Cheer up! We can really bolster your self-loathing!

How to be more aware of your downfalls in the new year

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The Independent Online

If you ask me, which always strikes me as amusing, as there is so little I can answer (doctors always marvel at how unwise I am for my age), I am, at least, pleased to announce that my magazine, Not OK!, which caters expressly for those who despise the cheerful, can-do, self-improving spirit of women’s magazines, has produced a special new year (old you) issue.

And we have, yes, purposely brought it out a week into the new year, figuring it should chime nicely with your rising levels of self-loathing as you realise that, yet again, you have utterly failed to change yourself in any positive way. Or, as our cover line puts it: “New Beginnings, Old Obstacles. Get Over It!”

This issue, which comes with a free cover mount that someone will have already ripped off in the shop, as is the way, is packed with many similarly exciting features, like: “Let’s Face It, Duckie, You Are Always Going To Be Fat”; “Jogging – It’s Just Not For You, Is It?”; and one woman’s true, brave account of her life-long love affair with Jacob’s Creek: “I’ve tried to keep away, but soon find myself rushing back into its highly affordable arms.”

Of course, we have also included in-depth medical and health reporting – alas, still no cure for incurable pessimism, experts say – plus a detailed look at the stages you must necessarily move through when you fail, yet again, to keep alive that Poinsettia given to you by a kindly neighbour. These stages are: denial (the leaves are meant to go all crispy, surely); anger (stand up straight, you cussed Poinsettia, stand up straight and look me in the eye!); bargaining (if you stand up straight and look me in the eye, I promise I may even get dressed today); self-questioning (why, why, why?); and acceptance (I’m such a loser – I can’t even keep a plant alive. What did I expect?).

Also, there is a suitably fatuous quiz of our own devising which tests how good you are at the art of one-downmanship. If someone, for example, tells you they feel miserable do you say: A) “I’m sorry to hear that?”; B) “Is there anything I can do to help?”; or C) “You’re miserable? My misery makes your misery look like a walk in the park! My misery could eat your misery for breakfast!” And the clincher: “My misery propels me to drink cheap, screw-top wine as available from the corner shop!”

If you answer mostly “C” then Not OK! is probably the right publication for you.

But, just to check: have you bought the new trainers but have so far failed to go for a single run? Yes?  Thought so.