Secrets and lies


Fib, cheat, prevaricate, delude; everybody lies. Whether it be tiny little white ones or jaw-droppingly huge ones. We all lie and we all keep secrets. I am a former liar of the jaw-dropping kind. I became this liar out of shame and fear, but became it none the less. I could blame many other reasons too; pride, my past, society, media influences… Instead, I like to blame myself – I am, after all, the person who told the lies in the first place.

Anyway, the reason I am telling you all this is to explain in a little more detail how I got to where I am now.

I first met my boyfriend and travel partner Lee on a beach in Goa in January 2008. It was the last day of my holiday and the beginning of a year long trip for him. We got on like a house on fire and exchanged details. We became Facebook friends (cue roll of eyes) and, thanks to Lee’s daily email romancing and an invite to join him in Bali, real life lovers. Yes, he had me at ‘Friend Request’. It was truly the stuff of fairytales and I felt like the picture perfect princess. Ah, l’amour.

As with all new relationships, I kept certain parts of my past to myself, intending to be revealed at a later date when I was certain Lee wouldn’t run a mile. Unfortunately when it came to the nitty-gritty, I kept one major part of myself hidden. I was in debt to the tune of £15,000 (roughly $24,000). I was so ashamed I just couldn’t bear to tell anyone – least of all the man who had me up on the most amazing pedestal.

No one knew about my debt apart from me and the bank. Accumulated over many years by doing lots of shopping, travelling and basically living beyond my means, it had become a monster I had no idea how to do battle with. It’s surprising how quickly the debt piles up and how secrets and lies take hold. And I was well and truly in its clutches.

By now it was October 2010 and Lee and I were living in a beautiful flat together. Things where rocky though and Lee could tell I was keeping something from him. So one day, wracked with nerves and vomit bag in hand, I told him.

It didn’t go down well.

To cut a long story short, we broke up a month later and I moved out. I was embarrassed, ashamed, angry and miserable. So what’s a girl to do? Get a plan. The debt had to go, and so did the lie monster. I vowed there and then to pay off my debt within a year and emerge from my financial woes a better, happier and more honest person.

And I did it. It took nine months exactly – nine months of serious hard work and sacrifice but let me tell you, it felt amazing. I retrieved my self respect and my boyfriend, and treasured my shiny clean slate.

I wish I hadn’t put myself in that position to begin with, but we all make mistakes and I can say with 100% sincerity that I have learnt from mine.


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarahsomewhere November 26, 2011 at 22:55

This is a great story that will definitely help people facing the same debt crisis. Like you, I am a terrible liar! And I have found that the truth does definitely set me free, even if the immediate consequences are not that flash. My life has been totally transformed by coming clean on a lie, and I’m definitely trying to live honestly and truthfully now, no matter what.
Thanks for sharing this Hannah 🙂


Hannah November 27, 2011 at 18:25

Thanks Sarah, it means a lot to hear that. I was scared to put myself out there but decided if I was going to write a blog, I had to be 100% open about who I am – for better or worse! What doesn’t kill you definitely does make you stronger and I wanted to show that. I’m glad you have found the same thing xxx


jenjenk November 30, 2011 at 05:28

wow – that is AMAZING!! 9 months to clear it and give yourself a new slate!! major props to you!! congratulations! 🙂


Hannah November 30, 2011 at 15:17

Thanks Jen, I really appreciate your comment. It hasn’t been easy but I’m so glad I made it through. Thanks so much for stopping by x


Kristine December 31, 2011 at 17:09

Thank you Hannah! I found your blog after listening to your interview with MvD. My husband and I are set out to do the exact same thing…pay this crap off then travel and have babies. Thanks for your honest blog and inspiration. We really need more peeps like you and MvD telling it how it is. Lots of love from San Diego, CA:) Happy New Year!


Hannah January 2, 2012 at 13:42

Wow, thank you for your kind comment Kristine, it really means a lot to me. I wish you all the best in your own battle with the debt monster – it will be well worth the effort. I have just checked out your blog and am excited to follow along on your journey. Stay in touch xxx


Lisa Wood January 16, 2012 at 02:10

OH wow that is a lot of money to pay off in 9 months! I love that – such an inspiration to all of us 😉
Did you pay that off by working one job, or more then one job? Did you also have to pay other bills (rent etc) while paying the debt off? Just interested as we have a credit card that we need to pay off!


Hannah January 17, 2012 at 18:54

Hi Lisa, I paid off my debt by working as a babysitter on top of my day job as a graphic designer, and was still paying the usual living expenses. I have discussed this in more detail in my post How I paid off £15,000 in 9 months, but will also email you some further details. I hope this helps and wish you all the best paying off your debts 🙂


Florian August 1, 2012 at 13:22

Sometimes I guess we all just do wrong trying to do what we see are right, or to protect ourselves. Everybody does it. I think you should be extremely proud of yourself for having faced and dealt with it. And how you pulled yourself out of that situation is truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing.


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