Firstly and foremost, I am enough.

I have nothing to hide except myself and the components that make me, me.

Why would I want to conceal who I am?

Because since I first stepped out onto the world stage at nursery school, well-wishers and good-intentioned people have each taken their turn at training me to do so.

The pressure to conform to a homogenised version of myself has been present my whole Life.

It began as a child when anything different or stand-out invited teasing and alienation.

A succession of ‘corrective’ teachings accompanied my school years: Don’t be like you, be like us… or else.

I get it.

A prosperous communal society needs rules to work, but it also needs to judge the balance between regulating acceptable behaviour and protecting individuals’ ability to express their uniqueness.

A delicate and hugely tricky balancing act attempted by all our various teachers and elders, and yet achieved by very few.

Variety is the spice of Life.

The pressure to conform ripples through society’s edicts concerning the use of language, fashion, hairstyles, hobbies, views, music etc..

We are encouraged to get new ones if our tastes and preferences don’t match.

But a leopard can’t change its spots, nor can we rewrite our God-given DNA.

So we learn to hide our inner.

We bottle up our expression of ourselves like a fizzy drink having a fitted cap.

However, Life jostles us around and the inner pressure mounts.

Our incarcerated self-expressions find holes in the fabric of our existence to break free through.

Like mini geysers, they burst forth.

But when they break through, the beauty of our inner selves is often accompanied by the anger and frustration of being denied its right to be.

Put a lid on it

Tow the line

Get with the program

Fake it until you make it

Being an authentic version of myself isn’t easy, so I have such massive regard for people who, like salmon swimming up a waterfall, go against the flow, to be true to their individuality and oppose a beige world.

 Rock ‘n Roll and Punk – Music

Vivienne Westwood – Fashion

Salvador Dali – Art

The renaissance painters – Art

Prince Harry – The monarchy

Gaudi – Architecture

Jesus – Religion

Living an unauthentic life comes at a price.

Self-denial demands a balancing of the scales and reaches for it in:

Illicit relationships

Substance abuse



Mental health

A plethora of other things, as long as my arm

A subjugated self seeks reward and distraction from the pain of not being.

For me, I found both in drugs and alcohol.

Fortunately, this solution came with a raft of bolt-on disasters and life-sabotage apps, sufficient to force me to re-examine the problem and seek better remedies.

The route I have chosen is to remove drugs (in which I include alcohol) from the equation and release the inner me to express what the fuck I like (with the obvious caveat of not pushing my world into someone else’s who doesn’t welcome it)

The corollaries of authentic expression are contentment, freedom, the ability to function fully and, ultimately, positively contribute to the space we occupy within family, friendships, work and the wider community.

I am enough; I have nothing to hide.