Is now a good time to talk?

Posted October 27, 2010

Is now a good time to talk?

As I watched the Piers Morgan interview with Cheryl Cole at the weekend I felt as if I was eavesdropping on an intensely private and painful conversation. Cheryl was uncharacteristically guarded and clearly distressed about revealing the details of her recent life threatening bout of malaria. It was “still very raw”.

I remember Kylie Minogue giving her first televised interview following her treatment for breast cancer. She also appeared on edge even though the interview was with Cat Deeley, someone she knew and trusted. So why did Cheryl and Kylie agree to be interviewed when they were obviously still feeling so vulnerable?

Cynics would say that it was a marketing exercise designed to satiate the curiosity of the public (everyone loves a survivor!) and boost record sales. But I’m not so sure. They don’t strike me as women who are easily manipulated. So what was their motivation? Perhaps it was an essential stage in the healing process, a sort of “therapy” and a “milestone” to face as Cheryl put it during her own interview.

When I had my own brush with fatality (a pulmonary embolism) the last thing I wanted to do was talk about it. I banned my family from visiting me in hospital. As much as I love them, they do have a tendency to dramatise every event and I just couldn’t deal with that at the time. And I didn’t want to answer the same questions over and over. I undoubtedly hurt them in the process but I knew my own self and what I needed to survive. In fact the only revealing chats I had were with my husband two years later.

So what is the etiquette here? Do you bring up the subject first or wait for the individual to do so? Let me know your thoughts.

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