15th of October, a gloomy, rainy afternoon
It’s been raining all day, well, at least since 10am when I finally woke up and dragged myself out of bed. I made a cup of coffee and snuggled on my sofa with a blanket. Sunday Brunch was on. I love this show but only watched for a short while and then grubbed my book. Help Me, by Marianne Power.
Shebs recommended it- ‘You will love it!’ she said- and I got it a few weeks ago but it’s been such a busy 14 days I didn’t get the time to read much more than about 100 pages since I bought it.
But after the last two weeks I burned out. Mentally and physically. That’s what I do when I struggle. I keep myself busy all the time to avoid being with myself. And then I crush.
I couldn’t read this book at a more appropriate time. I could relate to it at so many levels, so incredibly honest, thought-provoking and at points sad and hilarious. Not many books made me cry and laugh. I finished it that afternoon. So what is it about?
It’s about the author’s year long adventure, a mid-thirties journalist living in London who despite doing what she loves for a living and wonderful friends and family, she is not happy. Excessive drinking and wasting any money she earns ending up in huge debt has not helped so she decides to take on a quest. She will try and follow to the letter a self-help book each month for a year.
And she did-ish. From Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, the Secret (not many books I dislike as much as the Secret), Tony Robbins the 10-Day Tony Challenge (who I personally think is just a salesman, making false promises to vulnerable people for a very expensive price), Get the Guy by Matthew Hussey to Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (Brene’s TedX talk on vulnerability is just brilliant).
She tried it all, from juicing diets, to deliberately attempting to get rejected, to swimming in a freezing lake in January, Tony Robbin’s ridiculous conference to a week long ‘Fuck it’ workshop in Italy. It all started well but during this she alienated herself from her friends and family, she broke down many times and in the end?
In the end she learned one thing: the only one who can really help you is yourself. No self-help book would magically transform your life.
I’m not sure whether I loved it so much because I could surprisingly relate to most of it (I’d say probably all of it except the job bit, I’m still stuck to a job I don’t enjoy and took everything out of it I could possibly take), single, for similar reasons, dealing with all the mid-thirties chaotic dilemmas and anxieties.
Thank you Marianne. Thank you for sharing your story, being vulnerable and opening up about what it feels like to be stressed, depressed, worried, sad especially nowadays is incredibly brave but also liberating. That moment when you realise what you are going through is more common than you think, that others not only understand but also have been through this themselves, is just magical, is what connects all humans on another level.
And thank you for beautifully, honestly and accurately describing how the quest of meaning and happiness in this crazy world is not an easy ride but appreciating what you have, loving and taking care of yourself and others make it worthwhile.
‘But I see now that perfection does not exist and happiness comes not from getting what you think you want but from opening your eyes and recognising that you have everything you could possibly need right now’ Marianne Power