There are certain things that can happen to you during your life, and the top three most
stressful sometimes come in this order: death of a loved one, moving house and divorce.
I’ve completed all three, plus some others, and have the t-shirt to show for it too.
And the scars.
In fact, the scars are almost like a badge of honour. They show that you have ‘been there,’
and have faced life’s greatest challenges and come through. What they never show is just
how deep those wounds actually are.
Yes, people see the surface damage, the ‘gosh, you’ve changed’ response when they meet you after such a trauma, and their friendly offer of help is welcomed, but can they actually really help get you back on your feet?
Or do you have to go it alone?
Well, life is all about choices. The choices we make, the choices others make, and the
choices that are outside of our hands and over which we have no control.
It’s true that we have a certain plan for our lives, and this is what we aim for right from
schooldays. Get a job, get a partner, kids (perhaps), nice house and car, some debt, some
savings, lovely holidays, a better house, retirement.
What happens when plans get messed up? Should we actually plan for every eventuality, or does that remove our spontaneity?
In my previous career, it was almost the law that you wanted a bigger house, a better car, and definitely a divorce. Come on, everyone in that profession has to have at least one divorce, don’t they?
I had one. A horrible one. One which left me traumatised with a range of emotions: grief,
sadness, anger, disbelief, and finally realisation that it would never be fixed, no matter what I thought. I tried to make it work, but this choice was outside of my control. As the working partner, I was left with the house, the majority of the pets, and all the debts, which I had no option but to continue paying. And it nearly broke me.
But I made a choice, a choice to survive and carry on. Believe me, there were times early on that when I did eventually get some fitful sleep, I didn’t want to wake up. But I did, and I kept going. Slowly, painfully sometimes, and I went through the first three months and came out alive.
And it made me a better person. The bubble burst and I took control of my life, got things
organised, and carried on.
My relationship with my ex is now good; we get on and talk as adults with each other.
And there is someone out there waiting for you too, as I found out.
My advice is this. Dwelling on the past will hold you back and tie you down to something
which no longer exists, no matter how much you long for it. Start afresh, take on a new
challenge and live your best life.