Hello. My name is Helen, and I am an over-sharer. To put it in technical terms, I suffer from Awkward Sharer Syndrome (ASS). Yes, I am the person at the party who misjudges the flow of the conversation, and tells an embarrassing story that creates a fog of discomfort, silencing the room.
I should see it as a gift, really. As a comedian, it's my job to make people laugh with stories of my humiliation and failure. But sometimes I forget that I am not on stage, and people don't want to hear about the time I fanny-farted in a yoga class. Especially when I just met them 90 seconds ago in the queue at Sainsbury's.
My ASS can flare up at any time. Just the other day, I was chatting to a teacher at school about the importance of teaching my son to get his P.E. kit on by himself. She explained that trying to single-handedly get 30 four year-olds dressed was proving difficult.
Most people would smile and nod sympathetically at this, and that's what I did. But because of my ASS, I then added, "Oh God, you poor darling, what a FUCKING NIGHTMARE!" This was followed with a huge laugh that died away as I noticed all the other kids and parents staring at me, and the teacher looking horrified. Damn you, ASS.
It's never my goal to create a weird atmosphere, or to scar people forever. It's like a strange compulsion, one I've learned I just have to live with, and possibly turn into a career. I live life on the rollercoaster of shame - it may be bumpy, it may induce nausea, but it's never dull.
So if you feel like spicing up your life with a bit of ASS, here is my seven-step programme for over-sharing.
Step One: Have a normal conversation with a human.
Step Two: Enjoy the conversation. Maybe even make the person laugh.
Step Three: Get too confident. Make a reference to something stupidly awkward, e.g. sex, bowel movements, or youthful drug taking. Other options include totally misjudging the other person's political bias, and excessive swearing.
Step Four: Soak up the awkward silence as the other human stares at the ground in horror.
Step Five: Laugh weirdly and blush. Exit.
Step Six: Be wracked with shame. Lose sleep. Find yourself literally shuddering every time the incident comes to mind, which happens about 18 times a day.
Step Seven: Repeat for the rest of your life, until you actually die of embarrassment.
BONUS POINTS: Write a blog about it, so the whole internet knows about your ASS problem. Cheers!