Looking back now at my addiction to vino, it strikes me how identical it was to my addiction to nicotine.
And, funnily enough, my old smoker friends, who were also hooked on a packet a day (at least), are the exact same ones struggling with booze now.
What about those really annoying 'social smokers' (Mr SM was one of these) who'd steal one of your last, precious, Marlboro Lights at a party*, then not smoke for days?
(*Known in 1980s England as 'bumming a fag'. That's an expression that doesn't translate well to American).
They're the ones who slowly savour one glass of wine with dinner then stop. Happily. Damn their eyes.
The last smoking years were much like the final years of drinking: I tried again and again to quit, sometimes only lasting a day or two, sometimes weeks or months.
I, once, managed to quit for a whole year, decided I'd cracked it and could live life henceforth happily as a moderate, 'social' smoker. Ho Ho. Two weeks later and I was back on thirty a day.
I wasn't enjoying my habit any longer - it was making me cough, it was making me smell, and my nails, teeth and skin were turning yellow. I hated myself for my lack of willpower.
But the main reason I knew I had to quit smoking was that it had started messing with my head.
I would leave parties early and walk for miles to find a twenty-four hour garage selling cigarettes, rather than stay without my smokes.
I would wrap up a client meeting early on some feeble excuse so that I could squash the edgy feeling. I would avoid any no-smoking restaurants like the plague. I was very cautious about actually making friends with a non-smoker.
Is this ringing any bells? Because that's exactly how I was, by the end, with booze.
And quitting the ciggies was just like quitting booze: a few weeks of uncomfortable, bordering on unbearable, physical withdrawal, followed by months of feeling edgy, obsessed and not knowing what to do with my hands.
I didn't know how to deal with stress, fear, boredom, celebration - anything - without lighting up.
But, instead of replacing my trusty smokes with something healthy like exercise, mindfulness or yoga, I found something altogether easier and more familiar: WINE!
Oh, the irony.
There is, however, one huge difference between my two favourite addictions: other people.
When I quit smoking everyone understood. They all - even the avid smokers like myself - knew that cigarettes were evil, that they were killing us.
No-one thought that I was weird and had a problem - they understood that I'd just been trapped (like millions of others) by a highly addictive drug.
There's loads of help out there for the quitting smoker - the encouragement of friends and family, free support groups, hypnotherapy, patches, gum, inhalers, e-cigs.
Nobody expects you to huddle anonymously in church halls berating yourself and blaming your situation on a disease.
But here's the good news: now I look at smokers and I don't envy them at all. Not even the tiniest bit. I think you poor, poor fellows. If only you knew how much simpler, healthier and more peaceful life is without the tyranny of nicotine...
....and I'm starting to feel the same way about booze, too.
Maybe, one day, society will support and cheer the quitting drinker in the same was as the quitting smoker.
Alcohol and nicotine - they are just the same.
Love SM x