Many people who start the path of wellness by stopping using alcohol have been through the wringer in various ways. Whilst using ‘Mothers little helper’, some have experienced heartache, disappointment, legal issues, relationship problems, and more. Some have hit rock bottom. One common thread in most who decide to get healthy, is a lack of self-esteem and fear. They’ve been beaten down and they’ve beaten themselves up over their struggling with habit or dependence.

Here are the pros though, and I suggest to all my clients to make a list of pros and cons.

1. You’ll develop more confidence. Self-esteem is linked to confidence. As you move forward in your life alcohol free, you’ll begin to notice that you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. As you feel better, you’ll also look better. You’ll start taking better care of yourself. You’ll gain more clarity and have more desire to do things that add value to your life, as well as others lives. You’ll start doing things that feel good and right, which will boost your self-esteem and confidence. Overall, this confidence will help you adopt a healthier lifestyle in general. You’ll be able to look in the mirror and like what you see, flaws and all. You’ll be able to be gentle with yourself, forgiving and loving yourself as necessary. You’ll also have more of a drive to be productive at home and at work. Little by little, your confidence will certainly increase.

2. You’ll develop more courage. Courage means that you have the ability to do something even if it scares you. Courage means looking at life’s challenges square in the eyes and even shaking in your shoes, you move forward with the intent of conquering them. When you stop drinking and really start to work on yourself, you’ll begin to notice that you’re able to do things that you couldn’t do before.

For example, maybe one reason you drank was because you were depressed and heartbroken over failed relationships. Instead of asking for professional help, you internalised your feelings and resorted to numbing your pain through drinking. Now that you’re well and working on growing mind, body, and spirit, you’ll find yourself being more courageous moving forward. Maybe you’ll decide to attend counselling and contend with that depression (or anxiety, guilt, rage, etc.) Or perhaps you’ll stop wallowing in the victimhood story and start telling a new, positive story about yourself. Maybe you’ll take more positive risks and get out there interacting with more people. Yes, you can dig deep and unleash a tidal wave of courage that will help you navigate this life and all it entails.

3. You’ll have new and more opportunities. As you progress on the road, you’ll begin to notice that new opportunities arise. As you plunge forward feeling more confident in yourself and more able to stretch beyond your comfort zone, amazing opportunities may come your way and all you’ll have to do is walk through the open doors to experience them.

4. You’ll experience more freedom. We all want freedom, as freedom is living without constraint or restriction. When we are in the grip of the ugly juice, we are not free. We are bound to a drink and that is hell on earth. But when we decide to live a life free from alcohol, we get to unlock the cage and walk out of it into a new life that feels amazing. We get to experience a freedom to experience all sorts of new things, meet new people, and go to places we’ve never been. Will it always be amazing? Course not, we all have blue days. But we can navigate through it without much of a hassle and learn some valuable lessons along the way, which helps us grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Freedom really is one of the most valuable aspects of living an AF life and I can say for myself that the feeling of freedom- true freedom- is one of the things I cherish most.

Kudos to you for embarking on this new journey of wellness. If you’re reading this and you’re teetering on whether you should stop drinking or not, I urge you to consider giving it up for good. If you have tried and are struggling, reach out for help, The Sanctuary uses a unique and non-disruptive method to do so. It is not scripted or depressing, and it is always client led, you call the shots.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.