No doubt there are some big, obvious benefits to being sober that just about anyone can appreciate, even those of us who don’t fall into the dreaded “problem” zone. No hangovers, check. No “oops” texts to your ex-lover(s), awesome. Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about the benefits I never expected. The things I wouldn’t have imagined or predicted—the more subtle but profound shifts that have really changed my life.