Friday, 21 August 2015


Over and over again, when I read people's stories about how they ended up with a major drink issue, I hear them talk about growing up feeling like an outsider. A square peg in a round hole, not fitting in.

They go on to describe how, as a teenager, alcohol made them feel - for the first time - 'whole'. Included. Secure.

This is often quoted as evidence for an alcoholic 'type' - people with a hole in the soul.

But, you know what? I look at my eldest and remember all that teenage stuff - trying to get to grips the world and your place in it, whilst dealing with raging hormones and a body which won't stop changing. And it strikes me that surely ALL teenagers feel like that underneath. How can they not?

I used to tell people frequently that my life changed when I was about twenty five and I stopped caring what people thought of me. Is it a co-incidence that that's the age when I started drinking more and more?

Looking back, I'm not sure that I ever really stopped caring - I just found a way to mask it, not to deal with it.

And when you stop drinking, all the insecurities come back. You can find yourself standing on the outskirts at parties thinking "do people think I'm boring? Am I wearing completely the wrong outfit? Are they talking about me?" in a way you haven't done since you were nineteen.

So, decades later, it's time to learn how to properly cope with teenage angst. And I think I'm getting to the solution.... have to remember that everyone else feels the same.

Think back to all the 'insiders', the round pegs in round holes from your teenage years. Do you think now that they really had all the answers? How is that even possible at the age of sixteen or seventeen? I bet if you asked them they'd confess to having been as riddled with as many insecurities as you!

And the same is true of most adults.

How many 'perfect' marriages have you admired, only to find out that both parties secretly hated each other and have been having wild affairs? How many friends do you have with seemingly wonderful lives who you know are struggling terribly with debt, or depression, or similar?

I know from this blog and all the e-mails I receive that no-one's life is what it seems to the onlooker. There's Facebook life, and there's reality, and very little overlap between the two.

Learning to judge yourself by your insides, and not other peoples' outsides is the key to serenity, not a glass of vino.

And who wants to be a standard shaped peg in a standard shaped hole anyway? Who wants to be stuck in a gaggle of identikit followers?

Isn't it better to be on the outside leading the way? Like us.

Love SM x


  1. This post is so apt! I have started to care less about what people think of me since being sober. So yesterday, I made the decision to go out without make up. Now I don't wear lots of make up, but I like to look healthier than my colour-drawn out pale face allows. So there I was, dropped the boys off at a holiday club, popped into the local shop and got home. That wasn't too bad, I thought. Later I noticed I had a MASSIVE rip in my trousers that very kindly flashed my choice of knickers for the day. Oh my word. I couldn't believe it. But do you know what. Instead of crying with embarrasment and hating myself for being so stupid, I laughed. I would not have done that 6 months ago. Progress. x

  2. Yeah I guess I feel more able to deal with all that teenage angst now at 46! I didn't really have a hole in the soul i was just very very self conscious. I now really don't care what others think of me and I realise that most people only worry about themselves ie not me! You are only the centre of your own universe after all. Stopping drinking is allowing me to get more in touch with myself without all that anxiety, just a few tears and high emotions. About time!

  3. I wish I had learned that all people have some sort of insecurity, problems.
    That is what human beings have.
    Now I know that, and it helps me.
    Although I STILL put on full make-up to go to yoga! In a hot studio!

    1. Are you crazy?
      it must immediately melt off! Lol
      I don't even brush my hair before class and I tech! I'm trying to set a good example of come as you are!