Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.
Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.
In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.
I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.
She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’
I have news! Really exciting news. The piece of paper I am holding in my hands is not a bill, nor a bank statement… it’s the contract for a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Yes, a BRAZILIAN BOOK DEAL. Shall I say it again, in CAPITALS?! OK, I won’t.
This little baby dropped through the letter box at around 11am. The contact is for ‘a literary work entitled “Help Me!” by Marianne Power (‘hereinafter called ‘the Work’).’ It’s me! And I have ‘a literary work’. It’s so weird, wonderful and bloody random, I can’t quite believe it.
Some of you might remember the post I did about not going ahead with a UK book deal (http://helpmeblog.net/2014/06/27/say-fk-it-to-a-book-deal/). At the end of it I mentioned that a publisher in Brazil had expressed interest but I didn’t quite believe it. Even when a contract arrived in May for me to sign, I didn’t believe it because the Brazilian book lords hadn’t counter-signed.
First a confession: I am typing this from a coffee shop. I know, I know… I vowed never to darken the door of a coffee shop again until I was out of my financial hole but the truth is I’m 36, single and seem to be making a full time occupation out of analysing my feelings at the kitchen table. If I don’t step out into the real world at least occasionally, I’m going to lose the plot.
So yes, I’m in a coffee shop but I’ve been pretty good over the last few week in that (a) I’ve been doing a lot of paid work and (b) this is my first coffee outing in a week, (c) I’m very aware that the coffee I’m now drinking now costs 2.50 which is why (d) I’m not going to spend the 3.50 on the plum tart that’s winking at me. The little flirt.
So anyway. I’m back… sort of. I hope.
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.
Hello! It’s me! I’m back. I’m sorry for the absence – although I’m sure you’ve all been very happily going about your summer and not giving it a second’s thought…anyway, it’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted, which is the longest I’ve been since starting this project.
So what’s been happening? Well, I haven’t been following any self-help for August – but I have been helping myself by continuing to face up to the finances and doing a lot of paid work.
So an update on the finances:
In the last post I was in the midst of epic self-loathing about my two GIANT overdrafts and hefty credit card bill.
Reading that post back I realise I wasn’t actually giving you the full scale of my panic at the time. I have an overdraft on my business account which I’m not going to go into just now (one debt at a time) – but my PERSONAL debts totalled more than £10,000 which is a pretty massive number in my book. In anyone’s book.
Hello all, how’s everyone? I’m very sorry for the silence… Since my television excitement (and it really was exciting, thank you to everyone for the good feedback), I’ve been busy doing paid work (thank you, editors) and wading through my finances.
Last week I discovered that Barclays has introduced new fees which mean I am now paying £3 a day for my giant overdraft. That’s £92 a month. The good news is that a) I actually noticed this – before I wouldn’t have been looking at my statements and that b) – it’s yet another wake up call.
Mum also pointed out, quite rightly, that I would spend that on coffee most day without even thinking about it. She’s right. So the trips to the coffee shop have stopped. So has eating out and drinking out. I had cut down but it’s not been enough. I am not going to buy another overpriced gastro-pub burger until I’m out of this hole. There, that’s my public promise.
Hello all, how’s everyone? This is just a quick one because I think that a lot of you saw it already but I WAS ON THE TELEVISION last Thursday, talking about the blog. It was a morning television show called This Morning and it went very well, or at least I thought it did.
Mum was less convinced. Her very first comments afterwards; “Was your mouth dry? Your mouth seemed very dry.’ I don’t know how you know if someone’s mouth is dry – or why she felt she had to lead with that observation – but she thought I looked nervous at first but I got the hang of it as it went on.