What Happens When You Stop Drinking?

If you are newly sober or hoping to become so, you might be thinking “now what?” and rightly so. Once you stop drinking, there are a lot of physiological and psychological changes that you will have to face. Some are short-lived, and some will last longer, but the good news is—most of them are temporary, and the hardest part is getting through the first 30 days. Not understanding what happens when you stop drinking can make the process intimidating. But let’s look at some of the things you can look forward to once you’ve stopped drinking.

You’ll Feel Better

When you stop drinking initially, there may be detox symptoms. Depending on how much you were drinking, these could be severe, but they generally only last a couple of days at most. Once this has passed, you can look forward to waking up each day with a clear head and no hangover to deal with. Additionally, you’ll sleep much better. Alcoholics and people who drink to excess often don’t sleep soundly. They usually black out, and then pass out—and waking up is often a shock, piecing together the events of the day and night before. Though you initially may have trouble sleeping without alcohol, healthy sleep patterns will be restored quickly, leaving you better rested and feeling more energized.

You Might Crave Sugar Or Junk Food

Alcohol is high in sugar and creates a chemical reaction in your body that sends sugar to your blood and your liver in the form of acetate. When this is taken away, your body may crave sugar, and you may feel compelled to eat candy, ice cream or other forms of refined carbs. Don’t be surprised if giving in to these cravings gives you a “sugar rush” on par with taking a drink. For many addicts, sugar becomes a replacement, so be aware that this too may become a problem if you don’t get a handle on it. Indulge your sweet tooth, by all means, but be aware of the tendency to overdo it.

You May Lose Weight

Since alcohol contains a lot of calories, your body may begin to shed pounds very quickly. Many people don’t know then about what happened when you stop drinking. But don’t be alarmed. Unless you are already thin in an unhealthy way, you are only losing empty calories, which can be replaced with healthy, nutritious foods. Soon, you will feel stronger than you ever have, and you’ll be looking great to boot!

You May Have More Money

Think of all the money you managed to spend on alcohol—it adds up, doesn’t it? Well, all that money is now going to stay in your bank account, so you can actually think about buying things you need, taking a vacation, paying off credit cards, or upgrading your computer. Buy yourself something nice once in a while, just as a reminder that you are important, too.

You Might Feel Uncomfortable Around Others Who Are Drinking

It’s inevitable: if your friends drink, you’ll be exposed to their drinking and behavior. It’s completely normal to feel uncomfortable in this situation, but it’s really important to realize that you have a choice. You don’t have to stay and be a part of it. If you feel like you’re delving into dangerous territory, it’s okay to leave. Nobody is going to blame you for taking care of yourself. If you feel like you’re in danger of relapsing, call your sponsor right away, and find a meeting. There is always someone ready to help get you through the tough times.

You’ll Be Healthier And Lower Your Risk For Disease

There are many deadly diseases that alcoholics are at high risk for. These include liver disease, liver scarring, cirrhosis, and fatty liver disease as well as immune disorders, inflammatory diseases, and higher susceptibility to respiratory diseases like pneumonia, and certain cancers. Over time, your body will become stronger and the likelihood of contracting any of these diseases will become less and less.

Overall, once you’ve gotten through the hard stuff, you will have started to build up a good support system that can become the building blocks of your new, sober life. With sober friends, your sponsor, the program, and your own self-worth as your foundation, life will be sweet once again.

Sober Living in Charleston, SC

If you are struggling to stay sober and motivated to succeed, a sober living home may be right for you. The Sanctuary Recovery Foundation provides sober living residences in the beautiful coastal region of Charleston, SC. We would love to talk to you about how we can help.