5 Ways Life Gets Better When You Give Up Booze

Written by Hali Tsotetsi

About two years ago, I made a life-changing decision, one that had seemed impossible to actually follow through on before I finally did it: I stopped drinking.

Here are the five reasons why:

1. I wanted to start enjoying my mornings.

When I got drunk, no matter how much I'd hydrate afterwards, I would get headaches the morning after. Even if I only had a glass of wine, I would spend the next day hung-over and feeling negative about my day. Since stopping drinking, I wake up each day with enthusiasm about what the day will hold and I feel a lot more optimistic about what's ahead of me and I actually enjoy my mornings!

2. I got tired of acting like a fool.

While drinking, we often act on our impulses and do things we'd normally be ashamed to do. Just before I stopped drinking, I went through a breakup and when I started drinking, my anger towards my former partner would get unleashed onto other people. Since I've stopped drinking, I don't have to apologize to someone about sending an unnecessarily nasty text message. I have been able to assume all responsibility over my body and my actions.

3. I wanted to remember the things that I do and the people that I meet.

It has become socially acceptable to joke with friends about some seriously terrifying behavior, such as not remembering how you got home and making a big joke of drinking and forgetting your belongings, your manners or your pride. I would meet people and forget it ever even happened. My life felt disorganized when I would hang out with the party crowd. In the past two years, I have met awesome people and I actually remember them! I never feel out-of-control in the way that I used to, and I don't feel as though my life is falling apart.

4. I wanted to like myself.

When I drank, I didn't like myself. I didn't like myself because I would ask why I continued to do something that made me feel so unhealthy and that led to such unhealthy choices. I would also end up eating a lot after a night out, wake up the next day with regret and feel awful about who I was and what I had done the night before. Once, I stopped drinking, I was able to eat and drink things that contributed to my physical health which reduced the shame and guilt which I had previously felt.

5. I wanted to be a nicer person.

After a few drinks, I would become impatient and rude. Things that wouldn't have bothered me if I hadn't been drunk bothered me while I was drinking. I would wake up the next day with recollections of being so rude, which left me shocked and disgusted because I knew better than to treat others that way. After deciding to rid my life of alcohol, I no longer wake up feeling like a let-down to myself and others because I can consciously treat people the way that they deserve to be treated: with respect.

These are my five reasons for ridding my life of alcohol. What are your reasons for staying sober?

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