Can you cope without that 6pm drink?

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IO_kate moss life0 Reuters Kate Moss once admitted she hadnt walked the catwalk sober in a decade.

 

London - Another day, another female celebrity announces her dependence on alcohol. A week or so ago it was Girls Aloud’s Sarah Harding. Last week, it was her band mate Nicola Roberts, who said in an interview she was so upset by taunts about being “ugly” that she would dispatch her driver to buy her booze.

But women who drink are not exclusively young, or famous. They don’t roll around in the street showing their knickers, sitting on kerbs outside nightclubs.

You will probably never see them drunk or even tipsy. But they are everywhere. I don’t know one woman who does not spend all day, every day, dreaming of the moment the clock strikes 6pm, and she can have a glass of wine.

These women are not alcoholics, but drink rules their lives. And I can see how easy it is to become one of them. Who knows why the ice-cold glass of chablis or fruity warm barolo becomes such a salvation, the only highlight at the end of a long, stressful day?

I was in a meeting with a group of women when the new Government diktat that we should abstain from alcohol on two days a week came on the radio. It was early January, which meant the word “detox” had been swimming before our eyes. But still, of all the women there, only one did not admit that she was longing for that first crisp glass of sauvignon blanc, and she was unable to drink only because she was on antidepressants. We’d have laughed had it not been so tragic.

There have been three times in my life when I’ve needed - truly needed - a drink.

The first was when I was about to take up a job as editor of a magazine, in 1998. I was really nervous, and had a tiny glass of wine the night before the announcement was made in the papers.

I was then immersed in the world of fashion, in which everyone drinks, all the time. Champagne flows backstage at shows, there are endless launches and parties and hotel stays.

I remember very early into my tenure I was on a trip with a freelance fashion writer. She was in her 60s, and after lunch one day in a smart hotel in Paris, I watched her walk among the deserted tables, finishing all the dregs in the glasses. I was shocked. I really hoped that would not one day be me.

The second drink was on Millennium Eve, when I was stood up by a man. I had a lonely glass of champagne, determined that I would no longer be so scared of men, so uptight. A different man moved in with me four months later (you see? Oiling the cogs worked!), and then I felt happy and normal, and didn’t need a crutch, even when we broke up.

The third moment of temptation came this Christmas, when I found myself alone, questioning every aspect of my life.

What is so worrying about women and alcohol is that concerns about health rarely enter the equation. As I removed the foil from a bottle of champagne my only thought was, stupidly, of Kate Moss. She once admitted she hadn’t walked the catwalk sober in a decade. As I poured, I said to myself, well, a bit of bubbly doesn’t appear to have affected her skin, and she’s been at it for years. Maybe it won’t hurt. It will numb the loneliness. I deserve a treat. I can pretend I’m having a good time.

I discovered over Christmas that if I didn’t eat anything, the fog - when I could forget my troubles, if momentarily - descended faster.

At the end of the week, I put out only one bottle instead of three for recycling, such was my worry the bin men might murmur: “Oh, her, the mad cat woman, she lives alone, and look at how much she drinks!”

Much as we shouldn’t condemn women who have breast implants for their recklessness, but rather question why society has persuaded them they should look a certain way, so too, instead of telling women to give up drink two days a week, we should be wondering why we drink.

One of my sisters drinks because she feels old, has no money, and is alone. My sister-in-law drank herself to death because she was shy.

The stressed, super-busy woman drinks because she is too poor to shop, too tired to cook or go out or even speak. The pop of a champagne cork no longer means good times, a cause for celebration, it means the start of a slippery slope.

We kid ourselves a glass of wine is a lifestyle choice, our right, a reward, when it could well be our downfall. - Daily Mail

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jacqui, wrote

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05:03pm on 18 January 2012
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Hey Nix - my kinda gal heee hee (hic)!

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cathy, wrote

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03:41pm on 18 January 2012
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The last comment made by Bollox is totally unrelated to the article. Woman have breasts implants because they having big t....ts is sooooooo sexy. If you have a good surgeon, your breasts will look real. My DD looks fantastic. My husband absolutely adores them. By the way, it sounds like you suffering from small man p....nis. May I suggest you consult a surgeon.

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Bollox McFee, wrote

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02:43pm on 18 January 2012
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Always wondered why woman get breat implants anyway - they look, frankly terrible with clothes off. They can look ok with clothes on, which means you may as well just stuff the bra! Tupperware bolted on to the chest is not sexy, or a good look.

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cathy, wrote

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01:15pm on 18 January 2012
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We have become a chemically dependant society. Whether it be with alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.....

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Lollu, wrote

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05:10pm on 17 January 2012
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@ Anon: The article is not about "enjoying" the glass of wine but "needing" it for emotional reasons - huge difference! As to why can some drink moderately and others not: such is the nature of the disease (it's been medically proven as such) called alcoholism. Alcoholics are physically incapable of drinking moderately. What am curious about is why you felt the need to defend yourself so strongly on the subject of drinking?

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Nix, wrote

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08:34pm on 16 January 2012
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do some peole really wait till 6pm - hell, 5pm is about right in my book. lol

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Miss Marley, wrote

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06:21pm on 16 January 2012
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@ Anon 05h44...with all due respect you are missing the point. The author is not talking about drinking in moderation...she starts the article celebs admitting their dependence on alcohol. I think your views, in relation to this article, are naive

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Anonymous, wrote

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05:44pm on 16 January 2012
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Garbage - nothing wrong wih enjoying a glass of wine to wind down the day. Doesn't matter the reason - people who become addicted are simply addictive people. Why can some drink moderately and others not ? Just because I drink at least 5 days a week, a glass in the evening, does not make me a boozer or an alcoholic or someone with "issues" or "depression" - I just like it. Theres nothing wrong with that - there are millions of women the world over who do the same for no other reason than enjoyment.

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Miss Marley, wrote

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05:32pm on 16 January 2012
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It's funny but I was having this very convo with my bf this AM!! It's sad that at the heart of British social culture is booze, EVERYTHING is centered around it. It's sad that in London, which is supposed to be a 24hr city, you will not find a coffee shop open after 18h00 so even if you wanted to meet a frind for a coffee or hot chocolate, you cant' but..the pub will be open! You get happy hour at pubs but not a coffee shops...why is that? Coz this society in humble opinion encourages binge drinking. I have lived in London for 7 years and Ihave had more booze in 7 years than I did in all my live when I lived in SA. Thank God I saw the light...

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Hans, wrote

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05:28pm on 16 January 2012
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@ Rushdi, You are right, they go out and blow people up. Give me a drunk anytime

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Shaun, wrote

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05:19pm on 16 January 2012
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One of the characters in "The man with the golden gun" says: "there is no better drink than the one before the first of the day." That is so true. The expectation promises so much more than the reality delivers.

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I start at 5 to avoid the rush, wrote

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05:14pm on 16 January 2012
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Booze, glorious booze.

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dr.zeek, wrote

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04:55pm on 16 January 2012
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@ Rushdi: she said, "I don't know...". FAIL.

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amused, wrote

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04:54pm on 16 January 2012
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The only thing I look forward to at 6pm is seeing my family and pets.

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Anonymous, wrote

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04:46pm on 16 January 2012
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Nice read.

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Lollu, wrote

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02:55pm on 16 January 2012
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Rushdi, you should read the article until the end. She's making a point about the chronic sadness in our society and how high levels of drinking and alcoholism is symptomatic of that. I don't think she's encouraging drinking for comfort at all.

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Rushdi, wrote

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02:23pm on 16 January 2012
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"I don’t know one woman who does not spend all day, every day, dreaming of the moment the clock strikes 6pm, and she can have a glass of wine." Seriously? Lady, you need to get out more. Isn't a sixth or a third of the world Muslim? A large majority of that billion+ people don't drink alcohol at all. Get out more and widen your circle of friends, I suggest.

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