It’s going to be a year since Sarah-Jane Clarke, the co-founder of the Australian women’s fashion label Sass & Bide, has had alcohol. The famous fashion designer gave up alcohol after realizing her binge drinking problem. After suffering from horrible hangovers, blackouts and feeling ashamed of herself, Clarke challenged herself to give up alcohol for 12 months in December 2016.
The Sydney-based designer first revealed her plans on Instagram on Dec. 5, 2016. According to Clarke, her decision to quit drinking came after decades of excessive alcohol consumption. She has admitted to having started drinking in her 10th year while growing up in Brisbane. “I learned from a very early age to think it was acceptable to drink irresponsibly, and then used that as stress relief with three young kids, all under four, and through my working years at Sass & Bide,” she said.
Fashion and culture of drinking
Alcohol, Clarke believed until she continued drinking, helped her mask her insecurities, banish her social anxiety and transform her into an extrovert. When the brand ‘Sass & Bide’ came into existence in 1999, Clarke realized that fashion and drinking went hand in hand. According to her, amid dinner parties and post-fashion week parties that went past 3 a.m., it was difficult to escape alcohol.
Although the designer enjoyed drinking, the blackouts and hangovers started worsening. She was soon diagnosed with adrenal fatigue and was even consumed by the guilt over the things she said and the decisions she made while being drunk.
A clearer way and a clearer life
But the life-changing event that made Clarke abstain from alcohol happened at an intimate dinner party at her house. Although nothing embarrassing happened and no one noticed, she had blacked out for four hours after having four martinis. The incident left Clarke ashamed and she was barely able to sleep or eat for four days. It was then that she decided to correct things. And to hold herself accountable, she decided to post her decision on Instagram.
Accepting her new lifestyle, the designer has confessed to having lost some friends but gained a much clearer way and a better life. Clarke admits to have entered an unaltered state that has completely changed her life for the better.
Alcohol – a leading cause of preventable deaths
Drinking is a way of life for many as it has become a part of family traditions and cultures across the nations. As it has got integrated with our cultures and traditions, it often becomes difficult to ascertain when we drink too much. Excessive drinking may lead to alcohol use disorder (AUD).
A long-term disease and a leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S., AUD affects an estimated 16 million people in the United States. It makes one physically and mentally addicted to alcohol and is characterized by loss of control over alcohol intake, compulsive alcohol use and a negative emotional state when not drinking.
If left unchecked, alcohol abuse can harm one’s relationships, disrupt professional life, cause legal troubles and even contribute to accidents. In addition to causing a variety of physical illnesses, including liver diseases, gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems and unintentional injuries, alcohol has been linked to a range of mental health issues, ranging from depression to suicide.
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