Denise Welch shares emotional health update after 10 years sober

The Loose Women star's celebrity friends rushed to congratulate her

Loose Women panellist Denise Welch celebrated a decade sober on Sunday with an emotional Instagram post.

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Accompanied by a photo of herself today and 10 years ago, Denise wrote: "10 years ago today I took my last alcoholic drink. Not a sherry trifle since and it’s been the best decision I ever made. It changed my life and the lives of everyone I love and who loves me."

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"I self-medicated for years and the memory of those times haunt me. Guilt and shame are very different. Guilt is something most of us have. Especially mothers. Shame is another animal. It took me years to overcome and I still have nightmares that take me days to recover from. The thought of going back there terrifies me," she continued.

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Denise, who has two sons and a stepson, wrote about the impact her decision to go sober has had on her family, saying: "The ripple effect of my sobriety on my family is the thing I'm most proud of. My children are free to live amazing lives because they don't have to worry about mum.

"My husband and I have a wonderful marriage because we take time to nurture and care for it. My dad died knowing that I was in a good place with a good man. My sister looks at me with respect which vanished for a long time."

Denise Welch shared this before and after photo

Denise concluded with advice for her followers: "If alcohol is making you miserable, sad, anxious, ashamed rather than a bit giddy on a Saturday night then you're drinking too much. Stopping isn't easy and staying sober is a lifestyle but it's a much much better life.

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"So today I'm happier and healthier in my 60's than I was in my 40's and 50's. Today I'm thinking of all those on the threshold of a major change and I can tell you it will be the best thing you'll ever do. And to my friends who love a drink and don't have a problem…..raise a glass to me today on my anniversary!"

Denise's decision to go sober impacted her children

Denise's fellow celebrities heaped praise on the star. Ruth Langsford commented: "Incredible Denise and inspirational for others trying to do the same," while Katie Piper wrote: "Really admire you Denise and all you stand for."

Michelle Heaton sent her support too, writing: "Yes my gorgeous girl! You helped me and I’m almost a year ! Happy 10th birthday darling," and co-star Nadia Sawalha reposted Denise's message, writing: "Congratulations darling."

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