Thursday, 28 July 2016

Liz Jones

Liz Jones is a fashion editor and newspaper columnist who has, over the last twenty years, written in painfully honest detail about the ups and downs of her life.

When I come across a Liz Jones column, I have the same feeling I have when I'm driving down the motorway and notice a car crash on the other side of the road: I know I really shouldn't slow down to look, I know it's only going to make me miserable and that there's nothing I can do to help, but even so I find my foot hovering over the brake.

Then, at the weekend, I came across this headline from Liz:

LIZ JONES: I've finally got a friend I can rely on - a bottle of wine a day.

Here's an abridged version of what Liz had to say:

I'm not writing about 'wine o'clock' and one too many glasses of a really nice Chablis to wind down. I drink to escape my life, not toast it.

I don't want to get tiddly - I want to be comatose, to escape the awful pressing problems of today. I don't care two hoots about tomorrow.

I had my first drink on Millennium Eve, thinking it might cure my crippling shyness, help me get a date. That was Trigger Number One - loneliness, insecurity.

A glass of wine didn't cure my diffidence, not really, but it gave me something to do in the evening, something to hold....

....last year, faced with financial ruin, I drank half a bottle in one go. That was a first. I felt better - ooh, another first. This is nice. Wow. I can sleep. Yay. Who cares that I have no money?....

....of course, I woke up, depressed, at 3am, my body craving more booze. A cycle had been set in motion....

Now? The bottle is my only friend. It's so festive with its bubbles, so merry. The pop makes you feel you're at a party of one. It's not that without it, life just doesn't seem worth living. Without it, life is impossible.

Now, we know how that feels, don't we?

And we know it's a vicious circle: you drink because life is difficult. The drink makes life more difficult. You drink because life is difficult. Ad infinitum.

So, whatever you may think about Liz Jones, I say WELL DONE, and THANK YOU. For being so honest about an issue few women will admit to their closest friends, let alone the whole country.

I had a look at the comments posted online to see how Liz's article had been received. There were 1,400 of them before the website stopped taking any more.

The worst rated comments were along the lines of this one: "Hopefully she'll drink herself to death. Sad old soak."

But here's an example of one of the best rated comments: "I'm sure that there will be people who will criticise you for writing this Liz, but for every one of them there will be many, many more who identify with what you've said and now feel less alone. Thank you for your bravery."

And so say all of us.

I do hope that rather than just printing her article, and enjoying the attention it receives, Liz's editor makes sure she gets help.

I've put Liz's name in the title of this post in the hope that she Googles herself and comes across this blog, because one thing is clear - she needs friends.

(To read Liz's full article, and the reader's comments click here).

Love SM x


  1. I have the same feelings about Liz Jones articles as you SM but I think this is really brave and honest. I'm now 12 weeks plus down and can barely admit the above to my nearest and dearest ( I'm getting there) let alone so bluntly and publicly.

  2. I read the article too and just didn't get it. I was waiting for the punchline or the point of it but there wasn't one. It was very odd and I felt sorry for her and quite miserable by the end. She didn't even drink when she was young but I am sure there will be lots of people who read it and associate with the 'bottle a night'. The longer I am af the more I can't quite believe how 'normalised' drinking a bottle of wine a day is. A whole bottle of wine a day ffs! And so many people doing it and thinking it's ok. What a crazy world we live in. It makes me mad that it is regarded as normal or ok. It allowed me to drink to excess for years. But it's not ok. A bottle of wine a day is a lot!!! And it leads to more! Crazy

  3. I am new to your blog and this is a first post for me. Coming across your blog has inspired me and, likely, has saved me. One week ago, I made the decision to stop drinking. I, like you, would drink a bottle or two of wine per day. If I only had one bottle of wine at home, I would likely drink that and then cut into my husband's beer. I don't know what high I was looking but I do know that I was trying to escape something, or, a lot of things. I gave birth to my first child three months ago and since I gave birth, I have drank more than I ever had before. I tossed it up to the stresses of new parenting. Finally, last Saturday, as it was 2 p.m. and I was pouring my first glass of wine, my husband made a comment that was sobering (not really sobering, but eye-opening). He told me, "You drink more than you think you do." Ouch. All that time I thought that I was somehow hiding it from the people around me. I thought that I was just a normal, casual drinker. How it stings to have someone tell you otherwise. After hearing that, and finishing another bottle of wine - fine, and two beers - I made the decision to stop drinking. It's not that my life was in disarray - quite the opposite, actually. Like many readers here, my house is spotless, my child is well cared for, dinner is made at home, I garden on the weekends, have a great relationship with my family and a job that I love. However, I know that what I was doing was not right, safe, healthy, or productive. I googled everything about quitting drinking and found your blog. I felt immediately connected to you, and everyone who commented with such bold honesty. Thank you for being so candid about a struggle that is usually a silent one for most. I am scared and anxious, but I am also energized and excited about this journey. I will continue to follow your blog for as long as this journey last.

    1. What an exciting time in your life! And what a wonderful thing to do to assure your beautiful baby of a 'there for her(him)... always'-Mommy.

    2. You are making a great decision!! There are so many benefits to an AF life !

    3. Welcome CaliforniaDrinking, and huge congratulations! Motherhood is much easier and more rewarding sober :-) Hugs xxx

    4. Thank you all for the encouraging words. Parenting these past 8 sober days has been much easier than it had been with a hangover. I would also like to share that this past weekend I attended my first social gathering without succumbing to the pressure of drinking. (It was a bottomless mimosa brunch followed by a movie at a theatre that serves alcohol, nonetheless!) I'll admit that, initially, it was difficult to not join my girlfriends in the bottomless mimosas. However, after about a half hour had passed and they all proceeded to get rather shit faced, I found that I was not as tempted. The main reason that I did not order a drink, though, was hearing all of your voices in my head rooting me on and cheering for me to stay sober. Thank you again. 8 days strong!

    5. Blogging kept me going and finding SMs blog was my catalyst as well quit drinking. Great decision to quit now while your little one is still little!

  4. Hi I was AF for 3.5 months, over a 100 days and then out of the blue I decided that's it I want a glass of wine and everything I had learned, everything I had done in the 100+ days before went right out the window. I'm not sure what happens next but trying to figure it out.

    1. You made the first step by joining us here in Sober Cyberworld. Welcome xx

    2. Can you not just think of it as a blip and just start over again tomorrow? Don't make too much of it. You had what I call a "moderation mirage", you realise this and regret it, it's done and now you're right back on it. It's just part of the process. Grit your teeth! X

    3. Where's the "like" button? WoSunshine - said it perfectly well - moderation mirage lasted three years - but I'm sailing abs well now.

    4. I echo the above. Timely comment for me 100. Thanks.

  5. I hope that more and more people (especially those in the public arena) will "come out".....I was so inspired to hear the Mayor of Boston start his speech at the DNC this week..."Hello, I'm an alcoholic"...really powerful and inspiring x

  6. I wouldn't necessarily believe a word Liz Jones writes. Call me cynical but a lot of what she writes just does not add up.

    But as has been said here - there are an awful lot of intelligent, educated, successful women drinking a bottle of wine every evening. And believing they need it in order to cope with their lives. They are not necessarily alcoholics. They have a bad habit, a problem, an unhelpful enthusiasm.

  7. Heartbreaking. Brings me right back to my mindset when I was drinking. If she's writing the truth, I hope she finds a way to reach out and get some help.