Role Model

Berlin 2016. Still drinking


Where are all the role models? Walk down any city centre street from 8pm on a Saturday (4pm in seaside towns) and you will see women in their 40’s and 50s’ acting like it was still 1980’s. Hop on a train on Friday or Saturday evening and see men who could be grandfathers leering, shouting and sometimes verbally abusing women of all ages. Are we still in the 1980’s?


Every society has elders, right? Where are they? TV is full of women who look strangely grotesque past 40. Where are the real, wise women? I see plenty of drunk women on the streets dressed up whether it’s Halloween or not.. Where are the older women who could teach younger women? Why are so many sprayed across the pavement on the arms of hugely overweight middle aged men or being sick with fellow divorcees? What happened to role modelling?

Back to the start

Trauma mom

When we break up with a partner or get a divorce, society positively encourages us to revert to teenage behaviour. I did it. Twice. I never paused to think what I was doing. I went out partying, met younger men and drank to excess. I felt like I was on this very fast merry go round and I liked it. It stopped me thinking, But more importantly it stopped me feeling. I became a walking cliche. Fur coat, no knickers, sports car and young guy who could be impressed simply by my Smiths vinyl. I was well and truly lost. I had gone back to the start. To begin again. It didn’t feel right though – my body and my mind were telling me that I had been there and done that but I did not listen. And alcohol and sex shut that voice up – as long as I did both to excess.

Stop the ride I want to get off

After a divorce and after a break up….after any great loss we are no role models. We are broken. But within our failure and our loss are the seeds of that role modelling. Five years on I can be a role model exactly because of those losses and those mistakes, that ridiculous teenage behaviour and that decision to step off the merry go round. Why did I step off that 360 circle? There were many reasons and many lessons I learnt on the merry go round before I stepped off.

Grow up.

I fell off the merry go round

I’ve rolled up all my experience from two divorces, a repossession, PTSD and motherhood into the 361 recovery programme. It’s a gift from one survivor to another. The 361 sits you down and asks you – what would my life be like if I stopped the ride and got off? I can tell you. Quieter. Less drama. And I can hear that voice now. That wise voice we have inside us after all that life experience. Anyone can be a role model. If I can do it, believe anyone can. But what is the first step? The 361 recovery programme can help you to find it. Find the one. The 361.

Alice Smith 2019

#rolemodel #recovery #mental health #mentalhealthawareness #mentalheathrecovery #posttrauma #wellness #women #middleage #1980s #education #lifeexperience #recoveryprogramme #ptsd #motherhood #ageing #lifeafterforty #emotionaleducation #teachers #elderhood #divorce #marriage #midlife #feminism #bereavement #domesticabuse #survivor #domesticabusesurvivor #ptsd

Published by 361one

when I write I am a king. Listen to more at 361 live podcast

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