Conducting my therapy in public.


Something has dawned on me over the last few weeks –  a realisation about what exactly I’m doing in this blog.

No doubt this penny should have dropped sooner and you guys have probably been aware of it for months but it’s only just occurred to me that:

I am conducting my therapy in public. 

When I started this project I didn’t really know how it would pan out. I just had the idea: one book a month for a year. The desire to change my life was real but I was also a journalist too so I just figured I’d go out, do all these weird things and report back. I thought I’d find away to share what I wanted to share and gloss over the bits that were too embarrassing, too shameful, too personal.

Well, that’s been blown out of the water with the whole money business.

As the months have gone by I’ve found myself sharing more than I’d ever have expected to share – but more than talk of men or insecurities, talking about the ins and mostly outs of my financial situation has been the most personal thing of all. It’s been hard to face facts myself, let alone put all those facts out in public.

I worry that I’m going to regret this one day.

Am I turning into a car crash? Am I crossing all sorts of lines?

Colleagues are reading this, relatives are reading, old boyfriends… I’m typing down stuff that I would never tell people face to face.

But then my gut feeling has been to just keep doing what I’m doing. I’ve started this thing and I may as well go the whole hog. F**K It, what’s the worst that can happen?

What people think of me really doesn’t matter in the way it used to and while I might be a car crash, I’m not the only car crash out there.

In fact one of the gorgeous side effects of this blog is the conversations I’ve been having with people about their relationships, their fears, their money… Stuff that we would not normally talk about. And that’s just my bank manager.

Showing all my bad bits – the bits I normally hide – has made it easier for other people to do the same. It’s nice.

But it leads to some strange moments too. I don’t think mum or dad are reading (we’re operating on a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ basis on that front. I asked them not to read when I started and I don’t know if they’ve taken sneaky peaks since) but my whole extended family appears to be.

Last month I was back in Ireland visiting family when a distant relation came up to me in the pub. ‘I’ve been reading your blog,’ he told me – which was surprising given that he’s a fifty-odd year old farmer.

Me: ‘Oh, great.’

Him: ‘ALL of your blog…’ he said it like he knew a secret.

Me: ‘Oh.’

Him: ‘So whats going on with the fellas? Why can’t you get a boyfriend? A good looking girl like you…’

Now this was very kind in many ways – I’m flattered he thinks I’m good looking and that my blog is interesting enough to keep reading – but I felt like he’d seen me in my knickers. I don’t want to talk about my love life – or lack of – with a man I don’t really know. But what else do I expect? I’m the one who’s putting it out there.

The next day a cousin I hadn’t seen in years came around to my aunt’s house, where I was staying. His opening line? ‘So, naked yoga…’

I was in my dressing gown eating breakfast next to dad. Awkward.

It’s one thing to vent my insecurities on a laptop but it’s quite another when those insecurities become the topic of conversation at family gatherings. The funny thing is that if you meet me in person I’m actually quite private – all our family is – which makes what I’m doing all the stranger.

I wonder where it will all end… Will it get to the stage where I start sharing details of my sex life? Mind you, I’ll have to get one first. I’ll keep you posted on that one… right after I get them money stuff sorted.

Love to you all, have a nice weekend. xx


11 thoughts on “Conducting my therapy in public.

  1. How about ‘Help Me!’…The West End and Broadway smash hit musical!

    But seriously, I would have the same worries if I had a blog. Which is why I don’t have a blog. Which is why I just lurk on other people’s blogs posting silly anonymous comments. Which is kind of sneaky. I think your way is far better!

    EVERYBODY has ‘dirty mental laundry’ and you are writing what everybody would love to say but is too afraid to. Writing all this is probably great therapy for you because you are giving vent to your fears and anxieties that are damaging if bottled up. Many people identify with what you are going through. Which means….you are normal! And it makes all of us feel normal too!

    Can’t remember if I already told you about a great guy called Eckhart Tolle. If you haven’t heard of him do look him up. He has some stuff on youtube and he’s really quite funny He deals with trying to teach us to live in the present moment rather than the past or the future. I have found that doing just 10 minutes meditation every day has really helped me hugely. His wife Kim Eng does a good guided meditation on youtube I find my days are more difficult to cope with if I don’t do this!

    I’m doing a course at the moment (run by a doctor) on how to help myself with my health and the biggest message that has come out of it is to meditate. It has been proven to work on so many levels to the point that it can aid physical health as well as mental health. And now the NHS are incorporating it into care! The reason I’ve brought this up is because anxiety and stress has a very real impact on our physical health. I am quite ill at the moment (but I’m ok! not looking for sympathy!) and I can see a very strong link between my illness and too much stress and anxiety that got out of control. You are already trying to do something about your situation which is great but I can tell you are still quite stressed about everything and understandably so. I encourage you to look into meditation and mindfulness. There are courses everywhere and they aren’t too expensive or there are free resources on the internet too. It will help gain inner strength to deal with things.

    I didn’t realise you were Irish. Me too!

    • Thanks Clare, will definitely be doing meditation/mindfulness at some point – it was in my head to do in August actually, but it didn’t happen.
      I learned how to do a form of meditation called Transcendental Meditation and loved it for a few years but – ironically – have let it go this year… not very self-helpy! But yes, you’re right, I need a bit of stillness back.
      Sorry to hear you’ve been sick – I spent most of my twenties sick with throat infections and every cold going and I now see that it was pure stress. Meditation definitely helped this stress in a physical way – it helped me to relax and to sleep better – and then when I was feeling better I was able to make bigger life changes. Good luck with it, sounds like you’re making great progress.
      And yes, I’m Irish! Well, mum and dad are but I was brought up in the UK. Where are you from? x

  2. I think you’re just doing brilliant and are very brave to bare all (and am not alluding to the naked yoga or the modeling you did).

    Exposing so much of yourself in a public blog with your name out there to all and everybody requires a lot of guts.

    And if those guts tell you keep doing what you’re doing, please follow that feeling. But if they will tell you at one point to stop, please follow that feeling as well.

    It’s your journey and we can only appreciate and applaud your courage to share that with us.

    I think all your readers cheer with you when things are going well, groan with you when not, smile when you do or shed a tear. And some of us would definitely like to say F#ck it! more often, I know I wish I would…

    Not sure if this make sense but just want to express my admiration for what you’re doing.

  3. Marianne,
    just stick with your gut feeling, it seems to be working for me, now that I’ve surrendered to it and F**k It, you’re right what IS the worst that can happen, no-one has died, right? I love how you’re going with the flow and also how you didn’t stick rigidly to your original plan, but are doing what’s right for you, it makes it much more interesting for not only us but it seems you are learning so much about yourself on this journey (as well as finally taking your financial issues in hand). Who knows where it will go, and what will happen? I think there are good things ahead for you, for sure 🙂

    I adore this blog, I wish I could take the first step and start my own (despite feeling like I’ve really missed the boat on blogs) but it’s baby steps. Yesterday I had lunch on my own just off Marylebone High Street, sat outside, enjoying the sunshine and enjoying the ‘now’. It’s quite empowering really, whereas before I’d have sat there feeling self-conscious like a ‘Billy no-mates!’ You crossed my mind actually when I thought about one of your earlier blogs where you mentioned talking to a stranger. I couldn’t quite pluck up the courage to speak to the older gentleman sat next to me, but maybe I sent out the message that I was open to a conversation. He actually spoke to me instead and asked if I enjoyed my vongole as he nearly ordered it himself. We exchanged a few words and smiles and I left feeling really happy.

    Oh and one other thing while I think of it that you’ll appreciate I hope, I ordered The Secret the other week off Amazon. Requested the paperback, BUT when it arrived it was in Tamil, not English! My daughter said why was I buying it? She had a copy that I could borrow. I rang Amazon up and said at no point did it make this clear, they apologised, and said just send it back, and we’ll send you the correct version, but then said it was out of stock and would not be back in for another 13 weeks so they would just send me a refund! Hows that for the Universe lol, and laws of attraction! Made me laugh! Things like this are happening all the time now, and I’ve not even started the Secret yet (…still trying to finish 7 habits!!!)

    PS just wanted to thank Clare (re comments above about Eckhart Tolle) A friend has lent me his book to read ‘A new Earth’ but am also really interested in the guided meditations she talks about by his wife. Like you meditation/mindfulness are at the forefront of my mind, and something I really would like to develop more.

    Have a spectacular weekend, the weather is supposed to be good 🙂

    Much Love Sarah x

  4. I think sharing our lives online is a bit like spending with plastic – there’s a disconnect in there. It’s easier somehow. Being open and honest, and in doing so creating a space in which others can open up is both brave and sacred. In your healing you are allowing others to heal a little, too. Perhaps you will regret it; certainly anyone who shares deeply intimate details of their lives is bound to fear that at some time. But perhaps you will win by it, as well. Our world needs to lose perfection and get more real. The strain of perfection is killing us, and that isn’t just a cliché.

  5. Oh, and this whole “Why don’t you have a bf?” is just part of that perfect little world. Such a burden. Everytime I get asked I feel like I’m somehow defective. Screw that. Dumb question.

  6. If it takes a load off your chest then being open is a good idea; I’m still sceptical about the naked yoga though as interesting as it may seem, I mean, was the room warm? were there draughts? etc etc. Wish you well & have a good wekend.

  7. Hi Marianne, as I said a couple of months ago I have always admired your work because you are authentic, you tell it how it is and you walk your talk. What you are now doing here is a lot closer to home but an extension of that. You are doing good, girl, real good and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We all love you for it. x

  8. Hello!! Although I can understand why your worried about revealing too many details, I wanted to let you know that your courage in telling all inspired me to start a blog of my own! I love reading your blog and reading about your daring deeds made me say “why not?! live life and tell the world about it!”. So thanks! and I hope you find a great way to keep on blogging and sort out the money thing!!

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