As part of a new series here on our blog, we will be profiling some of the people who have sold their story to newspapers and magazines via Talk to the Press, asking them what they thought of us, and how they found speaking publicly about their lives.
First up, it’s Pauline Bell. Earlier this year, we sold Pauline’s true life story on her prescription drug addiction to the Daily Mail and New magazine.
How did you hear about TTTP and why did you decide to get in touch? I accidentally stumbled across the website and thought it looked interesting, so I signed up to the newsletter. Soon afterwards, I recieved an email which said a newspaper were looking to talk to someone who had been addicted to prescription drugs. I wrote a brief email to TTTP saying that I was currently facing this situation.
Why did you decide to speak out? I was addicted to an array of drugs including co-codamol, tramadol and diazepan. I was eager to get better and felt speaking out would be the first step of my recovery. The opportunity came at a time when I felt I had to do something about my situation.
What was your reaction when you first saw the article? Total shock. I was quite frightened when I opened the Daily Mail to see my story across a double page. But once I read the content of the piece I was pleased. I actually felt relief. I wasn’t hiding anymore and I was very happy with the article.
What did your friends and family think? Publishing my story in a well known newspaper and magazine exposed my addiction to everyone. A lot of people were shocked and I’m sure a few acquaintances had a good gossip. But what mattered most is that those closest to me were extremely supportive and now understand me better.
How did the published story affect your life? After coming clean about my secret addiction, I found the strength to get help. I visited my GP who referred me for counselling, and I’ve slowly reduced my inake of prescription drugs. I have managed to completely eliminate painkillers. I was paid for both articles, but it wasn’t about the money for me. I was overwhelmed by the supportive comments total strangers left on the Daily Mail website. I am glad I spoke out, it was the starting point for my recovery.