4 Years Sober Today – and my insides are still red raw

Today marks four whole years sober. Four years since I last let a drop of poison pass through my lips. Four years since I willingly indulged on my own kryptonite. Four years in which I’ve been able to rebuild my life. So today is a great day for me personally.

However, I was rudely reminded this morning of the damage that alcohol has done to me. Let me explain.

I may look relatively healthy on the outside, but I am still healing on the inside. My liver may no longer be diseased or enlarged, but it’s not just your liver that alcohol attacks.

Almost every morning for the last four years I have woken up feeling pretty rough. I wake up to a pain and uncomfortable feeling in the upper part of my stomach.

Ironically, today on my four-year sober anniversary, it was worse than usual.

It goes away within an hour or so of waking and doesn’t affect my ability to work etc. It often prevents me from eating breakfast and it’s not a nice start to each day. I’m used to it now and I know that It’s a miracle that I’m alive in the first place.

I’m not writing this to have a moan. To be honest, I’m pinching myself If that’s the only repercussion I’m left with after hammering my body with up to a litre and a half of vodka a day for years.

I’ve had every test imaginable to find out what is causing it and after a number of ‘we think it’s..’, the verdict is that my stomach and oesophagus are still red raw from me stripping them bare, time and time again with high strength alcohol.

FOUR YEARS LATER, my stomach is still red raw!

That is the damage alcohol can do to a person. That is why I am writing this. I know people will be reading this and thinking ‘well I don’t drink a litre and a half of vodka a day’.

That may be true, but again, I’ve been extremely lucky that feeling rough some morning’s is all I’m left with (touch wood). I stopped drinking at 26, you may have been drinking for 10, 20 or 30 years already. It all adds up.

I actually try to look at my stomach situation as a bit of a blessing. It’s a reminder of the dark days of drinking. A constant reminder of how much I hate alcohol. It’s so important for me, and my head, to find positives out of negatives. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Anyway, this is a positive post. I am four years sober today and I’m bloody proud of myself for it. If I can do it, anyone can.

And if I can come out of it four years later with just a slightly broken stomach each morning, then there is hope for anyone.

Your body is an amazing thing and has an incredible capacity to heal. You just need to do your part, sooner rather than later.

Recovery is possible. Change is possible. There is always a way back.

Thank you for reading, Toby.

15 thoughts on “4 Years Sober Today – and my insides are still red raw

  1. I suffer from similar stomach problems, Toby. My specialist just told me its something I will have to live with. Horrified when I told him I drunk upto 4 bottles of wine a day… I didn’t mention the vodka. Like you its a reminder and a blessing – I’m thankfull to still be alive. 5 years for me. Xx


    1. Hi Debbie (I’ve removed your surname as requested). Thank you for reading and your comment – no offence, but It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with the stomach problems! 5 years is incredible – what an accomplishment. Take care x


  2. Wow… super well done Toby that’s brilliant and also to the lady above. It’s a massive achievement and it’s an honour to be in some way part of your journey 💥🌟✨☀️


      1. Your so welcome. I know about addiction Toby… I know what it’s like to watch someone I love lose his life to addiction. So yes, you really are amazing and even though I don’t know you, I’m so proud of your achievement 🙂


  3. You’re amazing Toby and I’m proud to call you my cousin 💕 I hope you get some relief from the stomach ache soon but you’re absolutely right to focus on the positives. Lots of love xxx


  4. Hello Toby
    I saw your news item today and decided that I would have a look at your blog and i’m so glad I did. So much of your story resonates with me, and all your experiences make me feel that there is hope for me.
    I lost my best friend to alcoholism aged 45, and I am headed the same way, if I dont completely stop. I am about to start medication that prevents me from drinking alcohol or I will be seriously ill. I have nothing to lose except my family and my life have i?
    I see alcohol as an all consuming demon sitting on my shoulder urging me to ignore anyone who supports me because ‘they just dont understand…’ I have to knock that demon off, and get its voice out of my head. I hope that makes sense?
    Counselling and family support are helping me but it seems like a see-saw of sobriety, with the demon.
    Your blog is helping me to understand my thoughts, feelings and actions and is giving me strength to carry on fighting. For me and my family.
    Thank you for your honesty and support, and congratulations on your amazing achievement. You should be so proud of yourself, you have earned that right.
    Many thanks.


    1. Hi Fay. I’m so sorry to hear you are struggling but you must never give up hope – I did, and it very nearly killed me. There is always hope!

      Everything you have said makes sense – alcoholism is a disease and a very complicated one at that. You must not try and fight the battle in your head on your own. Again, I did, and again, it almost killed me. Talking to other people and asking for help are the most powerful tools.

      I’m so glad my blog has helped in some way. Please do not ever give up hope. There is always a way back. I’m living proof of that.

      Wishing you all the very best for your future. Toby


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