Shit Days

Yesterday was a shite day.  To be honest, I’ve been having a lot of shite days recently.  Since I was made redundant 10 months ago, the proportion of shite days has increased substantially.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not like there’s some kind of disaster every day, it’s just that I feel like I’m teetering on the spine of a roof and it only takes a tiny bit of wind to make me lose my balance. 

I really didn’t realize just how much my self-worth was tied up with my work.  When I was working full-time I knew my place, I knew my purpose, I felt I was contributing.  Now I just feel…well, kind of lost.  And sad.  And sorry for myself.  So very very sorry for myself.  Some days I feel so sorry for myself I don’t even get out of bed.  (Haven’t said that one outloud before). 

And then of course there’s the guilt.  Feeling so miserable makes me want to hide away.  I feel I don’t really have anything to say to people so am more socially uncomfortable than I have ever been before.  So I’m not keeping in touch with friends.  And I feel guilty about that.  The only person I am good at keeping in touch with at the moment is my long-suffering boyfriend, who therefore bears the brunt of all of this.  He’s the one who has to listen to me and watch me disolve into tears at almost any little thing that goes wrong.  So I feel guilty about that.  Almost every day I feel I’ve failed myself in terms of changing my situation, that I haven’t e-mailed or called enough people or made enough of an effort to find a new opportunity.  So I feel guilty about that.

So it’s tough.  People are very good, they remind me that this isn’t forever, and it will all turn around, and there is a part of me that knows that, but sometimes that part gets drowned out by all the guilt and self pity.  Also, I know that really I’m lucky, with no mortgage or children to worry about, things could be so much worse.  But that fact can get drowned out as well.  I’m also aware of the fact that the only person who is going to make my situation better is me.  But that seems to be the fact that is buried deepest beneath my personal tragedy on days when things aren’t good.  On the shite days.

Part of me wants to delete all this, I mean it’s kind of shameful, and not very good PR.  But the fact is, I’m not the only person going through this.  With unemployment at 13.4%, there are lots of us in the same position, so I’m going to be honest and leave it here.  I’m having a lot of shite days.  But I’m not the only one.  And deep down, I know it’s not forever.


A couple of years ago I got an irate text message from a listener who was furious with me for having mentioned being away two weekends in a row.  They were unemployed and felt I was boasting about my fun.  At the time I didn’t understand it; my parents had paid for my flights for one of the weekends as a birthday present, and the other weekend was in Ireland with loads of us packed into a house.  They hadn’t been expensive holidays so what was this person so annoyed about?  Now I know.  Now I understand how when there is literally NO spare money, hearing about someone else’s fun can be hard to take.  Obviously people are entitled to live their lives, and enjoy their earnings, but I understand now how that listener may have felt.  If you’re reading this – I get ya.


  1. Eamonn Sweeney · February 22, 2011

    Louise, You were a brilliant broadcaster, One of my favourites in i102104
    You should do something online, You are really TALENTED, a lot more than others.

  2. Ruth · February 22, 2011

    Ah Louise…I was like that before. It was so weird…I hated Gilmore Girls but sitting home watching it became such a ritual for me that I would (secretly) get annoyed if my folks or mates had a day off and wanted to meet up. It was almost as if I wanted the time to feel miserable. My poor Jack had a lot to put up with from me at the time too as I was a moany, emotional wreck. You know it will end but in the mean time try not to feel guilty….being unemployed messes with your head in ways I would never have realised if I hadn’t gone through it myself. Chin up and keep writing xx

    • louisemcsharry · February 22, 2011

      Thanks so so much Ruth, I actually teared up reading your comment, it means a lot to know that I’m not completely mental. xx

  3. Brian Hanrahan · February 22, 2011

    Read your “shite days” blog (I’ve been reading all your posts for some time!)  … great piece … honest, insightful, accessible and somehow still positive … I can’t wait until you get your next opportunity to entertain and engage us en masse … You’ve chosen a tough path with media but keep fighting the good fight … for you, it’ll be worth it in the end!!

  4. Mandy · February 22, 2011

    Hey Louise…my best mate (who i worked with) was made redundant last year, after spending 10 years working her way up to where she finally wanted to be. I’m still in my job. Some days we would arrange to meet for lunch but i’d get a text cancelling and the next time we’d meet she’d say she just couldn’t face going out. I never really got it until i read your post. Sometimes i’d text her about stuff happening in work and i’d get a short & sweet msg back!! now i know why…. we’re still best mates and she’s getting married at the weekend, she’s had wedding organisation to keep her busy for the past few months so i’m gonna make sure to be there for her as much as she wants me to be when the wedding is all over and done with….

    Thank you for not deleting your post…. 🙂 x

    • louisemcsharry · February 22, 2011

      Wow, thanks Mandy. I’m really glad I helped you to understand. Unemployment can really be soul destroying, I’m glad your friend has something lovely to look forward to and hope that things improve for her career-wise soon. Hopefully all her hard work over the 10 years will pay off. xx

  5. ailbhe · February 28, 2011

    hey louise, i know this must be a really difficult time for you and i applaud you for speaking out about how hard it can be. you probably don’t realise how much it will inspire others. you also probably don’t realise that when you are having your shit days you still have the ability to make people laugh through your blogging. i read every post- i love your sense of humour, and candid take on popular culture (not to mention your mild dolly obsession) and i know that every time i click on your tab (yes you have your very own tab on my laptop!) that i am guaranteed a smile. that’s some powerful shit right there. keep the chin up girl and come visit us in galway soon x

  6. Orla Barry · March 4, 2011

    I just read this blog Louise, I realise I’m days late! I just wanted to say with your talent you won’t have many duvet days left. It’s true it’s hard to see that when you’re in the thick of it and I think the greatest task people have, particularly those who work in the sort of job you do is separating their work from their sense of self-worth. Gabriel Byrne said recently its taken him about 30 years to do that!- But you’re a faster learner! Your honesty is refreshing and you are certainly not alone in how you feel- its just most of us wouldnt have the balls to admit it!
    P.s your blog is fab!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s