Pros and Cons of Quitting Drinking

by Rebecca A. Watson on February 7, 2016

in Recovery

I used to keep a journal of my new years resolutions and goals for every year. And one year, along with the usual “drink less” or “care less about my drinking” or some form of not drinking resolution was a list of pros and cons of drinking.

I am kind of stunned at how different my thinking was back then to now. I mean, of course it was. My brain is healing. But the list of cons was long, and read like a giant justification:

  • Not able to try wine and beer with my husband
  • Isn’t quitting drinking “too extreme?”
  • Won’t I alienate friends?
  • Isn’t life just more fun with alcohol?
christmas kitsch

The answer is no.

So, I thought I would make a list now, as a person who’s not drank in a few years, to show you what I honestly think about not drinking. Because there are pros and cons, but not the ridiculous ones that ran through my head a few years ago.

PROS CONS
No hangovers – emotional or physical Hard to unwind sometimes
Far fewer mood swings Still a coping mechanism I can’t turn to
More awareness over triggers/old scripts Telling new people I don’t drink feels awkward
More confidence in myself Feeling shame over being an alcoholic
Financial security Sometimes miss wine while cooking
Inner stillness Being at parties
when everyone is drunk sucks
Remembering everything I do Random cravings throw me off
Enjoying achievements
Less shame and guilt
Less worry about messing up everything I have
Better friend and partner
More hobbies!
More time in general
Very little thinking about drinking
Therapy is working faster
Choosing better people in my life
Better at setting boundaries
In better shape
I remember things and learn faster
Sober sleep is so wonderful
Fewer health concerns
More able to trust and let go of illusion of control

Yes there are a few cons on there. But really, they aren’t something I feel every day or even every month for that matter. As the saying goes, if I knew then what I knew now, well … I would’ve quit a long time ago.

But we all have our time. And I think I quit at the exact right moment. I’m happy about where I am now and what I learned while drinking, even if there are times I am embarrassed or wish something had turned out differently.

For instance, I learned that when traveling overseas, it's best to double check your flight time the day before so as not to miss said TransAtlantic flight.

For instance, I learned that when traveling overseas, it’s best to double check your flight time so as not to miss said TransAtlantic flight.

What about you? Do you have cons or pros that aren’t on my list? I’d love to hear them.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Furtheron February 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm

There’s a trigger – Guinness was my poison of choice through most of my drinking.

My list of cons about giving up drinking is very small…

Having to make excuses not to be at a drinking occasion
Not being able to simply accept wine as it is poured at a social meal

That is really about it…. the list of pros

Not feeling so utterly depressed and worthless most of the time
Having a choice on what I do not dictated to about when I had to drink
No hangovers
No waking up sweating and heart beating like crazy at 3am
No forgetting to be somewhere
Not letting my family down
Not standing in a bar lying to everyone to try and fit in
Not wasting so much time in drinking
Having so much more money!
Not wetting myself
Not throwing up
…. ad infinitum

Reply

Rebecca A. Watson February 13, 2016 at 5:19 pm

Yes, I have to admit, looking at the photo of me and the Irish beer made me a little sad to not be able to drink a Guinness. BUT, like you pointed out, the pros do seem to be ad infinitum.

Thanks for dropping by!

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Alan Wolstenholme October 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm

It’s now coming up to 80 days without a drink , decided that I was having too many accidents, falls mainly ,head cuts ,this year a broken wrist, would a broken marriage be next ?
Anyway it’s going well and I am feeling great, everything that’s been said about stopping are so true ,the benefits are tremendous and all the articles and blogs that I read regularly do help a lot , So it’s a big thank you to everyone who has stopped drinking and are helping people like me ,a 100days is coming up soon and I think I’ll go for another 100. Thanks again.

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