Updated: Apr 10
"Obesity affects every aspect of a people's lives, from health to relationships." -Jane Velez-Mitchell
I knew when I was an active alcoholic I didn't look good. It's why I avoided looking in mirrors. At my heaviest I weighed almost 100 pounds more than I do today. In the left photo above I had lost 30 pounds, but was still at an unhealthy weight.
It wasn't my diet. I could barely eat from the constant nausea. My diet then was red or white boxed wine before I dove into vodka -- cheaper, stronger and easier to hide (looks like water). I also thought vodka had less sugar so it was a "healthier" choice!
Speaking of health -- aside from my weight gain and bloating -- long time drinking can cause severe medical problems. You don't just look unhealthy, you are unhealthy.
I knew I was doing damage to my liver, but here is a list of other problems drinking can cause:
Liver disease. (I had pains in my side and my enzyme levels were high.)
Weakening of the immune system. (I picked up every virus going around.)
Cancer - liver, mouth, breast, colon, throat or esophagus.
High blood pressure. (Mine was off-the-charts and often a cause of my doctor's concern.)
Problems with digestion. (I was constantly throwing up after eating.)
Nutritional deficiencies. (I depleted my Vitamin B levels to non-existent.)
Brain and nerve damage. (My hands and arms often tingled and went numb.)
My before photo reminded me of an old ad campaign about smoking -
Everyone today knows how unhealthy and dangerous the effects of smoking are. Since that "Smoking is Very Glamorous" ad campaign in the 1970s, smoking has decreased from 43% of adults to a record low of under 16% in 2018.
Maybe someone in the advertising could use my photo for an anti-drinking campaign. If it would help stop someone from picking up, I'd do it for free. It's alarming to look at statistics and see how much of a crisis drinking is causing in society. In a study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, there's been a 43% INCREASE in drinking since Covid. The U.S. rehab industry has exploded to earning about $43 billion a year with over 15,000 private treatment facilities and growing to a projected $53 billion by 2025.
Drinking is still socially acceptable and during Covid lockdown, liquor stores were allowed to stay open since they were deemed "essential." And yet, people with addictions are stigmatized. Shouldn't it be that drinking is a stigma, like smoking used to be?
Detox, five months in rehab, the 12 Steps and my Higher Power have stopped me from drinking. If I continued there were three things waiting for me: psychiatric hospitalization, jail or death.
Not a pretty picture.