Julie says alcohol was her confidence medicine, as it is for many women, and it worked; she truly believe that if she’d never discovered drinking, she'd still be sitting in my bedroom in Bristol, reading But I drank the way I do now as a beautiful teenager, as a very happy young mother in my 20s, and as a highly-paid journalist in my 30s.
And now I’ve got a husband who frequently delights me after a whopping 22 years together, fantastic friends, loads of money, work I still love and a volunteer job I adore. Other people might be driven to dryness by health issues, but I suffer less from aches and pains than anybody I know.
There’s a famous definition of an alcoholic as ‘someone who drinks more than I do’.
My definition has always been ‘someone who drinks at home’.
We took in a few exhibitions and museums but after two days I could sense myself rushing ahead; I had a rendezvous with oblivion.I’ve never sneered at teetotallers but what I’ve done all of my drinking life is mock moderate drinkers, and now that’s what I’m aiming to become.Not drinking at all would be like doing a fad diet — easy for a bit, then undesirable and boring to maintain.In fact, I’ve come near to being struck off the registers of my GP practices in the last three places I’ve lived because I visited them so rarely that they believed I’d left town.I don’t particularly want to make very old bones; dementia is now the top killer of women — 32,000 a year — and it’s not a fate I’m keen to save myself for.