“I was Trying To Numb The Pain”: Tanya Hennessy on Hiding Behind Humour

Tanya Hennessy

Comedian, TV, radio host and content creator Tanya Hennessy is one of the busiest women in media.

At just 34-years-old, Hennessy is not only a successful media personality and YouTuber, she’s written a book, Am I Doing This Right and launched a beauty line, ‘The Carb Collection’, with Priceline.

But, after 25 days in the African jungle on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here, Hennessy realised that her life was going “a zillion miles per hour” and it was high-time to slow down.

“I work so hard,” Hennessy told TheLatch— after her elimination. “I’m on social, I’m on TV, and I do a bit of radio — and if there’s a porn opportunity, I’ll give it a crack…” she joked with her trademark sense of humour.

“But in all seriousness, I’m going to probably try and prioritise my time slightly,” she said “I’ve literally given everything to my career, and actually I’m really exhausted.”

During the series, Hennessy revealed to fellow camp-mate, Charlotte Crosby, that she wanted to try for a baby, however, she and her partner, Tom Poole, “weren’t actually trying very hard”.

“I’m always exhausted,” she said. “And I don’t think  I need to work that hard anymore and actually, I don’t think I want to work that hard anymore.”

While the comedian uses humour for her profession (throughout our chat she admitted she was “overwhelmed” and “a grumpy b–ch”, while chewing on a piece of bread) Hennessy was the first to admit that it was a shield for a much deeper pain.

“Most comedians do that,” she said. “That’s how comedians survive. I think it’s self-awareness, mixed with cultural and social awareness, mixed with depression. Da da da, comedian!”

In fact, Hennessy went into the jungle with the hope to raise funds for R U OK — a charity which has helped her more than people would even realise.

“I have had some really bad low points in my life,” she admitted. “There were moments if I wasn’t asked how I was doing, I don’t know if I’d still be here today.

“R U OK doesn’t ask for money, it asks for compassion, kindness and empathy and for people to genuinely listen and check-in, and I think that it’s an incredible charity because kindness costs nothing. Everything is so expensive nowadays and the one thing that can save a life costs nothing, so we should spread it around for free. You could literally help somebody live.”

A self-confessed “phone addict”, Tanya was quick to criticize the over-use of her mobile phone which was a huge catalyst in affecting her mental health.

“Sometimes I tend to isolate myself and just be on my phone and I thought that that was fine, but I was just trying to numb a whole bunch of pain that I had,” she said before musing, “Ha! Get the psych. Get the f—ing psych!”

“It’s like a habit and you just have to break it. Your phone definitely affects your mental health. This is a realisation I had in the jungle — it stops your ability to really connect.

“I think I need to get off my phone in real life and talk to people more because I was happier when I was speaking to people. I just want to have really good connections and get off my phone and just eat bread.”

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