We’re in the midst of a sober revolution, even while pandemic-related substance use has skyrocketed. “Mindful drinking” and “sober curious” have overtaken the “stick in the mud” stigma that sobriety had been stuck with for ages. And for good reason: Our cocktails-oriented culture had it wrong. The real fun is the fun you can remember from the night before and feel great about the next day.
Where are you on the substance-use spectrum during this National Recovery Month? Is it right where you want to be? If not, consider some of the super reasons to get sober. It can be scary, we know. The good news is that you’ll be part of a growing (and glowing) contingent of adults who stay sober.
The effort your body makes to flush out what you put into it is much greater when it’s flushing substances that can—let’s face it—kill you. And all that effort means you feel significantly less energetic. Give your body a break, and it will repay the favor.
If you’ve been drinking, you may fall asleep faster, but you’re unlikely to stay asleep or to achieve a restful sleep. Alcohol inhibits REM sleep, which means you wake up groggy, grumpy, and unable to concentrate. It also means your body isn’t doing all it could to repair itself during the night, so you’re likely to have low energy, to boot.
From just the previous two benefits to sobriety, it’s pretty easy to see that your body functions better when it’s not dealing with addictive substances. But there’s a lot more. Alcohol use leads to a host of harms, including heart disease, high blood pressure, several cancers, depression, memory problems, and a whole lot more.
A more interesting social life.
Not only are you more interesting when you’re sober, you have the capacity to really listen and enjoy the people around you. A clear-headed dinner partner doesn’t typically get louder (or say the same things over and over) as the night progresses. You also get to do a lot more when you’re always okay to drive. And when your brain hasn’t been fogged, you can truly engage in finding out what you really enjoy.
Way more cash.
Alcohol and drugs aren’t cheap. Maybe you’ve noticed? The cost of the substances themselves adds up fast, and that’s just one way your cash gets drained by addiction. Dealing with health problems, spending recklessly while under the influence, replacing items you damaged, and legal fees are among the common expenses that arise from substance use.
Less (or more) you.
Most people find maintaining a stable weight a lot easier when they’re not using or making regrettable decisions while under the influence. Quit drinking and easily kiss goodbye a lot of calories that do little to nothing for you nutritionally.
That toll we’ve been telling you substance use takes on your body? It’s all over your face. Everywhere else too—aging your skin, harming your teeth, dulling (or shedding) your hair, and so on. When your body gets a break from harmful substances, you look healthier and, because you feel healthier, your good mood adds to the effect.
Getting help if you want it.
There are a zillion great reasons to pursue sobriety and no reason to wait for some mythical rock bottom. There are also quite a few ways to approach it. If you’d like help, we’re here. You can even participate in our addiction recovery program, SMART Recovery, and attend support group meetings at Hancock Regional. Call us at 317-468-4231 to get started.
Sources and External Links
Support Groups & Community Resourceshttps://www.hancockregionalhospital.org/wellness-education/support-groups/
Alcohol Use and Your Healthhttps://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm
Alcohol and a Good Night’s Sleep Don’t Mixhttps://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20130118/alcohol-sleep