Home Injectables ‘I wanted oblivion. I just couldn’t bear being me’- Marian Keyes opens up about alcoholism and the ‘loveliness’ of sobriety

‘I wanted oblivion. I just couldn’t bear being me’- Marian Keyes opens up about alcoholism and the ‘loveliness’ of sobriety

‘I wanted oblivion. I just couldn’t bear being me’- Marian Keyes opens up about alcoholism and the ‘loveliness’ of sobriety


Irish author Marian Keyes has been praised for opening up about her alcohol addiction, saying her relationship with drink began at just 14-years-old.

ppearing on RTÉ’s The Tommy Tiernan Show, renowned author Marian candidly spoke about her drinking problem, and said she turned to alcohol from a young age because she “could be normal” on it.

Host Tommy resonated with the Limerick native as he too opened up about his family struggles with alcohol, saying his mother “drank herself to suicide”.

“The wheels were coming off in my final years in school and I was very angry,” Marian said.

“And then in college, I drank so much, I drank everything and from much earlier it was all about alcohol.

“It’s not trouble, but it’s not funny either. There’s compassion for myself because I hadn’t a clue. I hadn’t a clue how to be in the world, I hadn’t a clue how to manage my own feelings, I hadn’t a clue how to manage relationships, I was just lost.”

The Watermelon writer explained that she drank at such extremities because it helped her feel normal.

“So, when I started drinking I thought this is the thing I need, this is what is going to help me get through the world like the rest of them.

“Suddenly I could be normal, I could be like the rest of them, I found my crutch, my insulin, whatever the bit that was missing in me I found it now.

“So it was huge relief. And so it stayed the most important relationship of my life until I had no choice but to stop,” she said.

The 57-year-old said she found the strength to stop when she realised she wasn’t a fun and entertaining drunk, but a sad one.

“I drank alone. I’d be there like roaring crying at the telly, seeing double with my hand over one eye crying over the baby seals.

“I wasn’t an entertaining drunk at all. The thing that I wanted…oblivion. I just couldn’t bear being me.

“And the awful thing is the more I drank, the worse I felt, so the more I drank.

“And everything looked horrible. The world looked ugly the whole time. I stopped, and suddenly the world was full of colour and loveliness.”

After living in London for a number of years, Marian made the decision to return home to Ireland and attend rehab.

She received the help she needed and returned to a new flat in London, where she decorated it with curtains and candles- something she said she “never would have spent money on before”.

After quitting alcohol, the author said “life got lovely really fast”. Adding: “I’m aware at how ridiculously lucky I’ve been.”

On the show, the author also opened up about getting botox, saying she wouldn’t have “the energy to be lying” about it.

“It’s the easiest thing in the world, it’s so quick, people think it’s a big, big deal,” she said.

“I would normally have furrows in my eyebrows that you could plant potatoes in.

“But, they give you a couple of injections and it stings a bit and then you go home and it doesn’t happen straight away, over two weeks your eyebrows start lifting and lifting and lifting.”

Viewers of the RTÉ show praised Marian for her “rawness” and “realness.”

Taking to Twitter, one viewer wrote: “Jesus, the rawness and utter brilliance of @Tommytiernan getting to the human core of @MarianKeyes with sensitivity and respect. Then to the botox story, struggle, life and experience. Brilliant interview. The realness of it.

While another said: “What a brave thing for Tommy and Marian to speak about two national treasures.”

And a third commented: “Amazing the way MK talks about sobriety opening the world up to her #tommytiernanshow.”

Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald even gave her two cents on the interview, writing: “A great chat. Really enjoyed it.”

After the show, Marian took to her Twitter to thank viewers for their positive response.

She wrote: “Ah LADS. Thank you for all your incredible loveliness, I had the very BEST of times having the chats with the beautiful human being that is @Tommedian, I felt we could have talked forever. A heartfelt go raibh mile MILE maith agaibh #tommytiernanshow”.

Online Editors


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