Janet’s Story

I started drinking at college. Then as a career girl convinced myself that “work hard, play hard” was the way forward. Marriage to a fellow “bon viveur” meant that a bottle of Jack Daniels and some decent wine was always included in the “Saturday Shop”. Dinner parties with friends would often go on until 3am. Only time I stopped was for nine months when pregnant. Remember being thoroughly bored at parties and dinners and longing for the day when I could drink again.

In my forties I got divorced and remarried. Husband number two (who is French) not impressed by Brits drinking their heads off so tried to tone it down a bit. Not easy. He genuinely could not understand why I couldn’t stop after a couple of drinks (like he did) but just not possible for me. I didn’t mind the hangovers (a price worth paying for a good night out?) but what I hated was the memory loss. Is there anything worse than not knowing what you did or said the night before?

At the age of fifty-five I got breast cancer. Mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy followed. Latest research suggests that there was probably a link between my alcohol consumption and cancer although I was strongly in denial at the time. Not an easy journey but I got through it. Now am eight years cancer-free – yay!

In 2003 we relocated from London to Cape Town. For ten years I ran my own business which was huge fun but involved plenty of travelling, staying in hotels etc – always a reason to reward hard work with drinks all round!

I have now sold my business and am doing pro-bono work so a lot of the pressure is gone. We make the most of Cape Town’s fabulous restaurants and are always out for lunch, dinner, cocktails etc. I was always trying to “cut down” to the elusive “fourteen units a week” but usually notched these up after just a few days.

After one particularly hectic week of partying I decided to “STOP DRINKING ALTOGETHER!” as I was feeling distinctly queasy and starting to worry about my liver.

That was just 100 days ago!

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2 thoughts on “Janet’s Story

  1. 19Cathleen

    Hi Janet…congratulations on 100 days sober!!!!! Like you, I drank for many years before stopping altogether. I’ve got 11 months going now and I believe this time, I will win. There’s been lots of great support in the online community…but I can always use more. So, thank you for sharing your story!!!!

    1. Worldwithoutwine@gmail.com


      thanks so much for being the first one to comment on “my story” – not always easy to put oneself “out there” but worth it when you get great comments like yours!

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