Things started to get better (physically) for me after the first few months; actually better (mentally), post-pink cloud (I think that's the term for it).
Immediately after stopping drinking, I had a lot of energy from knowing that I had made my decision and would be doing my best to stick to it. LIFE WOULD BE DIFFERENT! I knew that I'd hopefully never deal with hangovers/embarrassment/self-hate/etc. again and all the problems that drinking caused in my life. I was excited about the idea of starting new hobbies and doing new things. I was ready to have my life in order and not be a grown-up child.
Once that wore off, I realized I still had to do my 'heavy lifting'. I had to come to terms with a career change, talk to my girlfriend about our relationship, make amends for being an a$$hole while I was drinking to coworkers, and come to accept (still working on this) that I'd really limited my personal potential over the past 10 years. The work is hard, but it is good. It is needed.
So, I'd say that things get better in stages. It's a process. Getting off the sauce is the first step (be able to feel better and think clearly), then the next is doing the 'lifting' (repair relationships, finances, emotional work), then it's rebuilding and living. I'm still kind of in the heavy lifting/rebuilding part (not fun, but needed) but looking forward to all the good things that are ahead. I didn't really attach numbers to any of this as I think that people's experiences with this will likely be a bit different than mine. However, I've experienced these things in the first 5 months of not boozing. Along with the lifting and rebuilding, we have to deal with cravings. Those get better over time, but I'm sure they still pop up every now and then for people with lots of time under their belt. At 5 months, I get them when I am stressed out. The trick is to identify when the AV is saying "LET'S DO IT" and have a way to cope. Those urges pass, even if they are a PITA.
The future can be bright! Stay strong and stay sober.