With more people consuming alcohol than ever before, it’s easy to normalize the high-risk behaviors that often accompany drinking. But if you’ve found your way to this article, chances are you’ve already identified those behaviors as problematic and are working on cutting them out of your life. If so, good for you!
Unfortunately, the social pressure to drink can be immense. With so many adult activities being centered around alcohol, staying on the straight and narrow is easier said than done at times.
It’s far from impossible, though. All it takes is determination and commitment.
Consider the Cost
In this instance, we don’t mean this in an emotional or social sense. Drinking is wildly expensive. The average American will spend almost $23,000 on alcohol over the course of 40 years. And keep in mind, that’s the average American. If you’re dealing with alcohol dependency, that number is likely far higher.
You should also consider the cost of treatment. This applies more broadly than direct treatment associated with things like rehab costs. Alcohol consumption has numerous health implications that result in more medical expenses.
If you end up in the hospital due to your drinking, the costs could be astronomical. Without insurance, you could be facing a real financial crisis.
Not to mention the other costs that add up over time. It’s no secret that alcohol makes you pack on the pounds. It might sound funny now, but paying for new pants is an actual expense.
Get caught drinking and driving? Expect at least a healthy fine. If you have prior offenses, you’d better have some savings set aside for those court costs.
There’s no way to accurately calculate all the extra expenses drinking incurs. Think of it like a wave that grows bigger the further it gets from the source. To be blunt, drinking is a dumb way to spend your money, and it costs more than you think.
If no amount of alcohol is good for you, imagine what large amounts over long periods of time can do? It’s no secret that alcohol punishes the liver and other organs. It also increases the risk of certain types of cancer.
In a short-term sense, it impacts your day to day health. A bad hangover is no joke and can easily keep you in bed for an entire day. Your immune system also takes a hit, making it easier to catch bugs like the common cold.
Honestly, is there any better sobriety motivation than remembering what a hangover feels like? If you find yourself being tempted to fall off the wagon, think about the hours spent hugging the toilet and nursing a splitting headache.
We mentioned earlier that alcohol makes you gain weight. Depending on what you’re drinking, you might as well be eating whole loaves of bread for all the empty carbs you’re consuming. Fluctuating weight comes with its own health complications.
On top of all the physical side effects, alcohol also takes a toll on your mental health. If you naturally suffer from depression, anxiety, or similar conditions, alcohol will exacerbate them. As a depressant, alcohol can induce dangerous downward turns in your mental health.
If you’re on medications for any of the above conditions, it gets even worse. Most anti-depressants and similar medications interact negatively with alcohol. In some cases, those interactions can even be life-threatening.
Long story short, drinking is a shortcut to an early grave. Or worse, living a long life riddled with alcohol-induced afflictions that make life a constant challenge.
Think of the Social Consequences
We’ve looked at the more intangible downsides of drinking. Now let’s look at the immediate and profound effects it can have in your life.
For one thing, it can make regular socializing an impossible task. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol is not a good way to deal with social anxiety. While it can imbue you with “liquid courage” on the short-term, the long-term effects only make matters worse.
Take a moment to consider the worst thing you’ve done under the influence of alcohol. Now think about how that impacted your relationships with others. Even if you were unaware of your actions at that moment and therefore not anxious, it makes your social life more challenging after the fact.
Though you’re not mentally present during a blackout, you’re still accountable for your actions. The damage you do can have permanent consequences that are hard or sometimes impossible to reverse.
If your drinking was bad enough to seek treatment, it’s likely that you know what it feels like to damage or sever a relationship as a consequence of your alcohol consumption. Remember that heartbreak and ask yourself if it’s worth the temporary satisfaction a drink would give you.
Use These Tips Maintain Your Sobriety Motivation
No one is judging you for having trouble keeping your sobriety motivation. The battle to stay sober is an ongoing one, and your loved ones recognize that. The important thing is that you’re trying your best to hold yourself accountable and stay the course.
There’s also nothing wrong with asking for help. Think you might need some assistance but rehab and 12 step programs haven’t worked for you in the past?
There’s an alternative.
Follow this link to learn how to stay sober without the help of those more traditional and often ineffective tactics.