Why every dry day matters: Clare’s lifeline – the British Liver Trust

The British Liver Trust is one of Dry January’s official charity partners for 2018. They shared Clare’s story with us and why Dry January is so important.

Clare’s story

“I really liked the taste of alcohol, and enjoyed it.  Like many people I drank socially – but I do admit I drank every day. I only wish I’d known what it was doing to me then!

I was working full time and a mum. So after work it was wine o’clock, my treat after a hard day – and it made me feel good.

I started to feel ill – just tired at first – no energy – so I’d pour myself a drink just to make myself feel better. It perked me up but wasn’t to know that ‘the perk’ was only temporary. Then I became much worse.

Looking back, I can’t believe how quickly my liver failure came on. Liver disease has no symptoms in the early stages – within a week my life had changed. I ended up in A&E, taken straight through to resus where my husband was told that I literally had days to live and that I had advanced liver disease.

I only wish I had known the damage that drinking was doing to me. I know I’m extremely lucky to be alive. I’m also learning that my life will never be the same again but it’s hard. This chronic disease has disabled me. I am on medication for life, regular blood tests, and appointments. I feel constantly tired and wiped out. A recent CTT scan has shown shrinkage in my brain. The alcohol has destroyed brain cells and my memory will never recover.  I feel I’m constantly sitting on the fence and live life from day to day – I know I could get worse again at any moment.

I nearly lost everything – my career, my home, my family. My children now have to live with their dad. Every day at 3.15 in the afternoon, I’m aware that the door does not go and my boys do not come bursting through the door ready to tell me about their day. It honestly breaks my heart.

I’d urge everyone to do Dry January. Stopping for a month can help you realise the harm that alcohol is doing to you and put you on track for a healthier lifestyle. Don’t be like me and wait until you have serious problems. If you are going to do Dry January please raise money for the British Liver Trust – either by getting sponsorship or donating the money you usually spend on alcohol. It’s a small charity but its helpline, information and support have been a lifeline for me. If this has got you thinking please don’t hesitate to give the British Liver Trust a call – they are fantastic.”

Why the British Liver Trust is partnering with Dry January

Support the British Liver Trust this Dry January – and take the first step to Loving your Liver.

Liver disease is devastating and often has no symptoms until it is too late. It is the fifth leading cause of death in the UK and for women of working age it is the second leading cause. Drinking too much alcohol puts your liver at risk.

The British Liver Trust is delighted to be one of the official charity partners of Dry January, as a month off alcohol can be a great way to kick start your liver to better health all year round. Support the British Liver Trust during Dry January and encourage your friends and family to do the same. You will be doing more than raising money for those with liver conditions – you could be saving your own life by preventing liver disease or liver cancer in the future.

Judi Rhys, CEO of the British Liver Trust, said:

In the last 10 years we have seen a 20% increase in the number of deaths from liver disease and the majority of these are due to the increase in the amount of alcohol we are drinking as a nation. Doing Dry January is a great way to begin to Love Your Liver. However, stopping for a month and then bingeing on alcohol is not the answer; Dry January should be seen as the impetus to change your relationship with alcohol for ever. The British Liver Trust recommends that you have two to three consecutive alcohol-free days every week.

Want to get involved?

Download the Dry January app and start fundraising today. Together we can reduce the harm caused by alcohol.