Meg Matthews has revealed giving up booze was the "tip of the iceberg" as she opens up on her battle with alcohol to mark Alcohol Awareness Week.
The 90s Brit-pop icon has made no secret of how going through the Menopause affected her and now she has spoken openly about how drink affected her life, after consuming cheap booze (opens in new tab) in her early teens at the school dance The Hop on weekends.
The star, who was previously married to Oasis star Noel Gallagher, recalled, "We’d get the older children to buy alcohol for us: snakebite and cheap sherry. The moment I had that first drink, it was like liquid gold. From being a child who had felt very uncomfortable in her skin, found it hard to fit in, was quite shy, all of a sudden I could dance, I could chat up boys. It felt like the best thing that had ever happened to me."
She soon realised she had an unhealthy relationship with booze - although it was 1997 by the time she realised she had a drink and drug problem.
She confessed, "I would black out after two glasses of wine, then I’d wake up the next day full of fear – I’d be ringing round to apologise, trying to see what I’d done, how many people I’d upset. I wasn’t a happy drunk."
Meg explained how she often wouldn't know her limits. she added, "I’d love to have been able to get really dressed up, go to that beautiful bar at Claridge’s, have two glasses of champagne, and that would be it," she said. "But I’d be there with the champagne, and I’d think, “Right, I’m getting a room”, and then everyone would be up there, drinking the minibar dry.
At the end, I’d be walking down the stairs with mascara down my face, the heels broken off my shoes and going home – for what?"
She admitted at times she went to some "pretty low places" and the cravings for booze worsened with the added guilt and shame of being in the public eye.
After sending 28 days in rehab she joined Alcoholics Anonymous in a bid to give up alcohol (opens in new tab) once and for all.
Meg later discovered that some of the symptoms she was experiencing was due to the menopause. She explained, "I went to a new meeting and I shared. I told them I felt like a box of frogs – I was loopy, I wasn’t sleeping, I was angry, I wanted to cry all the time, I had foggy brain. And I was thinking: “What’s the sense in staying sober if I feel so shitty? Why don’t I just have a drink?”
"As I left the meeting, this woman came up to me and said: “I think you’re going through the menopause.” She gave me her number. I rang her, we spent two hours on the phone, and then I made an appointment to see my GP. The rest is history."
She continued, "If it weren’t for AA, I would never have set up MegsMenopause. I still go to AA meetings. As an alcoholic, I knew very soon that I had to put down the drink. That was just the tip of the iceberg. The chunk that’s underneath I’m still chipping away at – but I’m getting there. "
If you need help with a drinking problem, visit Alcoholics Anonymous (opens in new tab), phone the national helpline on 0800 9177650 or email email@example.com
Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer with more than 15 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She has covered all things Entertainment for GoodtoKnow, Woman&Home and My Imperfect Life. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand.
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