1. Because I’m middle class, and I drink middle class drinks like Pinot Gris, and gin and tonics.
2. Because, in fact, there are spirits in the liquor cabinet that have been there for over a year, because I don’t like those drinks. Alcoholics would just drink anything, right?
3. Because in Inconceivable, Ben Elton has his protagonist try and give up beer for a few weeks and he says this:
It’s surprisingly difficult to kick the sauce. You say to yourself, ‘It can’t be that hard, I’ll just take a month off’ but then suddenly Trevor’s having a dinner party, and you have to drink for that. Then there’s the pub dominoes team reunion coming up, and you have to drink for that. And of course you’re having beans on toast in front of the telly tonight, and you can’t not have a drink with that.
4. So it’s obviously completely normal.
5. Because my life has not become unmanageable. It’s trickier than it used to be, to make sure that there’s always wine in the house, because it seems to go…well, I suppose it’s just because I’m busier than I used to be, so I don’t stock up as much. But that’s hardly taking over my life, or anything. My life is manageable.
6. Because my children are always on time, dressed, clean and happy. Sometimes that means that I get to work without makeup on, and there was last week when I forgot to brush my hair, but that’s all just part of the wacky world of working motherhood. And I’m holding down a job, after all.
7. Because when my book group discussed High Sobriety: My Year Without Booze, by Jill Stark, one woman gave up for three months as an experiment, and she said that at first it was really hard and she thought about wine all the time, but after a while she found it really relaxing not thinking about drinking. And everyone else chimed in and said ‘Gosh, yes, I mean, I don’t have a problem or anything, but I do find that when I’m driving home from work I’m thinking now, do I have wine in the fridge? Do I need to stop? Can’t wait till dinner and homework are done and I can have a nice glass of something’. And they all agreed that that was completely normal. That’s all I do, too, really. Sometimes I don’t exactly tell LH that I’ve bought a new bottle, but I mean. He never asks.
8. Because on Tuesday I had a day without alcohol.
9. Because I never drink and drive.
10. Because I never drink in the mornings. Except that one time. But that was in extraordinary circumstances, and once doesn’t count.
11. Because I gave up when I was pregnant. I just don’t have a reason to give up right now. It’s fun.
12. Because my friend Natalie gave up for Dry July, and she only drank one glass a day anyway, but she still said it was hard to give up. So everyone struggles, it’s just a habit thing, all habits are hard to break.
13. Because artists drink to unlock their creativity
14. Because I’m too smart to be an alcoholic.
15. Because I don’t want to stop.
1. Because I was unhappy, and scared, and my days were spent thinking about alcohol and hating myself and turning away from every door that might lead outside into the sunshine because I didn’t think I could live in the light of day, and yet – even unhappy, and mired in self-hatred – I wanted to drink more than I wanted to change the way I was living.