Loose Women star Denise Welch took a moment to reflect this week, as she opened up to fans about her decision to give up alcohol in 2012. The 62-year-old TV star shared a before and after photo on Instagram to highlight the positive impact going tee-total has had.
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In a candid caption, she wrote: "This week is Alcohol Awareness Week. I had my last drink in April 2012. Next year I'’ll have been sober for 9 yrs. Apart from my children it is the thing I am most proud of. Not only for myself but for the people who love me.
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"This photo was taken leaving the same event last year and when I was drinking. But worse than what it was doing to me physically was what it was doing to me mentally. Anxiety, paranoia, anger, fear, depression, shame, you name it. Sobriety has given me my life back and allowed me to deal with life's constant challenges in a clear-headed, balanced way.
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"My marriage is wonderful and I nurture it and look after it in ways alcohol doesn't allow you to. My husband being sober also is the anchor to my life."
Denise gave up alcohol in 2012
Denise, who has been married to Lincoln Townley since 2013, continued: "I know this is the most difficult year in so many ways and the temptation to drink is greater than ever.
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"But honestly, if alcohol is no longer a fun way to spend time with friends and have a laugh, if it's hurting your relationships with the people you love, if you have awful rows with your partner that neither of you can remember, if you have anger directed at those who point out you may have a problem.....you probably have one.
The star is happily married to Lincoln Townley
"It's never too late to stop. You don't stop being funny. You weren't a lot of the time you just thought you were. You don't lose confidence you gain it as you reclaim your self-esteem. Nights out are still fun you just leave early, with your car and get home in time for a cuppa and a crumpet and 3 hrs to watch crap telly before bed!!"
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She concluded: "I'm not being the drink police believe me but I increasingly have people asking me about getting sober. It's hard. But it's worth it. And no sober person wishes they'd never stopped.
"I'd rather go through life sober believing I am an alcoholic than go through life drunk believing I'm not. #alcohol #sobriety #alcoholawarenessweek."
She shares two sons with ex-husband Tim Healy
Denise was met with an outpouring of support from her fans and famous friends. "You are a warrior. Sending so much love," wrote her Loose Women co-star Nadia Sawalha, while Ryan Thomas added: "Massive achievement."
One of her followers told the panellist: "If I could give you ten thousand cuddles I would....absolutely wonderful."
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