Julian Kirkman-Page is a changed man – and he wants the world to know.
For 30 years he was part of the two bottles-of-wine-a-day London city drinking culture... until a move to Selsey made him realise he’d rather have a long and healthy life than a short and boozy one. Julian has now distilled all his experiences into his new book, I Don’t Drink! how to quit alcohol – a drinker’s tale, self-published and available from Amazon.
“When I moved to the south coast, most of the new people I got to know were in their 70s and 80s, and they were all very healthy and very fit. I used to be part of a culture where if you lived until your mid-60s you had done quite well.
“My brother died five years ago, aged 56 of alcohol poisoning. He was an alcoholic, and he knew it at the end. He had also lived in the drinking culture... and so I was thinking if I got to 65, I would have done well; I would have lived nine years longer than my brother, and I would have been happy with that.”
So it wasn’t his brother’s death that was the turning point: “What changed me was seeing all these fit, older people in Selsey. I looked and felt really old, and I realised I wanted to be old and healthy as well. I realised I wanted to live until my 80s at least. And I realised at Christmas two years ago if I wanted to do that, I had to give up the drink.”
Julian insists it was easy. He insists alcohol is not in itself addictive: “Within a few weeks, I felt completely new. I had been on high-blood pressure tablets, high cholesterol tablets, and I had been diagnosed with type-two diabetes. I had gout and I had tendonitis. I had god knows what. But within a month, all of that had gone, including the diabetes.”
Julian, 57, didn’t used to wake up craving a drink, but he realised he organised his entire day around the drinks he knew he was going to have. He has no hesitation in labelling himself in hindsight an alcoholic, though it was never diagnosed: “I realised afterwards how alcohol was dictating my entire day.”
Now he is enjoying all the freedom of a booze-free life – not least the fact that by not drinking he has saved £10,000, with which he has bought himself a sports car.
The London business world continues to revolve around the wine bars – and while Julian for work reasons is forced to frequent them still, he finds it the easiest thing in the world to steer clear of the booze. He certainly wouldn’t want would to jeopardise his new-found ability to swim a mile a day. Now he’s wanting to pass on the benefits.
Julian’s methodology uses humour and memories of drunken experiences to instil in the reader a ‘been there – done that’ state of mind. The book begins with a foreword by Chichester therapist and hypnotherapy trainer Dan Jones. Julian includes a day-to-day help guide for the initial stages followed by advice on coping with key events including your first alcohol-free meal out, a wedding, and being the only sober person at a major drinking event.
Julian is also promising hilarious drinking stories and tales of drunken woe...
The book comes just a few months after his previously-published book The 7.52 to London Bridge, an autobiographical comedy set around the world of the train commuter.
Julian is a member of Chindi, the Chichester independent authors group (www.chindi-authors.co.uk).