Monday, 26 June 2017

Mother's Ruin

I was interviewed recently for a feature in the fabulous Smallish Magazine titled 'Mother's Ruin.'

(To read the full article click here).

The journalist asked whether all the jokes about wine o'clock, and the way the lives of modern mothers revolve around boozy playdates, 'family friendly' festivals and so on is becoming a problem.

The statistics would suggest that it is. One in five university educated women are believed to be drinking more than the recommended levels, especially the over 45's.

It's not the young, wild, crazy things being irresponsible - it's us, the ones who should be setting a good example.

I don't like to get all sniffy about the wine memes on Facebook - I used to think they were hilarious. It's just that they are one of the reasons it took me so long to quit.

Professor Nutt's study on the relative harms of twenty drugs, illegal and legal, concluded that when you combine the damage to the individual and to society as a whole, alcohol was by far the most dangerous.

If you only consider the danger to the individual, to yourself, alcohol is still the fourth most dangerous drug (after heroin, crack and crystal meth), and the fifth most addictive. It's more harmful than cocaine, ketamine, cannabis, ecstasy and nicotine.

And yet we refuse to treat alcohol as a dangerously addictive drug. Everyone takes it, everyone jokes about it, if you don't join in you're seen as weird.

In my early days of being sober, I'd be struggling really hard to see my former best friend as my greatest enemy, and then I'd look at Facebook and there would be all these little wine jokes: Keep your friends close, and your wine closer. Stay calm, drink wine.

I even saw an advertisement on Facebook last night for a designer handbag that doubles as a wine dispenser! I would have loved that in the olden days...

So, I would see all these jokes, and all the photos on my friends' timelines of dining tables scattered with wine bottles, boozy picnics and drunken parties and I'd think how can booze be so bad if everyone is drinking it? It's medicinal! It's sophisticated! It's CONTINENTAL!

And yet, can you imagine the outcry if a Mum posted on Facebook: Hurrah! Kids in bed, time to rack up a line of cocaine!

I'm not suggesting that everyone stop drinking. Those who can happily drink safely and moderately (damn their eyes) should carry on. I'm just suggesting that we stop treating massive consumption of booze as a joke, as innocuous and harmless.

Because it's not.

Love to you all,



  1. I used to post so many of those funny memes that my sister actually told me to stop because people would think I have a drinking problem. haha It did actually make me think do I have a problem. Answer, Yes !

  2. No, it's not harmless at all.
    The birthday card selection is as bad as facebook memes. It's nearly impossible to find a card for a friend that isn't either about alcohol or just plain rude to the friend you are trying to honor.

  3. Alcohol is so ridiculously accepted as the norm, to the point that I'm regularly worrying about how to turn down drinks at social occasions without being met with disbelief and sometimes even anger! Why is it so ingrained in our culture that you absolutely HAVE to join in with the drinking or there must be something wrong with you??

  4. Alcohol is bloody dangerous. I think its really weird normalising the use and abuse of a mind altering substance and then ostracising people whose bodies and minds cant deal with it.

  5. The first time I thought of alcohol as a drug was after reading Jason vale when I quit last November. And it's so true but when you are drinking you never look at it like that? But when you look at the hard facts it certainly makes me feel so happy that I'm not pouring that stuff into my body anymore.
    I was always putting wine quotes and hangover quotes on Facebook, not somthing to be proud of really, now it's all fitness and positivity quites for me which probably really annoys people but you know what I don't care, I'm so proud that I've turned my life around and if people don't like it then they can't be my real friends! in years to come drinking will be like smoking and we will all be so ahead of the game! Thanks to you Sm xxxxxx

  6. Agree. It is a slippery slope. You think you are fine and once you realize you are's too late. That is NOT harmless!!

  7. It's not just that it normalises the consumption of alcohol but the abuse of it. Our words are so often what we become- these posts are toxic and dangerous x