5 things I’ve learnt from 6 months of sobriety from alcohol

I’ve always had a love/ hate relationship with alcohol; I love alcohol, but alcohol hates me, unfortunately. Nine times out of ten I would be fine, but there would always be that one time I lost control. Only trouble is I didn’t know when that one time would be – similar to playing Russian Roulette!
I’ve heard other people say they feel ‘amazing’ after taking a break from alcohol. However, I didn’t – I felt frustrated and deprived that I couldn’t ‘come out to play’ anymore – I realised my whole social life revolved around alcohol.

It seems the difference lies in the intention for giving up alcohol. There is a difference between a healthy break and choosing to eradicate alcohol from your life permanently. I decided to take control of my life and if that meant making sacrifices, then so be it. Half-hearted attempts were futile – I was either in or out. Of course, it’s fine to have a few vices; providing they don’t bring pain and distress or interfere with your day to day well being.

person pouring champagne on champagne flutes

1) Overcoming shyness and social anxiety.

I’m happy to say I can have a great night out without drinking – I never thought I’d say that. If I laugh it’s a genuine laugh, instead of laughing to appease people, in a drunken stupor.

I’m not putting myself in vulnerable situations by floundering the night away never knowing where the next drink will take me. Letting your hair down is fun; putting yourself at risk is not.

I’m strengthening my interpersonal skills by pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and making genuine connections, without repeatedly asking what their name is every 10 minutes. I also have the comfort of knowing I didn’t make an idiot out of myself the night before – of course, you can do this sober, but the chances of this happening skyrocket when intoxicated.


2) No hangovers or consequences from the night before.

As much as I enjoyed drinking, the prospect of never having a hangover again is very appealing. I don’t miss the heavy headaches, nausea and regret that follows a night of indulgence. Waking up early on a Saturday morning feeling fresh as a daisy is a wonderful feeling not to mention how productive I am.

I also like knowing that I didn’t lose control; I’m able to take full responsibility for my actions instead of cringing at what seemed like such a good idea at the time. There is nothing worse than having a shame attack the next day; whilst you indulge in Netflix and pizza trying to forget what you did, because everyone else remembers.

When you stop drinking you see people repeating the same cycle: Drinking – Hangover – A pledge to never drink again – Craving– Drinking… Without sounding too sadistic, when I see my friends suffering from a hangover, it’s a good reminder that I’m not missing out on anything too exciting.


3) Exploring new activities, I’m good at or enjoy.

Adulting is difficult. The older we become the more responsibilities we have, and the less time we have to enjoy ourselves. And when we do treat ourselves to some ‘me’ time, we are so burnout from an extensive ‘to do’ list, that we usually belly flop onto the couch with an alcoholic beverage indulging in a Netflix marathon ignoring the void in our lives that continues to expand.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed us to some of our most convincing excuses of why we can’t make changes in our lives – we have much more time now, so what’s stopping us?

I would argue it’s less about laziness or business and more about fear. Fear of trying something new, fear of going outside our comfort zone, fear of uncovering what we are trying to escape. It doesn’t have to be extreme change, some of my new hobbies include going for a walk in the forest, or watching you tube videos on how to ride a motorbike.

Now more than ever we have an abundance of time and opportunity to try new things and consider what changes we can make to our lives. And yet figures from the global data analytics company Nielsen show sales in alcohol during the pandemic increased by around 291%. I understand we all need something to get us through, but this is shocking. Maybe places like South Africa had the right idea when they banned alcohol during the peak of the pandemic.


Which leads onto my next point….

4) Able to handle real life in a healthy way.

A lot of us have been guilty of using alcohol as a crutch – whether it’s to unwind after a stressful day, steadying our nerves before a date, boredom, heartbreak etc… But problems occur when we start using this crutch too often and the dependence boarders onto alcoholism.

Relying on alcohol can really inhibit our ability to deal with the trials and tribulations of life, we become stuck because we run away from opportunities to grow. If we are consistently stunted, then how will we ever know if it’s possible to tackle problems head on and overcome them? Life repeats lessons until we learn and grow, otherwise we will never progress to the next level.

It seems adults drink alcohol much like children drink warm milk – to self soothe. But unlike warm milk alcohol makes things a whole lot worse. Not only does it mess up the serotonin levels (feel good chemicals) in our brains, but it also acts as a depressant, which is like pouring petrol on a fire if you already suffer from mental health issues.

Side note: Drinking alcohol on anti-depressants can seriously disrupt it’s effects.

baking basket book bottle

5) Consistently feeling better mentally and physically.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing – it seems insane to think about how I used to drink, and I wasn’t even a particularly heavy drinker. In all honesty, most of the time I drank to get drunk, it’s the way I was shown how to drink from a young age. I’m also half English and half South African; two nations that are known for their love of booze!

But I can’t blame culture on my drinking anymore; it was becoming too much of an identity.

Most people turn a blind eye to the source of their problems by binge watching TV, social media, stuffing our faces with low quality food and, of course, alcohol. How much are we looking after our needs and our well being? The years pass quickly when we are not paying attention. I can honestly say I’m reconnecting with myself in a way I have not been able to do before as an adult.

A lot of people fear looking inside; which is why yoga and meditation can be difficult – it’s uncomfortable to sit still with a mind fueled by obsession and ego – but it’s often the things we don’t want to face that need the most attention.

My body feels cleaner, healthier and younger. I have boundless energy which has come in handy for my daily run – I choose endorphins over alcohol any day!

Another advantage of becoming teetotal is that my skin is much clearer, which is a wish come true for someone who suffers from chronic eczema flare ups!

The cravings are still there, though they are less disruptive than they used to be. If you are considering giving up alcohol or even just taking a break, in my personal experience, it takes about a month to overcome the worst of it, three months to settle in, and six months to start experiencing the life changing advantages.

One of the biggest advantages of being sober is that you get to choose your own path in life; and not succumb to past family conditioning and expectations.

Warmest Regards

Pride Make Up 🌈

Yayyyyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m so excited for PRIDE!

It’s a celebration for people of any race, gender, age etc… to love being who they are!

I had such fun creating this look! (As you can probably see).

Pride originated from the LGBT community; but now it’s so much more! The rainbow flag is a symbol of self acceptance with pride.




The streets of Soho are filled with rainbows and I am EXCITED !!!!!

Let me break down my Pride/Festival look for you:



Eyes are the window to the soul, especially with stars around them!

  • First I started with the base. I used Laura Mercier Eye Primer in ‘FLAX’. The consistency of this product is really smooth, and the mousse texture makes eyeshadow blending a pleasure, rather than a flaking nightmare!
  • Next I used MAC eyeshadow in ‘DEEP TRUTH’ . I tried to research it so I could link it for your guys but they don’t seem to stock it anymore. But I found an identical alternative in a NARS eyeshadow called ‘ARCTURUS’. I picked up a trick online where you put eyeshadow on the inner and outer corners of the eye and leave the centre… (all will be revealed why we did this later on).
  • Then I got some masking tape and lined it diagonally from the outer corner of my eyes to the hair line. It’s a good idea to take away some of the stickiness by placing it on your arm and taking it off so your eye area doesn’t feel like it’s being waxed! You want it tacky not super sticky.
  • Next I used MAC eyeshadow in ‘CRANBERRY’. This is a really pretty maroon colour. Even though I want this look to be colourful, I purposely chose to go a bit darker on my eyes to give definition but also to keep it fashion. I dusted this into the crease line and over the masking tape. I then removed the tape, and fingers crossed it should give you a razor sharp maroon cat eye. Feel free to smudge the edges if it’s too intense.
  • I then went back to the centre of my eye and using my wedding ring finger applied a tiny bit of NARS creamy concealer in ‘CANNELLE’.
  • Now for the fun bit! Using STILA Glitter eyeshadow in ‘DIAMOND DUST’. I applied it over the centre over my eyes adding a touch of fairy dust (not really but it looks like it!). This creates a glossy 3D effect that is sexy and fun at the same time! I also put a bit of glitter in the corner of my eyes to let people know I am serious about glitter!!!




  • For under the bottom lash line I used SHISEIDO eye colour trio. This royal purple is so luxurious! I love mixing it in with brown eyeshadow too to give a beautiful warm autumnal (or if you’re in America ‘Fall’ look). Just line the eyes underneath and there we are…. Purple Perfection! This colour also especially compliments green eyes.
  • Next I lined my eye lids using EYEKO Fat Liner to accentuate and bring the look together. I drew the line slightly beyond the inner corner of my eye to give length. I also traced the liner against the already cut maroon line that we made earlier using eyeshadow and masking tape, adding to our feline shape. I wanted a thicker line because the rest of the Make Up is so wild I didn’t want the eyeliner to drown in colour, so I gave it enough width to stand on it’s own two feet. This particular product as it’s amazing for adding impact.
  • Next I applied a coat of Mascara on both the top and bottom eyelashes. Just so they merge naturally in with the falsies. I recommend Eyeko Mascara in ‘BLACK MAGIC’.
  • Now this is tricky and I suggest using tweezers. I applied cult classic HUDA eyelashes in ‘SAMANTHA’. Don’t you just love it when your eyelashes have the same name as you! I love these eyelashes! I give them a curl with the curlers just to really open the eye. The hairs are so natural looking instead of some of those plastic, spikey versions you get in drug stores. They also last so I’d say it’s worth the price tag!
  • I then just drew in the waterline using MAC liner in ‘RISQUE’. To really open the eye and make your eyes look as big as possible. I suggest using a flesh colour as against white as it merges in more naturally.
  • I pencilled in my brows using NARS brow pencil in ‘SURINAME’. This is easy to use and natural. See my post on Eyebrows to see how I maintain my brows.
  • Last but not least the STARS! I actually got these from the post office for £1.99. They came in big and small sizes and I just had fun with them. I would suggest using the same glue that you’d use for your false eyelashes as if you’re out they may flick off… this is not the time for Shooting Stars! Note: These go on at the end when the rest of you Make Up is complete.



  • I wanted this look to be quite edgy so I used a dark cherry colour. I actually used a NYX colour which I bought in Melbourne, Australia. But I’m having trouble tracking it down in the UK (I’m sorry not doing great with the updated products today!) But you’re in luck as I found a gorgeous gothic replica. GOSH Lip colour in ‘TWILIGHT’. You can add gloss but I prefer to keep it semi matte.





  • I normally do the base after my eye makeup because A) Eyes take the longest to Make Up and B) You don’t have wipe off foundation if there’s fall out from the eyeshadow. I used GLOSSIER skin tint in ‘LIGHT’. This gives a natural but radiant finish.
  • I then used BOBBI BROWN powder in ‘PALE YELLOW’ to bake the skin tint so it stays in place. I decided to use extra powder as I knew I’d be on camera and dewiness can look like oiliness behind the lens. Baking makes it easier to contour and blush smoothly and easily without the dreaded patchiness. It really is all about the base.
  • I used MAC mineralize bronzer in ‘GIVE ME SUN!’ to give me a golden glow. I contoured quite loosely as I wanted to keep it natural as the eyes and lips were so intense.
  • I wanted a pretty flush so I used MAC mineralize blush in ‘HAPPY-GO-ROSY’. I love this colour but be careful as it’s highly pigmented so it’s easy to overdo and end up looking like a Russian Doll. Dust lightly for a healthy radiance.
  • To finish off the base I used MAC mineralize highlighter in ‘BARELY DRESSED’. You can wet this product to give an ultra beaming look but for today I want to just want a slight twinkle. I glided this across my cheekbones, tip of the nose, under the eyebrow and on the cupids bow. It’s great for illuminating the face and giving dimension.



  • I wanted a colourful ombre effect in my hair to compliment my funky look. I was going to dip dye with pink but then I came across L’OREAL hair colour spray in ‘LAVENDER’. I wasn’t overly impressed with this colour. It’s great if you just want a bit of fun for the weekend; but want it gone before work on Monday morning. Like most spray’s it made my hair quite hard and spiky, and the colour also rubbed off on my skin. I like the colour but as you can see it didn’t match what was on the packaging. On my hair it looked like more of a cool blue tone. But it was advertised as more of a pink/purple. Which like I said I don’t mind just wish it would have stayed true to form.


I am a massive self confessed Ru Paul Drag Race fan. And am loving Season 10… Team Asia all the way! I was inspired by Aquaria’s Make Up that she did on Jeffree Star. Obviously I didn’t want to copy the look exactly otherwise I might have a law suit on my hands! But definitely took inspiration from this vivacious look!



Colour seems to be the in thing right now. I was in Central London the other day and was happy to see vibrant stands from luxury brands; especially in Selfridges.



Dior is one of the top contenders that I saw, which is pleasantly surprising as they’re usually quite a conservative brand. They’ve really made a huge splash with this recent colour collection and spread their wings by appealing to a younger demographic! I’m dying to try the purple mascara!!

Gone are the days when blue eyeshadows were frowned upon post eighties. Colour is back and is taking the Make Up world by storm! I say mix and match people! Purple eyeshadow with pink unicorn lipstick; fluorescent yellow lids with blood red lips… do it all!

Lets love who we are! Make Up should be fun not something we fear, it’s an expression of ourselves. We only have one life lets make it full of happiness, fun and colour!


Come celebrate at Pride! And I might see you there!


Warmest Regards



‘Sometimes you simply cannot save people from themselves’ – Reta Saffo (Kate Spade’s Sister)

The world is still reeling from the shock of losing one of Fashion’s biggest icons.

On Tuesday the 5th of June 2018 Fashion Designer and Entrepreneur Kate Spade was found dead. Her body hanging by a red scarf in her New York Appartment, she was aged just 55.

I’m not sure if there’s a rise in suicide or if there is just more awareness surrounding the issue as it’s normally people in the public eye who draw attention to an already ongoing problem. But it seems more than ever people are starting to realise the drastic impact Mental Health issues can have on a person, which fingers crossed is a sign things are changing. I pray this encourages understanding and compassion and is no longer a taboo subject.

The will to survive is in every living creature. So it seems to be going against what’s natural to take your own life. The desire to end life must be so strong it overrides the inbuilt survival instinct which is in our DNA.

It’s always a bit more of a shock when someone who seems to ‘have it all’ takes their own life. There’s an assumption that if we have money, success, family, marriage etc… we will be happy, it’s the ‘lack’ that’s the ‘problem’ we convince ourselves. Kate’s case goes to show this is simply not true.

‘Peace comes from within. Do no seek it without.’

– Buddha

There’s truth in what Kate’s Sister said. I have never committed suicide, obviously, but I have been tempted in my darkest hour. For me personally ‘hope’ got me through. And a faith that things would get better.

It’s possible to say that when someone takes their own life, all hope and faith has been extinguished. Ultimately it is your choice to go through with the act, no matter how much loved ones try to convince you otherwise. You have to believe you have something to live for in order to survive.

People who we’ve have lost to suicide in the last few years:



Robin Williams:

Renowned Actor & Comedian.

Known for his exceptional talent and lovable personality.

Born: 21st July 1951

Died: 11th August 2014



Avicii aka Tim Bergling:

Swedish DJ/Musician

He was only 28 y/o at the time of his death.

Born: 8th September 1989

Died: 20th April 2018



Chester Bennington:

Lead singer of American Rock Band ‘Linkin Park’.

One of my favourite bands growing up!

Born: 20th March 1976

Died: 20th July 2017



Stevie Ryan:

American YouTube star and Comedian.

Beautiful, witty and funny.

Born: 2nd June 1984

Died: 1st July 2017



Alexander McQueen (CBE):

World famous Fashion Designer and Celebrity.

Talented, young and at the Top of his game.

Born: 17th March 1969

Died: 11th February 2010



Kate Spade:

Famous Fashion Designer and Business Entrepreneur.

Mother, Wife and Business Woman.

Born: 24th Dec 1963

Died: 5th June 2018

Looking from the outside, I’m sure you’ll agree all these people had everything to live for. So what goes on in the mind to make suicide seem like the only option?

A friend of mine Jonny Benjamin who is a Mental Health Campaigner, Author and Vlogger; made an incredible Documentary about his experience with suicide and mental illness.

The Documentary follows Jonny as he searches for ‘Mike’ a random member of the public who saved his life that early morning in 2008.

Jonny who suffers from Schizophrenia, was loitering around the edge of Waterloo Bridge in a very bad way. Totally ignored by the tyrant of people hastily trying to get to work in morning rush hour. One man stopped. This man was ‘Mike’ aka Neil Layborn. He convinced Jonny to step away from the edge. Thankfully Jonny listened!

He didn’t know who this kind stranger was, so he named him ‘Mike’ and set up a Campaign called ‘Find Mike’. This was a nationwide search to find the Samaritan who saved his life that morning.

You can watch the full documentary here:

Stranger on the Bridge – Jonny Benjamin

Jonny, like myself, believes in challenging stubborn stigmas surrounding mental illness. Unfortunately there are some people who cannot seem to pull themselves out of the dark ages. They believe mental illness is only for the ‘weak’, when actually it takes a monumental amount of strength to carry on when your brain is trying to destroy you, every….single….day!

Some also believe ‘Suicide is selfish’. I’m sorry but this angers me! Its short sighted, simplistic thinking and just plain ignorant! Yes, I feel sorry for the person who has to find the body, but I also feel sorry for the person who was in so much pain that they believed the only way to make it stop was to die!

Advice for people contemplating suicide:

  • The mind is an extremely power entity. Mental illness is a disease of the thoughts. It intertwines itself with your sense of self, forcing you to believe a distorted reality. This illness wants to destroy you. You are more than just an illness.
  • Chronic thoughts circulate themselves over and over and over again. I know this is torture and can be like listening to a tap drip for years on end. But there is help out there, and maybe you have tried many therapies and it’s not worked. It’s normally to do with connection and the relationship you have with your therapist. The right one will make you see what these thoughts for what they really are…edited, biased bullsh*t versions of the truth.
  • Try and hang onto that little bit of hope that has seen you through so many times before. Hope is truth.
  • Sometimes you may not even want to die you just want your mind and pain to stop. The sick part of your mind tells you that there is no other way out. And worryingly this sick voice can disguise itself as the voice ‘trying to help you’. Anything in your mind trying to convince you to cause you harm is not on your side!
  • You’re not alone. Coming from someone who is still grieving the loss of my close family (especially my parents) I can relate to what true loneliness feels like. What kept me going was thinking about how much my Mum wanted to have me, and how heartbroken she would have been if I’d gone through with any sinister plans. I have a duty to keep the legacy of my parents alive. If your family are alive, just think about the pain you passing away would cause. Even after an argument, for example, you may feel vengeful and impulsive. There is no coming back from that decision. Is the value of your life worth that little?
  • Suicide is never a pleasant experience. I don’t think people understand how much the body fights to survive. I’ve heard of overdoses that can leave people in agony for days before they die. Or you may survive and end up with brain damage. Also a lot of people flirt with suicide without actually wanting to die, but things get out of hand and they can actually kill themselves without meaning to.
  • Build a strong support network around you. This is difficult to do, especially in cities. Which is why I attend a support group full of like minded people who understand, it’s important to find your tribe. You’re not alone, no matter how much your mind is telling you that you are.
  • Gratitude lists. In moments of immense pain your mind only focuses on the negative and catastrophises everything that is ‘wrong’ with your life unable to see anything good at all. Looking at the things you like about your life will stop you drowning in dangerous thinking. Gratitude lists can help you see things with a more balanced view.
  • If things are getting out of control call an ambulance. Your life is in danger, just like it would be if your body was hurt.
  • There’s always a solution to every problem.
  • Night time is never a good idea to make decisions about your life. Wait until the morning to see how you feel.


Samaritans: 116 123

Papryus: 0800 068 4141

Maytree: 020 7263 7070

I also discovered this website which I thought was really good. It’s letters from people who have experienced a range of different Mental Health issues. One of the main things to realise is that you can be helped, no matter what’s happened or how weird and painful your thoughts are; you’re not the only one in this boat facing the storm.


There have been times when I’ve not believed things would ever change or get better, and I will be destined to continue to think in this horrible way 24/7 forever. Even worse what if these thought are true!? They’re not.

If you have survived suicide or lost someone close to you by suicide there is help for the aftermath:




Three D’s:

If you can relate to thoughts similar to the following I’d say you’ve spiralled into a dark, deceiving mood.

DOWNING: ‘Everything is hopeless. You’ll never get to where you want to be. Everyone else can do everything and you can’t because there’s something wrong with you. In fact everything you’ve tried has pretty much been a f*ck up. No one will ever understand these weird thought’s I’m having I don’t even understand them… I’m incurable and will always have to suffer’. (Sound Familiar?).

DEMANDING: ‘Look how old you are, you should be successful in your career/relationships/ personal life by now! Why haven’t you ever got the energy to do anything your so far behind everyone else you can’t even get to work/school on time! Why are you never happy you should be grateful! Why can’t you keep to anything to set out to do! You should be exercising but your too lazy!’ (Ergh go away you horrible F%4*6!rd voice).

DISASTERISING: ‘You’re going to turn up at that event and so and so is going to be there and you won’t be able to handle it! I bet he still thinks about his ex, and wonders why he is with you! I’m never going to be able to start this way of thinking! And then I’m going to have to go on benefits for the rest of my life because I’m too ill and won’t be able to hold down a job! Oh no I’m going to end up with 100 cats when I’m old… who would want me.’

And you wonder why you’ve had enough…

It’s a well known saying that ‘Confidence is quiet. Insecurities are loud.’ There’s something in you that believes things will get better, it’s the same voice that has carried you through all these years. This voice is to be trusted, no matter how small and quiet it is at the moment… it’s your strength.



Let your faith by bigger than your fear. And be kind to yourself. You’ve been through enough.

Get help. Don’t always trust what your mind is trying to get you to believe. Don’t become another statistic. You’re not alone.

Take care of your beautiful, unique self.

Warmest Regards


About Me 😃

Hello there,

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I hope to explore issues and topics that you can enjoy and give you food for thought!

You may be wondering why I have linked two completely apposing interests together.  Well my answer is that I am in the midst of a career change; I have decided to go back to University to study Psychology after years of being a Creative. Lets explore this section first before we move onto the latter as I have a tendency to get over excited and bounce from topic to topic.

I have always had a genuine interest in the workings of the mind as well as debates surrounding this topic…why someone makes the choices they do? Why people feel and think the way they do? Why is acceptable to tell people you have a bad back but it’s still somewhat ‘taboo’ to mention you are suffering from a depression for example?

Therapists have been a big part of my life from around the time I ‘properly’ started seeing one in my early twenties when the ‘Sh*t hit to fan’ so to speak… and yes I would say this had a huge influence on my decision to swop the tissue box for the notepad and pen.

I come from a background of grief, trauma, dysfunction and illness… and just to make things confusing there was love, happy times and support mixed into the concoction too. ( I hear from people this is quite normal for family life, I guess it just depends on the quantity of the ingredients put into the mix). I won’t go into my past too much at this point as I want to keep it on blog territory and not memoirs, but I will be exploring in later posts.

So why Make Up? Exploring Mental Health at some points might get quite heavy, so I wanted to keep it light by throwing in some fun things too. I love make up! Having come from a modelling/acting background it was a big part of my work, so I will be sharing tricks of the trade as well as trying new techniques and recommendations. I will be collaborating with expert Makeup Artists in the industry to give you that ‘I woke up like this’ perfection. (I want the excuse to try new Make Up!)

Everything in between. This involves, fitness, Theatre/Film reviews, work etc… But as it says on the tin my main focus will be Mental Health and Make Up, at times combining the two, stay tuned to see what I’m going on about.

Hope you are as excited about this journey as much as I am!

Warmest Regards

Samantha x


The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

My name is Samantha; a psychotherapist in the making and ex model/actress (yes I was a slasher!).  I hope to inspire, challenge and explore through my chosen topics to ensure you have food for thought and keep coming back for more!

Excited to start this Journey with you!


‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes’— Carl Jung


Warmest Regards