The British Liver Trust is one of Dry January's official charity partners for 2018.

In this blog post, Clare Hutton shares her experience of life after liver disease, and how the support of British Liver Trust has been a lifeline

"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 single mum. So after work it was wine o' clock, my treat after a hard day - and it made me feel good."

"I can't believe how quickly my liver failure came on"

"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." 

"Stopping for a month can help you realise the harm that alcohol is doing to you"

"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."

The British Liver Trust is the leading charity for liver disease in the UK. Liver disease is the fifth leading cause of death in the UK and is the second leading cause of death for women of working age. Drinking too much alcohol puts your liver at risk. Taking a month off of alcohol is a great way to start living a healthier lifestyle and taking care of your liver. To visit the British Liver Trust's website, click here

When you sign up for Dry January you can choose to fundraise or donate what you save from not drinking to one of our partner charities. In doing so, you will be supporting great charities like the British Liver Trust. Visit our fundraising page to learn more.