The Mail on Sunday - You - - Editor's Letter -

The other day I bumped into a friend at a party. She looked fan­tas­tic. She’d lost weight, her skin was lu­mi­nous and she seemed calm and grounded. ‘What have you done?’ I asked her, an­gling for her to name the mir­a­cle diet she’d been fol­low­ing. ‘I’ve given up the booze,’ she said. ‘It’s been three months; I even man­aged my brother’s wed­ding on sparkling water. I used to have a real prob­lem with drink, you see.’ I was amazed. Even though I’ve spent many a jolly evening in her com­pany, I’d had no inkling that what seemed like nor­mal so­cial­is­ing had masked what was – for her – a darker is­sue. ‘I used to be very good at hid­ing it,’ she said. ‘Even my hus­band had no idea.’ For­tu­nately for most women a few too many once in a while won’t land us in a hu­mil­i­at­ing or dan­ger­ous sit­u­a­tion, but for Cather­ine Gray her out-of-con­trol drink­ing led to black­outs, bad be­hav­iour and bro­ken re­la­tion­ships. On page 40 she tells us how she fi­nally ban­ished booze, and how as a re­sult she is hap­pier, health­ier and more op­ti­mistic. On the night that many of us pledge to cut back on al­co­hol, Cather­ine’s story pro­vides timely in­spi­ra­tion. As some­one who is prone to cling to clut­ter, another prom­ise I’ll be mak­ing tonight will be to clear out my wardrobe, shelves and kitchen of all the ex­cess stuff that has built up dur­ing 2017. On page 30, Mar­gareta Mag­nus­son hand-holds us through the process of de­clut­ter­ing, which many of us find sur­pris­ingly emo­tional and dif­fi­cult – though the pain is worth­while when we can fi­nally see what’s in our cup­boards again!

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