My life has changed drastically since getting sober at age 20 – but not in negative ways, like I originally thought it would. No, today my life is better than ever and that is in large part due to sobriety.

That’s not to say that sobriety has been easy, because there have been moments, days and weeks when it hasn’t. But because of getting sober, my life today is manageable and healthy. I suffered so much less than I would have had I kept drinking into later years of my life.

Here are 7 advantages of getting sober at a young age.

1. You have less time to ruin aspects of your life.

While some parts may still take quite a blow, that’s nothing compared to 60+ years of drinking and that damage that accompanies that kind of time. When you get sober young, you’ve had less time to make mistakes or burn bridges. In fact, many of the issues caused by drinking are probably reparable.

2. You get to be present in every single aspect of your life.

There are some moments that can’t be relived, like certain holidays, kid’s birthdays, etc. Instead of having a hazy memory of these events, your memories are vivid and real. Of course, this means that the same is true for the harder parts of life as well. But even being present for pain has its benefits in the long run.

3. You save money.

Think about how much you spent on alcohol, or on activities that revolved around alcohol. Now think about spending that way for years on end. Yeah, doesn’t sound appealing. I am so happy that my money no longer goes straight toward a new bottle of booze. Instead, it goes toward bills, which isn’t as exciting, but much more productive.

4. You meet people you’d never cross paths with otherwise.

At first, I thought everyone I’d meet in sobriety would be a “druggie loser.” I was a little presumptuous, as some of the people I have met in sobriety are the strongest and most genuine souls. Going through hell and back has a way of bringing out the best in people eventually. I have met some of my closest friends because I got sober when I was young.

5. You are able to set an example for those younger than you.

My siblings are all college-aged or younger, and I know the fact that I got sober young has impacted them and their views of alcohol. While I don’t want my experience to dictate how they perceive alcohol, I am glad that they know how damaging it can be and know what the signs are, in a sense. It feels good to know I am setting an example today.

6. You do your body less harm.

Everyone knows that alcohol is excess amounts is terrible for the body, and that when abused, vital organs will shut down. Getting sober younger means less time spend treating your body this way. As soon as I stopped drinking, my body began to change drastically. I no longer felt like I was dragging all the time, and my skin lost its yellowish tint and bloated appearance. I felt healthy again, and now I get to feel that way for the rest of my life.

7. And finally, you have the rest of your life ahead of you.

And more than that, you have a sober life ahead of you. There is something comforting about knowing where you will wake up the next morning, about remembering what you did the night before. The unpredictability of your life is gone, in a sense. But that doesn’t mean life is boring. If anything it’s the opposite. Living a sober life means learning new things about yourself and those around you. It gives you a different perspective, a perspective you will have the rest of your life.

Start the rest of your life today, contact the Orlando Recovery Center for help.

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By – Beth Leipholtz
Beth is a Minnesota girl who got sober at age 20. She enjoys writing about her recovery and the realities of getting sober young on her blog, Life To Be Continued, and as a contributing author for The Recovery Village. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for updates. Read more
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The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.