I give up

It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.

When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.

I’ve been doing bits of paid work but not enough. I keep thinking of something mum said to me years ago: ‘You’re living a life you can’t afford.’ Yup. If there was one thing I would change about myself it would be how I am with money. It’s the most consistent form of stress in my life and all my own doing. Every single penny of every single overdraft is my doing.

But it’s not just money stuff – various other issues have reared their ugly head over the last week in a way that makes me feel like the world is offering me a big magnifying mirror of all my flaws – my ego, my cowardice, my laziness, my fear of confrontation, my self-obsession and self-indulgence. Almost every interaction I’ve had with people this week has gone badly. I’m f**king up all over the joint.

I feel like a fraud doing this blog. What the hell do I know about self-improvement? It’s one step forward, five steps back.

My anxiety and self-loathing is such that today I cried on the Northern Line. A guy sat down opposite me, saw the big tears dripping down my pink face and panicked. He got up and moved down the carriage. Two girls smiled sympathetically. I’m sure they assumed it was man trouble. It’s not. It’s me trouble.

All F**K it zen and faith and belief in magic has gone. And I really thought I had life nailed after that week.  I was weeping with joy over squirrels in the park for God’s sake. Everything looked so beautiful and seemed so lovely. I felt like nothing could touch me. I was fixed! Cured! I’d seen the light! I’d say F**K it to everything and all would be well.

Now I’m on to angels and they’re not helping. Probably on account of the fact I don’t believe in them. Sorry angels, sorry Doreen Virtue.

Last week I wrote a very ranty post about how much I hated angel therapy and said lots of critical things about the books but it made me feel a bit like a cow. So I’m not going to post that rant but I am going to ditch the angels. Wings and feathers are just not for me. Americanised exclamation marks and YOU CAN DO IT capitals, I’m totally happy with, F**K it humour and witty illustrations, hurrah! – but fairy dust and rainbows make me recoil. Each to their own.

But I have learnt a few things from angel therapy.

  • ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than a dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Not quoting Ms Virtue here, obviously, but I am open to the fact that world is a strange, magical place and there’s stuff happening that I have no understanding of. Probably as a result of my rejection of the Church, I am not comfortable with the word God and I don’t believe that angels exist, but I think I believe in the powers of The Universe – which is basically the same thing. It’s all a matter of packaging, I guess.
  • You don’t need to ask the angels what to do, you know what to do yourself. When Doreen suggests sitting quietly and asking your angels for guardian angels for guidance what she is doing is allowing you to sit still long enough to listen to your own intuition. At least that’s how I see it. Most of us are too busy running away from ourselves to ever do this. I went to a therapist when I was twenty something, lost and miserable. I was obsessed by some guy who was messing me around. She told me to close my eyes and take ten deep breaths. Then when my eyes were still closed she asked me if I really saw a future with this man. The answer came clear as day. ‘No.’ So why are you thinking about him so much? she asked. ‘Because I have to think about something.’ So there you go – he filled a void, that’s all. We all know the answers.
  • Your friends and family are your angels. Reality is biting at the moment but it will pass. The truth is my life is more amazing than I could have expected and I am supported by real life angels every day, in the form of my mum, my two sisters, my wonderful aunties, Rebecca, Grainne, Sharon, Jo, Steve, Natasha and many others. New people have popped into my life just when I needed them (thank you, Mimi.)
  • I am so grateful for everything I have, I really am and I hope this post doesn’t read like a self-indulgent moan. I don’t want sympathy. I just want to be honest about the highs and lows. It made me feel better to write it. And so did this: last night I finally got to sleep by thinking of all the things I’m grateful for. I counted friends and lovely moments instead of sheep. There were many. It helped to break the worry cycle. It’s now Saturday morning and I’m looking out the window with a cup of tea and mum’s homemade bread. I’m heading up to London in a bit to be with Rebecca, one of my real life angels and on Monday I’ll deal with whatever mess I’ve got myself into. It’s all a lesson.
Advertisements

43 thoughts on “I give up

  1. Ah Marianne, I emphathise & I love this post. You know why? It’s HONEST!
    Not that your other posts aren’t but we ALL feel like this sometimes. Overwhelmed with life & feeling a bit miserable. Am annoyed now my longer reply last night disappeared but maybe it’s for the best as I was typing it in bed half asleep after a few glasses of vino…
    I’m glad you feel brighter this morning, somehow things do always look better in the light of day, not resolved, just better.
    It’s hard to trust that somehow things will turn out okay (aka the f**k it way) I agree. I’m trying to figure out a job/career atm as being essentially ‘unemployed’ I have no identity/purpose. I agree I’m blessed in that financial issues are not currently pressing but my self-esteem has def taken a knock. I keep trying to ‘trust’ and remind myself to live in the ‘now’ as there is no past/future as such.

    Re Angels/religion etc & not believing as such in that, but somehow believing in the Universe is something I recognise wholeheartedly, as that’s ME! lol difficult isn’t it as you’re right I guess, it is just packaging.

    Listen, I’m not sure this post will help, once again I’m rambling, & on a mobile, so hard to edit etc. Just wanted to say hi, have a great day with your friend. I’m sure that whatever the issues, they will sort themselves out somehow. I once wrote down everything that was making me anxious, keeping me awake, & worrying me….I came across it some months back & had to laugh. They all seemed so vital & important at the time & yet re-reading them not one of them is valid today. As John C Parkin would say ‘everything is as it’s meant to be’
    Happy ‘sunny’ Saturday
    Sending hugs
    Sarah x

  2. Hi Marianne, I haven’t commented before, but I have been reading your blog since you started this project. As I’ve reached the end of my 20s, I’ve been dealing with a lot of the same stuff, as well as admitting that I’m probably never going to want all the things I thought I was supposed to want by this point in my life. Now I have to think about how I’m going to live the rest of my life on my own terms – quite scary! Your blog has been a bit of an inspiration in helping me think about what I want and how I’m going to get there, as well as great entertainment. Keep going!

    • ‘I’m probably never going to want all the things I thought I was supposed to want by this point in my life.’ I’m exactly the same, that’s such a good way of putting it. Time to find out what you do want/enjoy and go with that. Chuffed to think the blog is inspiring you, you sound great. I will keep going – and keep crying, probably! x

  3. I think maybe you’re switching things up too quickly. Once you begin to get a handle on one aspect of your life and feel better about it, you’re on to another the next month, before you’ve actually got to the meat of the last month. It’s hard (probably impossible) to get on to good habits that fast. That said, you’ve still made great headway – you’ve just stopped to soon in each category.

    I’m a real believer in focus – and I have a hard time with focus. I’m in a similar boat as you, and have found that if I can just pick ONE thing to focus all my efforts on, I do see a change more quickly. Were I you, I’d start with the finances and your money-management habits, only because those will definitely get worse if you DON’T deal with them in a timely manner. you’ve already got the tools, you just need to discipline yourself to use them – and to continue to use them until it becomes natural to you.
    Writing this blog as way of reporting your progress may actually be key in keeping you on track, because you’ll be more likely to stick to your plan rather than have to admit publicly that you’ve gone back to old, bad habits.
    Please don’t give up, Marianne – just find the best category to focus on and try to stick to it. You can do this – you’ve got thousands of us reading your words and wishing you well.

    • Thanks so much Les, you make a good point re the speed I’m going through each book. When I started I thought that a month would be loads, but it isn’t. That said, I’m going to stick with the format I had in my head for the year – it might be that after that I go back and focus on one big issue at a time. I could spend a year, easily, just on the money stuff. Thanks for your encouragement and kind wishes. I really appreciate it. x

  4. Hi Marianne, Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad week and I appreciate it must feel very frustrating after six months or so of self-help, when (if I’m understanding you correctly) you’re assuming things should be a couple of steps better by now. And don’t worry, your post doesn’t sound like a self-indulgent moan – we all have days when we wonder what the point is! As you also say, that you’ve got supportive friends and family around you is a huge plus, so I’d agree that focussing on that is a very good idea!
    However, if you do decide that the self-help really isn’t getting you anywhere then re-visiting a therapist could be worthwhile rather than stuggling to work it all out on your own. After all, you would have had a few more life experiences between being 20 and now, together with a different perspective to view them by now, so it surely wouldn’t be a case of your having “done” therapy meaning there’d be nothing new to add! I went to see a therpist in early 2011 soon after my Dad died purely about that but ending up “staying” for well over two years and it was a very useful and worthwhile excercise – I found out that I wasn’t as completely clueless about myself and why I think and feel the way I do as I’d thought (which was good!), but even so there were just so many insights she gave me, as a trained professional, that I could never have arrived it by myself.
    Anyway, I really love reading your blog and (occasionally) commenting. There. Make you feel any better?

    • Andrew thank you very much for reading and for keeping in touch. I enjoy your feedback, it’s always spot on. I’ve done a bit of therapy, which I’ll write about later. It was very helpful and I’m sure it’s something I’ll go back to again. Mx

  5. Reblogged this on Intuitive Voyage and commented:
    Hello,
    I am a very angel believing person at the moment, but realize that I, too, need to stop spending as much money. The angels promise to support me, but I need to help them by spending less. I feel they are encouraging me to wake up, and budget. (Something I have put off for a long time.) So, I feel, the angels are helping me, but that doesn’t mean I will win the lottery. Money has to come from somewhere, and winning the lottery isn’t always the beneficial in the long run. Sometimes it is better to learn to live with what you have.

    I think Doreen Virtue doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the angels, she makes it seem like the angels will answer all our demands. Yet, she does say that often the prayers will not be answered the way we request. Still the examples of prayers being answered (in the book) often show a person getting exactly what they ask for, and just not a strong feeling that they need to budget.

    I, too, use the word Angel for lack of a better word. I am not religious (I have no religion), but feel that there is some force we can call on for help. I do not know if this helping power is our own intuition, and manifesting ability working subconsciously. Or, if it is a force outside myself. Either way, I do not completely like the way Doreen Virtue portrays it, but I do believe it is good she is encouraging people to trust this force.

    • Thanks Peacenowflower, lovely to hear from you. This is such a good way to explain my thoughts too: ‘I do not know if this helping power is our own intuition, and manifesting ability working subconsciously.’

  6. andthenwesaved.com
    is a webpage about spending diets and a spending fast. Maybe you have heard of it already or want to take a look. I suck at money stuff, too. Read money a lovestory, too. And improving slowly. I think the spending diet can help if the affirmationabundanceangek stuff keeps slipping away.

  7. Such an honest post, and as others have said before me, we all have moments like this in life when we just feel we’re…well, a bit shit really. I often feel like a fraud in both my ‘real’ job and in my writing life – there are days when everything’s wonderful and days when I’m chastising myself for even daring to think that I’m good at any of it. Plus the angel stuff clearly didn’t resonate with you, which won’t have helped! Hope you had a good day out with your friend and that you’re back on track soon. If its any consolation, your blog is one of my favourites at the moment and I’m loving your honest takes on these therapies.

  8. Hi Marianne, I think you have realised this is what it is all about, just trying things and learning, but then being happy with what you have NOW, instead of waiting for the perfect man, life, house, job, winning the lottery etc. I have told you my story before, but let me remind you. I am/was JUST the same as you, I have been in debt my whole life, bought things to fill the void where I was lacking love or a meaningful relationship, living beyond my means. I thought money was my biggest issue. Just as I had fulfilled my life-long dream to move to Cornwall and give up my stressful IT job my 23 year old son died by suicide. I am not saying this for sympathy or to shock, but boy did that teach me not to waste one more minute of my life worrying about meaningless shit. I’m 58 now and I don’t have megabucks but I realise now that money was the LEAST of my problems, and you will too I just hope my story will make it happen sooner than later. One thing I would recommend though is finding a really good life coach. I went to walk of hot coals with Tony Robbins and was just like you when you came back from your F it week, but then did exactly what you have done and slumped back into my old ways. A really good life coach will guide you, mentor you and be there to help pick you up when you fall. They won’t tell you the answers but will coach you to find them yourself. At the moment you’re trying to do it on your own. A good life coach is cheaper than therapy or retreats and mine helped me get to Cornwall, helped me recover from the death of my son, and helped me get into University. As you have realised you have so much to be grateful for and guess what – you’re human and you will have ups and downs but at least you are willing to look in the mirror, weep, wail and then share – which is helping others. We are all in this together – you are not alone – great things are ahead but of course you will have lots more dark nights, it’s all part of the plan. Sending lots of love

  9. Hello my love… I have been following your travels on and off over the months and admire the lovely, unique and quirky soul you are. It strikes me that you simply need to embrace all that you are and believe that you have all that you need at your disposal.
    I could reel off a bunch of flattering comments about how brave, confident, creative and talented you are (not to mention side splittingly hilarious)… bur I fear it would fall on deaf ears as your inner voice repelled them all with a “Pah… your funny! ”
    You are the type of lovely soul (and not one of the winged or feathery kind that gets stuck in your teeth !😀) that I would love to sit and have a cuppa and a cake with. I say this not because I believe I can impart some wisd and clarity into your life, but because I ‘get’ where you are coming from.
    I have learned over time that when ‘like minded’ souls get together new ways of thinking and feeling can kick bum, ans and the cake definitely makes it more palatable!
    With love Loobs xx

  10. Marianne, I’ve just found your blog and fell about laughing reading all your posts. Don’t give up! keep going. I myself am a long time self help junkie. I was born with an angel card in my hand kind of thing… But gee, how refreshing to hear your tales. No better self-help than humor.

    • Born with an angel card in my hand! Love it, thank you Beverly for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. Always interested in hearing people’s favourite books so please let me know if you have any recommendations.

  11. Something that has stopped me going nutso many times is the realisation that there is no ‘stage’ you reach where everything is sorted. “All F**K it zen and faith and belief in magic has gone. And I really thought I had life nailed after that week.” But there’s just no such thing as life nailed, for anyone (I hang out with the people others think have life nailed so really, trust me on this one :)). Searching for that is always going to be a losing game. Brene Brown’s book puts it well, the price for feeling those ‘highs’ of life is beautiful (squirrel in park style) is also feeling the lows where it’s shit. Which is why you feel 5 steps back. You’re not stepping back, you’re opening up to something that means something… but that journey sucks as you go through that ‘fire’. Hope that made sense!

  12. Hi sorry you had a low week just want to say that I enjoy and look forward to reading your blog and that you a honest about having high and low after reading your post about f–k it to download the audiobook and can see why you like this book and when to Italy
    just trying to put it in to practice now
    the new audiobook that I am giving a go is The Miracle Moring by Hal Elrod
    sorry about the spelling and lack of grammar
    hope this week is better one for you Jake

  13. (another thought: if this blog was a pile of discovery after discovery and ooh moments… it wouldn’t be real because that’s not how anyone goes through this process. Giant big collapses are part of the deal – chalk this one up as a win?! :))

  14. Such a brilliant post – this honesty is why so many of us come here! Don’t give up – look at how much you’ve achieved since the New Year. I guess it feels like you’re treading water now because the Angels thang doesn’t resonate as strongly as F*** It therapy but that doesn’t mean you’re going backwards.
    Re the money thing, I’ve no advice to offer other than to say, don’t beat yourself up about it! I’m the very first person to complain about the ‘Because I’m Worth It’ mindset but you live in one of the most expensive cities in the world – cut yourself a little slack.

  15. Beautifully written, raw and honest post, love! I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I can relate, big time. What may seem glamorous and perfect and la-ti-da to others, isn’t always how it goes. We all have our “stuff.” I think it’s admirable that you can own it and get through it via your words and those who read them. On that note, I’ll be in London August 2-7. It’s a short jaunt on my way back home after a month of traveling. Would love to see you if you’re still around… xx

  16. Hi Marianne,

    We are all human and we all fail but at least you keep trying! Reading some of the other comments I think there is some truth in the theory that you are not doing some of the things for long enough. Check out this scientifically based article on how long it takes for a habit to form.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-clear/forming-new-habits_b_5104807.html
    If it makes you feel better I am still trying to get into the habit of daily teeth flossing and failing let alone anything more life changing! LOL!

    • Tracey, thank you – for the encouragement and the article, it’s really interesting. Teeth flossing is a great start – i’m not there yet! And I promise I’ll get your buckets back to you, thanks for your patience.

  17. Seems to me that your blog is reaching a lot of people and means something to them – I for one really look forward to reading what you’ve been up to. The most important bit of self help or improvement is never, ever give up. You can’t beat someone who never quits. You are talented and funny and brave and that comes across well in your writing – keep on keeping on! xx

  18. Hi Marianne, I discovered your blog only recently, but have loved your refreshingly straightforward and hilarious style from the first. Having been on the self-help treadmill (still am, actually), I know just how it feels to run frantically from one book to the next. Those peaks and valleys are all too familiar. I think that’s also part of doing all this work where you really start looking inward. It can shake your foundations. Also, there probably is such a thing as self-help fatigue. You probably can self-help yourself to death. Anyway, love your blog. Please don’t stop.
    .
    I seem to be a thorough learner (meaning, I take a long time to get things sometimes). Examples: It took me over three years to really “get” the gratitude message in The Secret. Problem was, I was all numb inside and never felt anything when I said my thank you’s. Made me feel like a fraud, but pointed me in the right direction to heal.
    On money, I started using the budget programme YNAB (You Need A Budget, recommended to you earlier by Andrew, I think) around December last year (after having bought it in August). I think I’m finally getting the hang of it. I didn’t know a thing about budgeting before. The worst thing about it is at first it just morphs into one big fat NO, and every purchase in a shop feels like torture. The good thing about it is I am beginning to live within my means (still not there) and have just paid off my credit card debt with savings, as the CC interest and default insurance combined were about 100x more than I was getting in interest. I find myself making more sensible decisions and am able to stretch the euros more. If you give it a try, stick to their advice: start right where you are, don’t log in bills and receipts that are water under the bridge. And remember – it may take forever to get the hang of it, but the hurting will stop. Promise.
    ..
    My favourite books:
    The Gifts of Imperfection – Brene Brown
    Flourish – Martin E. P. Seligman (aka the father of positive psychology)
    The Soul of Money – Lynn Twist (this book changed the way I feel about money – maybe it just came at the right time).

    • Arthur thanks so much – what a helpful message. I’ve never heard of The Soul of Money. I don’t quite have the heart to read it at the moment on account of the ‘self-help fatigue’ but I’ll keep it in mind. YNAB is more what I need to be doing. Like you I downloaded it months ago, used it for two days then abandoned ship. Have heard great things about both of the other books and they’re on my mental list. Thanks very much for encouragement and for reading. PS – great name.

  19. Hi
    I have read and commented on your blog since month two I do believe. I have massive money blocks and issues. Started money a love story with you couldn’t be arsed to complete a journal even thought I spent money on one (of course) I am also a coach and reiki master and angel believer but have loved your honesty and authenticity throughout the blogs. My fave was the account of your coffee shop romance, but todays comes a close second too. Not because I like hearing / reading about your pain but because if you read it back you will see how far you have come in the past months. AND its a journey life is so like the flow of water. Sometimes stagnant and a bit stinky, sometimes calm and tranquil others raging and fierce. That is what this journey of ours is like and we have to maybe go with the flow a bit more. Accept the rough with the smooth the lovely fresh bits with the stagnant bits. So don’t be so hard on yourself do exactly what you are doing now as that is what you are meant to be doing and if it goes wrong its not really gone wrong until you don’t grow or learn from the experience.
    If you like my analogy you could do my book one month but it won’t be published this year My angels say I have to wait. (joking) I just haven’t got my ass into gear as yet.
    Stick with the format you have that is what you wanted to do and go with the flow enjoy and keep us entertained.
    Elaine
    PS got to tell you this story about my guardian angel. I read somewhere that in order to confirm your guardian angels name you would get a sign 3 times.
    I meditated on it and didn’t get anything
    I walked into the living room just as one of the Tweenies said “I’m Jake”
    I called a friend up and her son answered I said who’s that he said “its Jake” I had never called him Jake always Jacob as did his mom and dad.
    I took my little boy to bed and he asked for his Jake teddy bear..
    Three signs? Who knows

    • Elaine, thank you! What a lovely message. Maybe I should have tried harder with the angel stuff, if for no other reason than to use them as a reason for not being arsed to do things! Ha. In which case my angels have played a huge part in my life. Re jake – think there’s something in that but not sure what. Maybe angels, as you say? I love that you’re into this stuff but still have a sense of humour and thanks for the support. The money thing is one of the biggies and I’ve been dancing around it (like you, I bought the notepad…) and it was going to come back and bite at some point. It’s a lesson but a painful one at the moment and comments like this make it a lot easier. Please let me know if I can ever be there for you in the same way. x

  20. Miss Tardy to the Party, here. Here to share my wisdom of 53 years….54 in September. 8 things I know.

    1. I am who I am. I can change some actions, some thoughts, and some feelings. But I revert to who I am, always.

    2. Some days life sucks. And I am who I am.

    3. Some days life is incredibly blissful. And I am who I am.

    4. Some days it is hard work just to wear matching socks and underwear….anything else is gravy…and, yep, I am who I am.

    5. I have tried to change over the course of my life….and the past two years I realized … My only, only, only choice is self-acceptance because I am who I am.

    6. If I accept myself, then I am more successful than 99 % of the world. I don’t need to be more. I am ENOUGH.

    7. Marianne, you are who you are. It is enough. And it always was enough. No matter what others thought or what you thought. You are ENOUGH.

    8. I always love reading your blogs because it gives me pause…. It reminds me that I am who I am….and I am enough.

    Doretta
    Nohighclassbroad@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s