Michelle Heaton Shares Reality Of Addiction In Before And After Snap
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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Michelle Heaton
Former Liberty X singer, Michelle Heaton, has shared a heartbreaking picture of herself at the start of her battle with alcoholism, alongside another snap following her rehabilitation.
The popstar, 42, took to Instagram to make a passionate point about the impact that alcohol addiction was having on her life.
Celebrating her 20 week sobriety milestone, the first image Michelle shared told a very different story, showing her puffy face and bloodshot eyes - a sign her immune system was failing.
"This picture is not to shock, it WAS my reality!," she wrote on Instagram. "20 weeks ago this was me.
'Ruined - immune system was shutting down. The second is me today.
"Saved - strong happy healthy.
"It’s National Sober Day And it encourages us to celebrate Sober life and bring awareness to addiction.
"It’s also National Recovery Month, and today supports removing the stigma associated with addiction.
Speaking on Loose Women, Michelle said: "[Getting into rehab is] the first step and its the hardest to admit you have a problem and that you're powerless to drugs and alcohol.
Watch a snippet from her interview below:
Michelle continued in her Instagram caption: "It opens the lines of communication that lead to better understanding.
"The day provides an opportunity to build educated support networks."
Announcing she was taking her sobriety "one day at a time," she went on to tell her followers: "Success is more likely when systems are paved with an aware, loving, and honest cheering section.
"If we stumble, aren’t we more likely to get back up again when we have a solid support system?
"Encouragement of one day fuels more support and awareness, leading to long-term sobriety.
"That’s something worth celebrating! The opposite of addiction is a connection.
"Recognising this provides a model for future generations who will be my picture one!
"And then the second picture demonstrates how to enjoy life alcohol-free, the day will embolden future generations to say no to alcohol.
"Today I am stronger mentally and physically better then I’ve ever been."
Michelle signed off by promising there is hope - a sentiment backed up by the smiling, bright faced image to the right of her first snap.
"For anyone who needs help with addiction, there is help out there", before signposting people to alcoholics anonymous.
Celebrity friends and fans alike rushed to support Michelle after her powerful statement.
RuPaul's Drag Race judge, Michelle Visage branded her a "hero", while Celebs Go Dating coach, Anna Williamson wrote: "Well bloody done".
Caprice Bourret chipped in: "Omg wow u have come such a long way with strength and dignity … just amazing babes congrats … just amazing!!!".
Meanwhile, radio presenter Jenni Falconer penned: "Oh my Michelle, you must be so proud that you decided to make a change. You are so strong and doing brilliantly. Big love."
The snaps come after Michelle previously revealed she had been drinking alcohol every day for three years, until she checked into rehab in April.
In Michelle's Loose Women interview, she said alcohol had caused her to start "lying and manipulating situations", adding that that's when she realised she needed help.
"I became very very ill, it was a five year process," she explained. "About three years it got a bit of a hold on me, I was happy in my addiction.
"Sometimes it's difficult to say you have an addiction cos at times it feels fun, that's the reality of it, it.
"[Alcohol] was my friend in need.
"Any feeling, sad, happy, the sun's shining, a party - any excuse. It got a hold of me really badly about a year and a half ago.
'"My husband and friends tried an intervention to get me to rehab."
In a harrowing moment, the star revealed she was "on death's door" three months ago, and "given a couple of days to live".
"I was so ill I had lost so much weight, my skin was translucent, my belly was swollen and hard. I was sick so I could drink more. I'd feel happy so I could drink more. It controlled everything I did," she said.
"The last three years I've never had a day off alcohol, a drink or some sort, last September I was in hospital with a failed pancreas and liver disease.
"It wasn't looking good, even then I couldn't stop. I was told if I continued I would die but I still didn't stop.
"Nothing mattered, my skin, I could see my veins, my skin was itchy, I was scratched with scars.
"My hair has gone, this isn't mine, it's been put in by my hairdresser. The great news is that the liver repairs, it's an amazing organ. It will repair but not forget."
While Michelle said she is now over the hill, branding her husband, Hugh Hanley - with whom she shares children Faith, nine, and Aaron, seven - her "rock, she confirmed she knew it was a long journey ahead.
"'I'm under no illusions, one drink and I could be right back to where I was if not worse," she said.
If you're experiencing similar issues with addiction, you can visit Alcoholics Anonymous for advice and support, here.