The First Benefits of Sobriety

This is how quitting alcohol immediately improved my life.

Benya Clark
Exploring Sobriety

--

This essay originally appeared in the Exploring Sobriety newsletter.

A man runs down a hill.
Photo by Alessio Soggetti on Unsplash

Sobriety Took Longer Than Expected

I’ve been writing about my addiction and recovery for over four years. One of the most common themes — that I return to again and again because of its importance — is that it took far longer than I expected before sobriety started to feel like a positive force in my life.

Back when I was still drinking every day, I had the idea in my head that if I managed to quit, I’d immediately turn my entire life around. I spent half my time denying to myself that I needed to get sober, but paradoxically, I spent the other half daydreaming about how great sobriety could be.

My first year sober was a massive disappointment.

Sobriety was nothing like I had expected. It didn’t make me any happier, it didn’t fix everything going wrong in life, and I didn’t even feel proud of myself for quitting alcohol. Instead, I spent day after day wondering if I had made the wrong choice. Was all of the struggling worth it? Should I throw in the towel and go back to daily drinking?

--

--

Benya Clark
Exploring Sobriety

I’m a lawyer turned writer from North Carolina. I write about sobriety, mental health, and more. Subscribe to my weekly newsletter at exploringsobriety.com.