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What Happens to Your Body When You're an Alcoholic

Updated 24 Sep 2019 438.6k views14 items

Full disclosure before we start: I am an alcoholic.

We don't need to do the weird backhanded bragging so many ex-drinkers like to engage in where I try to tell you nonchalantly just how much I used to consume - suffice it to say I drank enough that I felt like I should stop drinking, which I did four years ago and haven't really looked back.

While my body feels better now than it did when I was drinking, it certainly still bears some of the outward physical effects of alcohol abuse. I have a weird bloated stomach even though I'm skinny everywhere else. My eyes still have those dark circles under them. I still have that scar on my arm from the time I tried to start an impromptu rodeo while in the middle of a cow tipping excursion (I deserved it).

I have only sympathy and solidarity for my still-boozing brethren and this article is not an attempt at conversion. I have no patience for moralizing or proselytizing, and what you do with your body is up to you. That said, it's hard for me to read article after article about what alcoholism does to your body and not feel relieved that I got out when I did.

Obligatory last note before we dive in: If you know someone that's struggling, help them. If you think alcohol is hurting your quality of life, stop drinking it. The internet is full of resources and there are meetings near you no matter where you are. I didn't use a program so it would be disingenuous for me to recommend one, but hey - if you want to talk to someone about it you can email me at and I'll at least listen to your story.


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