking up. However, a side effect of consistently drinking alcohol is decreased sensitivity, a lower libido, and other sex related issues. Give up the booze and have better sex…is there a better reason than that?
You’ll be more productive
No more hangovers, no more spending half the week tired, no more fuzzy brain, no more lack of motivation. Quitting alcohol will have a profound effect on your productivity, whether that’s for your employer, your own business, or just enjoying your leisure time with family and friends.
Psychologically you’ll be a different person
I’m no psychologist, but the proof is in the research and anecdotal evidence. When you drink problems become amplified which increases stress levels. People often wake up having spent way more money than they wanted to, adding financial stress to the mix. Relationships can be stretched to breaking point, costing you wives, husbands, children, boyfriends, girlfriends and other people close to you. And if you’re a violent drunk, you must feel guilt caused by the physical pain you’ve inflicted on others. These are just a few of the hundreds of psychological issues you could endure because of prolonged alcohol abuse. Giving up alcohol will have a profound effect on your mental state.
Your confidence will grow
Once you quit alcohol you’ll quickly realise you don’t need it to be confident. You’ll discover who you really are as a person, accept yourself for who you are, and become far more comfortable in your own skin. Socialising without the need for alcohol will become the norm instead of a strange thing to do, and you’ll soon find yourself attempting things you never thought you would.
If you’re thinking of quitting alcohol, try a cost-benefit analysis. It’s an easy way to visualise the pros and cons of drinking, and help you make a decision about whether you need it in your life anymore.
I hope you get something out of these 16 reasons to give up alcohol. If you’ve got any other reasons to quit drinking, please leave them in the comments below.