Mark Mehigan launches ‘This is Not a Self-Help Book’

Many are familiar with comedian Mark Mehigan for his comedy gigs and podcasts, but recently, he has taken on a new title of author. Mehigan released his book, ‘This is Not a Self-Help Book’, detailing his struggles with addiction. The launch in The Sugar Club last month saw him interviewed by his fiancée, broadcaster and fellow podcaster Doireann Garrihy.

“You’re the first ones here,” the host told us – and here my friend and I thought we would be late. We are both fans of Mark Mehigan and his podcast ‘Mark Mehigan’s Weekly Roast’ (formerly The Sunday Roast), so I was excited to mix work and pleasure.

The Sugar Club is an impressive, warm venue. Perfect for an open and extremely honest conversation that flows from humorous to thought provoking between each sentence.

Being the first there we were able to get prime seats, second row so as not to be too close to the action, but still have a perfect view of the stage. The book cuts straight the point in its first line: ‘My name is Mark and I am an alcoholic.’ Its launch welcomed radio personalities such as Carl Mullan (host of the 2FM Breakfast show with Garrihy), as well as Garrihy’s well-known sisters Aoibhín and Ailbhe . A ‘pinch me’ moment was getting to chat to Mullan, a radio hero of mine.

‘My name is Mark and I am an alcoholic.’

-“This is Not a Self-Help Book”

In no time, the room was filled. Entering the room and receiving a round of applause, Garrihy introduced Mehigan to the crowd. Garrihy encouraged a big round of applause for Mehigan as he was “a little nervous”, but once he entered the room no nerves were visible.

What followed was an hour of Mehigan and Garrihy discussing his life and his journey to sobriety. In typical comedian style, Mehigan has a way of making even the darkest stories have moments of laughter. I found myself with a pain in my stomach as he detailed his deep love of cigarettes.

It was also a tale of an interesting life spent living in Britain and the USA before settling back in Dublin. It wasn’t all laughs, with his discussion of being “born lonely” and having to tell his Mum and Dad about his addiction.

It was a family affair for Mehigan and Garrihy, who referred to his parents and siblings in the audience. Garrihy was not afraid to ask the real questions, while her fiancé was not afraid to give the real answers. There was many a laugh, with constant pushes to buy the book – “We have a wedding to pay for guys!”

It’s a step away from Mehigan’s podcast in which he roasts a different group of people or personality types: it was a vulnerable conversation, but one thoroughly enjoyed by all.

When it opened up to the Q&A part of the evening, I was sure to ask a question. I of course fumbled my words and asked if it was a weird transition when one is used to writing comedy to now be writing a self-help book (directly contradicting the book’s title), to which Mehigan shouted “Get him out!”

Once my mortification had reduced, I could appreciate the unintended humour in the messy question and the honesty in the answer.

As the Q&A drew to a close there was a queue for a book signing and a photo. Mehigan was a true gentlemen and clearly someone who has worked hard to get to where he is today. The book is for sale online and in bookstores across the country.

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