Alcohol is an acceptable part of society, with many people enjoying a glass of wine in the evening with their dinner or to relax after a hard day at work. Some will head out to the pub every weekend to meet with friends and enjoy a few drinks responsibly.
Those who do drink responsibly and in moderation often forget that alcohol can be highly addictive and can cause many health issues. There are many individuals throughout the UK struggling every day with addiction to alcohol, and suffering adverse side effects as a result.
Many just assume that alcoholics are always drunk and noticeably so, but the truth is that lots of alcoholics do not show the typical signs associated with being drunk because they have become tolerant to the effects of the substance. However, they are often unable to function without alcohol and so these individuals will drink every day in order to cope with the stresses of daily life.
Consequences of Alcohol Addiction
An alcohol addiction can lead to ill health; Hazel Birnie is a testament to this fact. The 48-year old has struggled with alcohol addiction for many years and is now suffering from terminal liver disease. Her daughter is expecting a baby in December 2015, but Mrs Birnie has been told she is unlikely to be alive to see her first grandchild.
Mrs Birnie’s liver function is at zero and doctors have told her there is nothing more they can do for her, as she is not well enough for a liver transplant. Because her liver is not functioning, fluid is building up in her stomach and is pressing on vital organs including her heart, leaving her struggling to catch her breath. As a result, she must use a Zimmer frame to get around.
Mrs Birnie has been admitted to hospital for palliative care, having been given just two months to live.
Slow Painful Death
Mrs Birnie accepts that her health issues and situation are of her own doing and is not looking for sympathy. Nevertheless, she does want to warn others of the dangers of drinking and has said she is suffering a slow, painful death. She knows that her body is beginning to shut down and that she has a couple of months at most left to live. She said, “I can hardly breathe, my stomach is so huge that everything is pushed up, and it is restricting my heart and all my organs.”
Mrs Birnie wants to warn others and says, “All I am trying to do is warn people, to do one last good thing before I die.”
Coping with Grief
Mrs Birnie, like so many other alcoholics, turned to the bottle after suffering the sudden loss of her partner ten years ago. As her children grew up and she suffered with loneliness, she was drinking a box of wine every night, which is the equivalent of about three to four bottles.
This excessive daily consumption of alcohol has caused many health problems for Mrs Birnie, and she admits her addiction has robbed her life. She feels guilt that she will not be around to help her daughter after the birth of her first child. She also feels immense regret for causing so much pain to her family and said, “The anger and the distress I’ve caused my family is making me very anxious. It’s not only the person who is drinking; it is the family who suffers as well.”
Getting Early Help
Mrs Birnie struggled with addiction for many years and is now in a situation where nothing can be done to help. Nonetheless, for many addicts suffering from addiction it is not too late. Rehab Helper is a free service offering advice and support to those who need help for their addictions. Contact us today for more information.