For those with alcohol addiction issues, the road to recovery is never easy. However, with perseverance and the right support, the rewards can be immense.
This is illustrated perfectly through the story of 37-year-old railroad engineer Kenny D., a man who experienced life-enhancing changes both inside and out after turning to sobriety.
There are no quick fixes to overcoming alcohol addiction, something Kenny knows all too well. But by tracking his progress through selfies across a three-year period, Kenny has been able to demonstrate the vast changes a person can work towards.
Like many people, Kenny began drinking while at university but soon found he was unable to control his alcohol intake after that first sip.
He was able to steer clear from alcohol for days, weeks, and even months on end before experiencing a relapse. But in 2016, he ended up in a particularly dark place; drinking to inebriation every day.
Speaking with Bored Panda, Kenny revealed he was drinking between 12 to 24 drinks each day, leading to him blacking out three or four times a week:
I knew I had a problem but I didn’t know what to do. I used to stand in the bathroom and look at myself in the mirror and wish I wasn’t a drunk. I would wonder how I got this way.
Sometimes I was just indifferent to whether I lived or died. I just wanted it to be over and I didn’t care how.
Showing admirable courage, Kenny decided to enrol on a 12-step programme through Alcoholics Anonymous, marking every sobriety coin or chip milestone with a selfie. And, as he left drink further and further behind him, his physical appearance changed drastically.
Freeing himself from the poisonous grip of alcoholism, Kenny’s health improved noticeably through the photographs, which were taken at regular intervals from 24 hours sober onwards right up until three years.
Not only could Kenny be seen visibly recovering from the effects of the drink, he was also benefiting from taking better care of himself; something which would have felt impossible at his rock bottom.
Kenny told Bored Panda:
As you can see from the pictures, I’ve lost 75 pounds (34 kilograms) since I got sober. I eat much cleaner and I exercise now.
My favorite form of exercise is DDP Yoga. Awesome program and it completely changed my whole perspective on exercise and healthy living.
Three years into sobriety, every day is an awesome day and I can’t wait to experience the next awesome thing or meet the next awesome person whom I can learn something from.
Three years on, and Kenny looks virtually unrecognisable; positivity and hope practically radiating from his face. And, after Kenny bravely shared his pics on Reddit, many others have been emboldened by his journey.
One grateful person wrote:
Thank you for showing me that you can be happy and sober at the same time.
I’m just starting my journey, hopefully I’ll match your achievement and look as good.
Many congratulations to Kenny as he continues to make brilliant progress, while no doubt inspiring countless others to keep working towards a happier and sober life.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article, you can contact Alcoholics Anonymous either by ringing their national help line on 0800 9177 650 or by emailing [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.