Sex, Lies, Lawyers and Videotape: Miss Cook & Co's BIG book plans
Hands up who has some humiliating stories lurking around in their personal closet? Dating stories, love stories, breakdown stories, tragic work stories, but really really embarrassing ones especially. Oh me, pick me!!!!!! I have MILLIONS!!!!! OMG SO EMBARRASSSSSSING...cant believe I did that. Riiiiiiiight?
Oh. No one else has their hand up. I see how it's going to be. Right-o.
Come on you lot, don't even try that on with me, y'all should have your hands in the air right now. RIGHT UP HIGH, where I can see them, you pack of lying hounds. I know some of you, and I KNOW your stories. Don't make me say them out loud.
Why do I ask what your skeletons are? Great question. Perhaps I am just nosey? Yes, I am, this is true. No, I ask because I am busy currently rifling through my own over extended emotional filing cabinet, aaaaaaaand....drumroll please....I am writing...a book of my own about everything in there.
Something a little like Sex, Lies (Lawyers) and Videotape (James Spader is the ultimate sexy deviant EVER), meets Sex and The City (you call me Miranda I will PUNCH you), meets Suits (helllllllo Harvey Spectre). Oh and I couldn't leave out my professional inspo Thank You For Smoking because it wouldn't be a book about me without acknowledging my inner Nick Naylor that lead me to both my dizzying downfall and my ultimate redemption. Perhaps we could we throw in Pretty Woman for good measure too? I am confident that a corporate whore counts right? Whatever my sources of inspiration, to whom I bow down at the homage alter, I tell you this people, this book, promises to be, if nothing else, a very wild ride. A little like a kind a mechanical bull at the local bar that is in need of repair and only operates on the highest speed. Bodies being thrown of left and right. DUUUUUUUUCK!!!!!!!
This tawdry tale is intended is to be a no holds barred and unflinching, yet often hilarious, look the at the life of a former first class flying corporate lawyer working for some of the worlds more...hmmm how to say...morally questionable corporations, while simultaneously trying to salvage the shrapnel of a spectacularly crashing and burning personal life. But it is much more than a bullshit boring memoir about my witty (others might say achingly absent) observations about life in the law, no, this is not about what I did for a living (that would be beyond boring - lawyers - #yawn), but about the wayward, wobbly, sometimes wicked and wounded woman I became as a result of living a lie for so long.
Most importantly though, this not merely an obituary for the old me, but in the happiest of happy endings that doesn't end in Kings Cross' Golden Mile, most of all, this is a story of how, against all odds, I scratched and fought my way up and out of Hades by my Cajun Shrimp coloured claws (that's 50 bucks for the promo OPI), and hauled myself out of my own private misrerable Idaho to a life that I can now be 1000000% proud of.
For 10+ years of my wonderfully successful precious professional existence, I was polished, preened and well presented, BUUUUUT I was also emotional, psychological and spiritual carnage at its finest. This is sort of going to be like the literary version of watching a 747 crash into the side of a mountain with 20 minutes advance warning. "Why are you not turning? Seriously, that's a mountain, why are you NOT turning? ABORT ABORT ABORT!". SMASH. Welcome to your own personal version of Deliverance Miss Cook. Don't bother with the lifejacket, it's all a bit late for that.
Given this all seems like the ultimate in personal and spiritual hari-kari, I can hear you asking, why would I do something so clearly counterintuitive and slight crazy?
Lately I have been receiving this incessant nagging calling to speak out about some of the less than perfect things that I have engineered over the time in an effort shed light on the darker side of life, to bring some of the shadow we all carry into the light to allow it to breathe and escape the internal emotional ice cave. I don't do this because I am a sado-masochistic demented person, although in days gone by that may have been true. I do this, in service to humanity (bear with me I'm not going for a Nobel Peace Prize, don't panic), and this is my small gesture to inspire by example. To lead the way in demonstrating that there is a redemption story in all of us. You too can radically change your life like I did.
The catch is (and it's no small catch) that it's only through revealing my own shameful (and at times salaciously sinful) stories that I can truly be honest with myself, and hold myself truly accountable for my past actions, who I was, and what I did. This requires an unflinching ability to call yourself out on your own bullshit. Which is....embarrassing, humiliating, humbling and makes you tremble at the thought initially. BUT its also the only way to show you guys that, as it is for every single person on the planet, what looks good on the outside is not always the same on the inside.
In fact, usually, the better it is on the outside, the more flailing and flapping it is on the inside: and let me tell you this (if you didn't see it yourself), tapped out, flapped out and clapped out I was. For years.
So, here is the bit where I sacrifice myself for the greater good.
For all intents and purposes, to any eager onlookers, anyone who knew me in my old self, would have said, quite rightly, I had a pretty perfect looking life. Good job, amazing friends, material wealth and good old fashioned dishy dudes to keep me company when I needed them. That was how it appeared anyway, unless you made the ghastly error of peeking behind the curtain. Oh no. Don't look in there.... *peeks behind the curtain*
JESUS.H.CHRIST.WHAT.THE.FUCK.IS.THAT? What is that snaggle toothed crazed creature eyeballing me while snapping it razor sharp teeth in my direction?
Yes, admittedly, it was an unreserved shitshow beneath the surface of an otherwise picture perfect life.
I mean, my Instagram looked good at least. Shame though that the carpet didn't match the curtains eh?
So on that note, it's time I share with you a snappy synposis of the kinds of things that are going in the Miss Cook & Co New York Time #1 Bestseller tell-all book (although truly I would be happy with 3 stars solid "good" review in Latte Life). What is to be contained within the pages of a tale of an old life sacrificed for a new one? What pearls of wisdom could this former wounded warped warrior woman provide to me?
Well, grab your helmets kids, it's go time.
For those not familiar with "my old life" here is the 10 second sad-ass summary: successful lawyer working in the shadows of some of the more darker corporate spaces who was actually a total utter emotional mess, relationship retarded, with monumental and ever growing amounts of psychological baggage trailing behind her (in designer luggage maybe - Gucci or Target darlings, fucked up is fucked up), crippled by auto-immune failure due to propensity to escape personal shadow with overwork, who was absolutely not assisted by her intricate web of "coping strategies" including (but definitely not limited to): meaningless or worse disproportionately meaningful sex for validation, drugs, booze, emotional eating, lying, manipulating and overcompensating for insecurity or lack of self-worth, painful neediness/paralysing hypersensitivity, extreme overwork, crippling perfectionism, destructive relationships with fellow destructive humans, extreme variations of self flagellation, all around general self-hating, elaborate control freakery and high level manipulative emotional fuckery.
Oooooh ouch. That hurt. Then and even saying it loud now. Pass the bandages, I'm haemorrhaging AGAIN. Damn it. For those that know me; the majority of you are probably nodding. To others, this may be a little....shocking. Sorry about the directness, it's just a lot faster than tiptoeing around the edges. So, it's with just a little trepidation that I confidently say there's absolutely more in the Shame Vault than that, and sadly it gets a lot worse in some spots before it gets better, but let's maybe stop there for now. You know, lest I decide at a later stage to get a "real job" again one day and find it challenging after having publicly admitted to being an oversexed overworked unhinged unstable drunk control freak with severe emotional issues who was probably a bee's dick away from every kind of rehab available.
On that note, please find below the application section for any potential partners, as I can only imagine how hot as blazes and sexy this is all sounding right now....sign up below boys, come and GET IT. I am single and ready to mingle (insert slightly maniacal and very self-aware laugh) ;-).
So, yes, that's a long way of explaining that in some insane fit of self-deprecatory madness (otherwise know as writing a tell-all book about my train wreck of a life), I am delving into all the things that have made me....me. And taking you on the journey with me. Tipping out every last ounce of dirty laundry I have in the name of self-development. Shit. This is either going to be amazing or an absolute unreserved shitshow. Probably both.
I can hear the giggles you assholes. I see you. Car crash TV is always so much fun isn't it? Especially when it's someone else's car crash and you are just a hapless observer to the unfolding metal crunching carnage. Bring on the black ice on the Autobahn of Miss Cook's life I hear you say! #masochists #allofyou
To be clear, I am not doing this solely for your entertainment, I am doing this for a myriad of reasons, chief amongst them to show you that someone who purportedly was reasonably successful, appeared relatively together (arguably) and who was seemingly socially acceptable/popular even was, beneath it all, derailing at a frightening speed, the results of which would be a human version of like what happens when a high-speed train hits a cow at 300km/hr. Total unreserved obliteration of what was before. Nothing but tiny little pieces of Miss Cook splattered all over the walls of my life. Nothing worth having can survive such determined self-destruction.
But folks, don't be fooled, this is not a pity party, oh no. This a Phoenix-rising-esque story for the ages. The ultimate redemption riff. Liberty in human form. For there can be no shame about anything I have ever done, if I am the one calling it out and owning it as mine. Allllllllllll mine (God help me).
Say what? You're gonna do what? Well yes, the theory being that if I use it against myself first, no one else can ever do it for me, and it will serve as example for others of the kind of joy that can happen when you intentionally take a bazooka to all the shadow that holds power over you. You won't die. Probably. Actually, that is not an iron-clad guarantee, but it's not likely. I don't think anyway. **see full and complete legal disclaimer below.
Seriously though, literally and figuratively, what I did a couple of years back when I decided this all had to stop if I had any hope of ever turning into a happy human, I wandered into the house of my former life with a suicide vest filled with C10 strapped to my chest and blew that bad boy to motherfucking smithereens. Lock stock and two smoking barrels. Sadly, accidentally I undoubtedly took a couple of good people with me (sorry to the ones who suffered the blowback from that - it was absolutely not intentional), but that is an unfortunate consequence of imploding your life out of a deep necessity to reclaim your life for yourself, of needing to shed your skinful of lies. It's ugly, certainly, but someone had to call bullshit on that whole sorry mess that was Miss Cook Version 1.
By mess, I mean a lot of things, but predominantly hitting total and utter rock bottom: emotionally, physically, psychologically and spiritually. I had been lying to myself about my internal state of affairs for so long that I had no idea that my emotional health was (and I say this with great irony) more like a crippling, almost fatal case of wheezing, tar filled, gasping for air like a goldfish, emphysema. Pun fully fucking intended.
If I am going to do this, really do this (which it seems I am), you might as well settle in, order pizza with a side of fried chicken, make your favourite cocktail, spark up, rail one up for the road, pop an Oxy, and/or for a more PG version grab the popcorn. For this shit is going to put Gogglebox to absolute shame. Sorry Angie and Evie, but this is the real deal. Sex, lies, lawyers and videotape is just the tip of the iceberg. Helmets and body armour on everyone; just in case, you don't want to be hit my flying shrapnel.
For if I am about to expose my deepest darkest underbelly for your reading pleasure, and to elevate my overall integrity, freedom and happiness levels (which is a pretty brutal way to do it), you better go ahead and enjoy yourselves immensely. I want 10/10 fun factor for you if I am going to carve my old self into little pieces like a fucking all you can eat sushi buffet, so that if nothing else you can hopefully learn from my terrible example, and perhaps save yourselves from falling as far as I did. You don't have to go the extremes I did, in any sense, use this as a cautionary tale to make necessary changes while you have the chance. Stay here long enough, and you will see how I managed to somehow turn a greedy, emotionally volatile, broken and busted ultimate corporate whore into a happy, life-loving, hippie kid willing to act as a lightening rod for all the detritus in my sub-section of humanity. Corporate and creative professionals, take note, life can be really good if you don't do what I did.
So, strap yourselves in, this is likely to get wild. And by wild, I am not necessarily referring the 8 hour cocaine and booze fuelled BDSM sex marathon type of wild (although I am also not explicitly ruling it out either). Prepare yourselves, this is going to be as funny as it is heartbreaking, as sexy as it is the ultimate arousal killer. It's the death of a woman you all knew, and some loved, but most of all it's the most beautiful redemption story to hopefully inspire you to greater things for yourself.
The point of this post being, that I am doing this no holds barred, so if you don't like truth, brutal unfiltered truth, this is probably where we should be parting ways.
I should also say, if you are someone reading this, and you are starting to feel slightly unwell or in a heightened state of anxiety because of your historical interactions, I have two things to say to you:
(a) there is probably a good reason for that; and (b) this is not about you, you self-absorbed idiot. FFS.
This is my story, my perspective, my way and although it's not intended that anyone gets hurt in telling of my truth, it's inevitable it will likely happen to someone (probably me more than anyone). I can only promise this: I will tell the truth, I will not sugarcoat anything even at my own expense, and I will do my utmost to prevent collateral damage of innocent people where possible. But ultimately, let me say this, I will no longer compromise my truth for your comfort. It is what it is ladies and gentlemen, and frankly, your discomfort is no longer, nor was it ever, my problem. So, yeah, consider this the only notice I will ever give that a missile is fast approaching your doorstep. Duck and roll people. Duck and fucking roll.
So that being said, let's do this. I am beyond ready. If you are willing to be brave, I am too. I don't have the answers, not really, but I do have a perspective that yielded the most extraordinary personal change for me, so I'm just going to close my eyes, jump and trust that I am doing exactly what I should be doing. Grab onto my hand if you want to come with. It's gonna be one hell of a ride.
Stay tuned folks, I'm only JUST getting started.
I love you, thanks for coming along with me, and trusting that I (kind of) know what I am doing.
Miss Cook xoxo
Postscript: This post, this process, my ability to do any of this at all, is dedicated with all the love in the world to my best friend, Mary. You make me believe in myself every single day, and even when I am not entirely sure (or sure at all about anything), you give me the love, or the little shove, I need to get back on track and get on with it. There is no Oprah without Gayle babe. You are my rock, my soulmate, my beloved bestie and soul sister. No one comes close to you. Ours is an age old love lived over thousands of lifetimes, and I will forever be your person. I love you more than I ever thought it was possible to love another human being. Thank you for being you. Forever and always. Everyone deserves a Mary but #youcanthavemine. Love, Me xx