Margaret’s story was featured in another Mail article in June, along with why for all of my women who tried Alcoholics Anonymous, it just didn’t work. Needless to say the only negative feedback I received from the article was from AA! We live in a modern world, and each of us is entitled to an opinion, mine is based on evidence, and the sooner that we see a change of attitude towards treatment and care with this rampant misuse of alcohol, mainly because intervening is so difficult with the stigma that surrounds asking for help, the better.
I hear daily from women who have sought help, 33% of my clients have been from the health care sector this year, no one is immune from drinking too much, only to find that the care is not only inappropriate but simply not there. I do not have any concrete figures on how much has been spent on smoking cessation clinics, where there is zero stigma attached, but I imagine that the cost has run into millions, and yet there not even a seed of hope among professionals that something similar could be set out for people who drink too much. Why? I have never heard of anyone being killed by another after smoking 20 cigarettes, but plenty who have harmed themselves and others with a bottle of booze or ten on board.
There are more and more women becoming concerned about their nightly tipple of half a bottle or more, as a lady named Jane, discussed today on Womans Hour. She was quite clear of her concern, and yet the interviewer asked the question about her particular wine habit, ‘Would you not feel that giving up alcohol is like losing a treasured time?’ It is that kind of language that will always put booze in a place of goodness rather than badness.
All I can hope for is that the women who come to see me, pull together and pioneer a new chapter with attitudes towards alcohol, and the approach those who are behind keeping it a taboo subject.
This is Margaret’s Story which shows whatever age you are, there is always time to change.