“The Wine O’Clock Myth”: Lotta Dann

Recently published The Wine O’Clock Myth: The Truth You Need to Know About Women and Alcohol is the third book New Zealander Lotta Dann has written about alcoholism. The first two were more personal, the memoirs Mrs D Is Going Without and Mrs D Is Going Within. As she has publicly stated, Dann drank problematically for 24 years and has now been sober over eight years.

Her Twitter self-description: “I am sober. I write books and blogs, promote recovery & run the community website livingsober.org.nz.”  

The Living Sober site tells us more about Dann: “Mrs D is the name Lotta Dann gave herself when she began anonymously blogging in 2011. Through her long-running blog, Mrs D Is Going Without, Lotta discovered the incredible power of online support for people quitting drinking.”

“Why did I write this book?'” asks Dann regarding The Wine O’Clock Myth (in her pinned Tweet). “Because the pendulum has swung too far and our alcohol saturated environment (which glamorises and normalises booze) is not only harming people and costing our society so much, it also isolates and stigmatises people who are struggling.”

From the publisher of The Wine O’Clock Myth:

Written through the lens of her own story and her work in the field of addiction and recovery, Lotta explores the privileged position alcohol holds in our society, the way the liquor industry targets women and the damaging ‘Wine Mum’ social media culture. She reveals the damage alcohol is causing to women physically, emotionally, and socially, and the potential reasons why so many women are drinking at harmful levels. She talks to a number of brave women who share detailed, intimate stories about their personal relationships with alcohol—stories that are at times brutal and heartbreaking, but also inspiring and heart lifting.

Of course, Dann herself has a story. Whereas her 2014 Mrs D Is Going Without “is an honest, upfront, relatable account of one suburban housewife’s journey from miserable wine-soaked boozer to self-respecting sober lady,” her later Mrs D Is Going Within is more about the challenges of maintaining sobriety.

As stated by Dann in an interview with Jeanna Thomson, Writers College Blog: “There’s a saying – ‘putting down the drink is just the beginning’. Once the dust settled and I began to feel very strong in my sobriety, I realised I needed to do some ‘next stage’ work on new tools to help me deal with life. All my years of steady alcohol use had left me with very few strategies.”

Additionally, from the publisher: “Despite outward appearances, three years after getting sober Lotta is struggling. She’s often on edge, battles to cope with the busyness and constant upheavals of life, and is eating sugar like crazy to deal with tough emotions…The truth is, Lotta’s life-long drinking habit has left her as a fledgling emotionally. She’s slowly accepting that she needs to do some more work on herself.”

And that she has, enough so that Dann’s newer book The Wine O’Clock Myth, perhaps most relevant to all those women out there in earlier stages of realization, was able to be written.

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