I told her that, since she'd been out of town, I'd quit drinking, started a blog and was now in the process of (hopefully) selling a book.
"Do the New Jersey housewives drink the same way the London ones do?" I asked.
"Oh no," she replied, "they're generally far too worried about smelling of booze. They take pills."
"Usually a whole cocktail of prescription meds. The doctors dole them out like Smarties. Prescription painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety meds, anti-depression meds. They're obsessed with perfection - always at the gym, dressed in Lululemon, driving the latest Range Rover, but I swear, they're like zombies."
I confess, I was a little sceptical. I thought she was maybe exaggerating to make me feel better about my own little addiction issue. But then she told me this story:
"When we were selling our house the real estate agents said 'remember to empty your bathroom cabinet.' I asked why, and they were amazed that I wasn't already aware that if you leave your medications in the bathroom people steal them during viewings!"
So, different continent, same problems, same 'solutions'.
We are all so stressed out by trying to keep up with the faked perfection of other people's lives, of Facebook and Instagram, that we look for something to blur the edges, and pills do the job as effectively as booze.
I have to confess, just a tiny bit of me was desperate at this point to make an appointment with the GP. But then I remembered reading about a sign that David Hockney has hanging in his studio in Los Angeles. It reads:
All visitors, please please.
No photography and video.
Look with both eyes.
We spend too much time looking at life through a lens of one sort or another - blurring the focus and changing the reality.
It's time to look with both eyes.
Love SM x