Michelle Heaton shares picture of face swollen from alcohol addiction to celebrate sobriety

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Michelle Heaton, pictured at the NTAs in September 2021, has been sober for 140 days. (Getty Images)
Michelle Heaton, pictured at the NTAs in September 2021, has been sober for 140 days. (Getty Images)

Michelle Heaton has shared a picture of her eyes swollen and bloodshot by the effects of alcohol addiction.

The former Liberty X singer – who has been sober for almost five months after revealing that she drank every day for three years – published the photo on social media to celebrate National Sober Day.

Heaton, 42, told her 281k followers: "This picture is not to shock, it WAS my reality! 20 weeks ago this was me - Ruined - immune system was shutting down.

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"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."

Read more: Michelle Heaton apologises to Lorraine for secretly drinking before interviews

She added: "Today I am stronger mentally and physically better then I’ve ever been. One day at a time.

"For anyone who needs help with addiction, there is help out there."

Michelle Heaton and husband Hugh Hanley in November 2019 when the singer was hiding her addiction. (Getty Images)
Michelle Heaton and husband Hugh Hanley in November 2019 when the singer was hiding her addiction. (Getty Images)

The star – who found fame in 2001 in Liberty X, the runners-up of ITV singing talent show Popstars – left rehab in May after seeking help for a drink and drug addiction she had been battling in secret for three years.

Heaton – who appeared on Celebrity Big Brother in 2009 – is mother to nine-year-old daughter Faith and seven-year-old son AJ, who she shares with her Irish businessman husband of 11 years, Hugh Hanley.

Hanley revealed earlier this year: "Four days before going to the Priory she had a very bad fit in bed at 2am. She wouldn’t stop shaking and her mouth was drooling. That was scary and it really spooked her.

Her skin was also changing colour and she hadn’t eaten for days. Things had got so bad there was no way out. She was told in September 2020, with her liver the way it was, she was going to die if she did nothing about it."

Michelle Heaton and her children Faith and AJ attend McDonald's #McNuggetsVANPire Halloween party in Southampton. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday October 27, 2019. In McDonaldÕs restaurants and drive-thrus up and down the UK until 31st October, children can also enjoy Limited-Edition McDonaldÕs Halloween activity packs which include scary masks, balloons, stickers, a creepy colouring-in tablecloth and crayons. Photo credit should read: Paul Harding/PA Wire (Photo by Paul Harding/PA Images via Getty Images)
Michelle Heaton and her children Faith and AJ in October 2019. (PA)

The couple said that by April this year, Heaton was constantly vomiting and on the toilet, and while she was skinny her liver was visibly protruding.

Heaton added: "I also wasn’t washing for days and my hair was falling out and had become very thin because of the alcohol abuse and hormones. I’d gone down to 7st 13lb. My body was shutting down and couldn’t function without the alcohol."

Read more: Michelle Heaton opens up on scary near-death experience in days before rehab

Heaton shared how she was "thoroughly enjoying being a mummy" now that she wasn't reliant on alcohol, as Hanley told how she had avoided family time previously in favour of turning to the bottle.

As well as suffering dramatic weight-loss as a result of her alcohol abuse, she must take medication to account for the lack of function in her pancreas and has been left with terrible bowel issues.

Heaton underwent a double mastectomy and hysterectomy after she was diagnosed in 2012 with the BRCA2 gene, giving her an 80% chance of developing breast cancer.

Watch: Michelle Heaton opens up on her alcohol addiction

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