She began drinking at the age of 16, but it's been 68 days since Pooja Bhatt touched a drop of alcohol. It was only recently that Pooja opened up about her alcohol addiction and how she overcame it.
In an interview to Mid-Day, Bhatt girl revealed that she pulled the plug on alcohol last December and has been sober ever since. And for her it's a way of catharsis to talk about her alcohol problem in public. "I want to bust the stigma attached to alcoholism in our country. Women particularly are discouraged from seeking help because it's a matter of shame for the family. We don't share our pain or frailties, we cover our weaknesses and it becomes a cancer," she told the daily.
Although, she is happy to be where she is now, it has not been an easy journey for Pooja. "Luckily, I pulled the plug before it became impossible for me to stop. I'm in the pink of health except for the weight I put on because I'm now a stressful producer. But being the daughter of an alcoholic makes you four times more susceptible to becoming one," she added. But daddy Bhatt quit drinking years ago.
After being in love with her bottle for over decades, it was text message from her dad Mahesh Bhatt which made her rethink. During one the chats, Mahesh told Pooja that if she loves him, then she should love herself too as he lives in her. And this text struck a chord with Pooja and she decided to take the reigns in her hands.
She also revealed that being brought up in an Anglo-Indian environment, it was normal for wine to be passed around the table and beer opened on Sunday. She added that even in the film industry there were people drinking copiously.
"Alcohol is comforting, it colours your evening. It's a socially accepted narcotic even at business lunches and in the boardroom. Also, living in a fast-paced city, being in a high-stress profession, it becomes a reason to celebrate and cope with failure. Your film is a hit, you bathe in champagne, it flops, a single malt lessens the pain," she added.
But she was no ready to go on like this forever and decided to put her foot down. "I was 45 and if I wanted to give myself 10 years of living, I had to quit now before I drank myself to the grave. I had to reclaim the sharper, brighter me which had got watered down," she added.