JANET GOURAND, 67, stopped drinking wine in May 2015. Almost four years down the line, that one decision has changed her whole life and given her a new-found rejuvenation.
Janet spent her career as an HR director in London. In 2003 she moved to South Africa and started her own HR consultancy, which she ran for 10 years. ‘Even though I’d always tried to be healthy by eating a well-balanced diet, avoiding bad food, and exercising regularly, including yoga, I guess that was juxtaposed by my excessive drinking. I rarely went a day without drinking wine and was definitely a “functioning alcoholic” for many years.’
Unfortunately, it became worse after retirement. ‘I’d managed to integrate Sauvignon Blanc into my life to such an extent that the first drink would often be at 11.30am, and this would morph seamlessly into a few more large glasses with lunch. By 5pm, another cork would be popped to see me through the early evening.’ For years, this was just another day in Janet’s life.
‘If I spent an evening out the drinking would step up a notch. Anyone unable to keep up with my enthusiastic pace would be left behind. Always the last one to leave any social event, I felt like I was “living the life”. I was, of course, completely out of control – but back then it didn’t feel like it. Surely everyone got blackouts and injuries from the previous night, and horrible depressions the foll