Self-help is making me sick. Literally

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Well the last couple of weeks have been a struggle. We’re now the middle of May and I HAVE NOT BEEN DOING REJECTION THERAPY properly and I’m beating myself up over it. Shock horror –  finding ways to be rejected everyday is hard, stressful and uncomfortable. So I just haven’t been doing it. I’ve been making excuses, saying I’ll double up tomorrow or that I’m too busy with journalism work etc.

Then I did what I always do when I’m unhappy/overwhelmed: I got sick.

I’ve spent most of this week in bed with a cold, hiding from rejection and anything self-help related.

I think I’m just tired.

The four months of jumping out planes/wallowing in my bank statements/chatting up strangers has taken its toll.  The high points have been really high but it’s all quite intense.

I am spun out from waking up in the morning and thinking ‘how can I get rejected today?’, I have stopped looking at my bank accounts and telling myself my life is ‘full of abundance.’  It’s not. It’s full of debt.  As for the affirmations and belief that ‘it’s all happening perfectly’, well, that’s gone out the window too.

All the positive thinking stuff feels like deluded mumbo jumbo.

The truth is that I’ve become sick of analysing, sick of naval gazing and SICK OF SELF-HELP. I am also totally and utterly sick of myself. I am bored rigid by thinking and writing about myself. I worry that all this me, me, me stuff is making me into a bad, selfish, self-indulgent, self-obsessed person.

I poured out all this to my best friends Grainne and Sharon last weekend. They were lovely. Given that Grainne has a four month old baby it was a miracle she didn’t give me a slap and tell me to get a grip – instead they both said that it wasn’t surprising I was burnt out and that I just needed a few days off. So that’s what this week was.

I stayed in bed on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nursing my cold and feeling a bit sorry for myself, then yesterday I got up and got my hair done. I know, I know, the new fiscally wise me should not get a hair done but sod it, I needed it. My grey hairs are now a lovely shade a strawberry. I also bought an expensive concealer.

Needless to say I woke up at 3am fretting about not being able to afford the splurge and fretting about everything actually. This is the first time since the project started where I’m honestly thinking ‘What the hell am I doing?’. Right now it all seems very random.

This little blip will pass, I know it will. Today the sun is shining and I’ve decided to let myself off the hook. I’ll keep going with rejection therapy until the end of the month and then in June I’m going to have fun with something called ‘F**ck It therapy’.

For those who don’t know ‘F**ck It’, it’s a very English – i.e. sweary, irreverent – approach to self-help. Ad man John Parkin came up with the concept when he realised that uttering the phrase ‘F**ck it’ was the Western expression of the Eastern philosophy of acceptance and letting go. He’s written books about it and built a whole philosophy around it. They also have a week long ‘F**k It’ retreat in Italy where presumably you swear and eat mozzarella all day. It sounds like exactly what I need. So I’ve just booked flights this second and this is where I’ll be in a month’s time:

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It means I’m a month behind schedule but hey ho, I don’t think the world will end and sometimes you just have to say ‘F**k It’.

And yes, the flights have gone on the credit card. Once again: ‘F**k it’…


If you’d like to find out more about ‘F**k It Therapy’ check out:


17 thoughts on “Self-help is making me sick. Literally

  1. Melissa McManus

    Oh Marianne!!
    Poor sweetie! I am sorry to hear you have been feeling poorly, as I am writing this I too have been feeling poorly myself so you are not alone! And may I say you are truly not alone in the feelings you are experiencing at the moment! I have these feelings too and I think you will find its completely normal my love so you have nothing to fear and everything to gain!!!
    You have everything to gain as you are on a journey my friend! A journey of self help, and there are just some things along the way that I believe you are going to have to experience first hand in order to truly understand! As challenging as it is, it’s the way it has to be for you, and the reason why is you are going to write an amazing best selling book based on your experiences of your self help journey and not only are you going to write about said experiences you are going to unlock the key (somewhere along the line) and discover what the answers are to finding true happiness, aligning with our higher selves, manifesting our desires and unlocking our true potential!!!! You need to have experienced this first hand in order to tell the wonderful story you will have to tell us all!!! We all can’t wait to read it!! We can’t wait to attend your book signings and attend your speaking gigs! All the great authors of all these “self-help” books have been through their own personal journey and this is why we can connect with them and their experiences, because they have been through the same thing as we may be experiencing in our own lives…

    I think you reaching this point is your bodies way of telling you, you are out of alignment with your higher self… When we are not aligned with our higher self, things don’t feel right, they feel hard, they feel off, everything feels F**ked!! I think your next booked choice is so timely!! Huraaaah!!

    In closing I will leave this with you to ponder…

    Our beliefs ( which is really just our thoughts we keep thinking) must align with our desires in order for us to manifest our deepest desires. As you focus upon the subject of your desire, you can feel either harmony or discord: The better you feel, the more in alignment you are with your desire. The worse you feel, the more out of alignment you are with your desire…
    Your emotions indicate your current beliefs in relationship with your current desires…

    If you can align your desires with your beliefs, you will unlock something very powerful indeed!!

    Keep going lovely, you have a lot of people cheering you on and believing in you and your ability! You can do this!!!
    Look forward to hearing about your next adventure and keep doing what makes you feel awesome!!!!!! And if that’s an expensive concealer and getting your Barnet done, then that is what you must do!!

    All best wishes from Down Under xx xx

  2. Zoe R

    Oh how I wish I could go on this retreat with you!!! Some months can be good and some bad. If everything was all good all the time in this journey – well, how long could that last with so much upheaval? Better to have periodic lows than one big epic drop after the year’s over. You’re doing brilliantly and will overcome the obstacles…

  3. Rhian

    Marianne, you are hilarious and thought provoking and making lots of people, myself included, happy and smiley with your weekly updates – how can it be just about you and overly self indulgent? Don’t give up, please! Get well soon and enjoy the retreat! x

  4. threeresolutionsguy

    Jump ahead to the 7 Habits, M. You’ll get it. In hindsight I’d have suggested that as a starting point – again, when you read it you’ll see why. (I say that because even if you decide you don’t like it you’ll see why it would have made a good starting point.)

  5. Bette

    I don’t blame you one bit for moving on to the F*ck It way of life. The rejection therapy month reinforces to me that self-help theories are simply one person’s opinion of how to change your life. One person! I say, F*ck That and move on.

  6. annemaryhastings

    You’re doing great things but it’s only natural that you’d get pretty exhausted after nearly half a year of doing things that require you to be stressed out and brave all the time. The rejection month always sounded like it would be tough. Maybe you should schedule yourself time off in the months ahead so it doesn’t have take you being ill for you to have a rest. Feel better soon!

    1. Marianne Power

      Yes, Anne, you’re right. I always keep going till I get sick, would be smarter to be less martyr-y about it all. Thank you, as ever for the support. How are you?

  7. Michelle Bunt

    Hey Marianne, I’m so sorry you have been struggling. I find the same thing. I’m a counselling student (graduate this year) and so my profession is all about introspection, self-help, navel gazing etc. But I also need time away from that, because I can stuck in the self-improvement mode. The problem I find with too much self-improvement is it almost sends a message to your self that there is something wrong with you, that you need to fix, and this in return can make me feel very depressed. So, all of this is a very long-winded way of saying that I am glad that you are listening to your body, and taking the time to do what you need. The self-help interventions, while hard and requiring effort, should also be fun and life-giving for you, the moment they cease to be so, you should definitely take a break….sleep, watch some trashy TV, read some light, fluffy novels, take long bubble baths, make comfort food, have a day at home in your PJs etc. I’m sure you will get to a place where you are ready to get back into it, but don’t force that to be now. I’m also glad you shared with us your experience so we can support you. This is definitely not a sign of failure! Huge hugs, hope you enjoy your retreat next month!

    1. Marianne Power

      Ah, thank you Michelle. I’ve been watching a lot of trashy TV and eating a lot of cake. You must really have to work at keeping a balance in your studies too, got to get the mixture of introspection and outward interaction. Do you enjoy the studies though? Where are you doing doing it?
      Thanks so much for the encouragement, really appreciate it.

  8. Doretta

    Wow! Somewhere along the way you’ve hit the ultimate goal of self help theory! To take care of your SELF. I love reading your blog and it inspired me to review the plan I had for MY year.

    You are an inspiration! It is so kewl that you know what IS good for you…and what is NOT good for you. And you seem to know that instinctively. Your body and spirit said ” huh, uh…no way we are going to keep doing this rejection crap” and they waited for your mind to catch up. Great job!


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