Have you ever been in an online divorce support group and come away feeling worse than when you went in? There’s often a good reason for that.
Many groups, in their efforts to help you feel not so alone, end up thriving on the unhappiness that the community is going though. People in pain look to have that pain validated; this is entirely natural.
As a counsellor (and a human), I believe it is vital to acknowledge the grief that someone feels.
But in many break-up groups the support stops at the validation. This was my experience after my divorce. (more…)
If you are currently going through a break-up you might find yourself wondering what the hell you are supposed to feel, in the context of what’s going on in the world.
Should you have different or better priorities right now?
Is it selfish to be thinking of your heartbreak when there is so much else happening?
Is it weird that you can’t tune into the global anxiety because your small corner of the world currently feels much more real? (more…)
“Don’t be afraid to start over.
This time, you’re not starting from scratch, you’re starting from experience.” Unknown
At the start of 2020 I experienced something I never saw coming.
Almost 10 years on from my divorce, I was breaking up again.
I’m telling this story today because, 6 weeks in, I’m just about in a place where I can talk about, write about and feel the break-up without tears.
Break Up and Shine has always been about the real me sharing the genuine processes that changed my life, in order to help you to change yours too. It has felt strange for me that you have not known about this significant episode in the journey and I’m grateful that I now feel able to share.
In January this year, I lost an 8 year relationship with a man I deeply loved; I cannot deny what a painful blow this was. Having rebuilt a really great life from the emotional wreckage of my previous marriage, life suddenly felt cruel and unfair. I had healed, grown, shared, supported others and taught them how to move on and be happy. And I was now experiencing deja vu in the most awful way. (more…)
Valentine’s day after a divorce can bring painful memories of happier times. Even if you were never a “Valentine’s Day person” it’s normal to feel a sense of loneliness on this most coupley of days, which emphasises the fact that you are alone and missing out on what everyone else seems to have.
Today, I’m not going to talk about how to get through February 14th because it’s something I’ve already covered in another post. Instead, I’m going to invite you to go deep on self-love.
Every couple of months I treat myself to a self-love yoga workshop. Oh wow! I wish I could prescribe this remedy to anyone needing break-up support on Valentine’s day (or any other time). It is a gentle yet powerful two-hour reminder of where we can find the love we most need; by looking within and remembering to connect to ourselves.
It can be grating to read about self-love in a Valentine’s day post, when all you want is for somebody else to care for you. But I’m writing about it anyway because, even though it might not be the kind of love you want to receive today, it’s the most important of all, and learning to embrace it will bring you more happiness than any card, gift or romantic meal. (more…)
“If you don’t heal what hurt you,
you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you” – unknown
The wounds of our past impact on every relationship we ever have. Whether it’s insecurities with a lover, or an inability to create close friendships.
If we are lucky enough to recognise the events that caused pain in childhood we can work through the issues. This prevents that pattern from being played out in our adult relationships.
But often, the first indicator of this long-held wound, is when a relationship goes wrong and we either experience distress or cause it to the people we are supposed to care about.
Hurt People Hurt People
When my marriage ended 10 years ago, I spent so much time in suffering. I couldn’t understand how my ex-husband could have treated me with so little care and love; how had I come to be betrayed and abandoned. (more…)
New Year’s Eve, with it’s positive celebrations, can feel bitter and painful when you are without the person you thought you would be spending your life with.
The period leading up to a New Year is commonly a time for reflection and looking ahead, and this is never more poignant than when you’ve had an emotionally difficult year.
Here are 5 reminders of how to use this special time to your advantage and take the first steps to make the end of your relationship feel less like the end of your life. (more…)
At Christmas in 2009 I was blissfully unaware that my marriage was in trouble. My husband and I had two young sons and I’d recently given birth to a baby girl to complete our family. We had worked through some tough stuff and come out stronger. I believed we were happy. I felt blessed.
By February 2010 it was all over. It turned out that, for some time, I had not been living the life I believed to be true. Six weeks into the new year my husband left the marriage, suddenly and devastatingly, to be with someone else he had been seeing for months.
I have shared the story of my healing and moving on throughout the past 10 years. The recovery and rebuilding of my life became my work and now it’s my mission to inspire others to do the same. I show those who are going through a painful break-up that, they too, can use the devastation as a catalyst for their best lives. (more…)
Divorce brings a huge range of emotions and stresses to deal with; how are you helping yourself handle them?
You might think that the biggest challenge to moving on is missing (or resenting) your ex, conflict around the break-up or coping with difficult circumstances. But, actually, those are the surface problems. Amongst the hardest challenges you will face are:
Believing in yourself enough to know that you will get through this and be happy again.
Waking yourself up to see that you are amazing and deserve to have that happiness.
Allowing yourself to fully focus on you and your needs, instead of all the other stuff you can’t control.
When I work with clients following a break-up, one of the most emotional and difficult parts of the work is not when they talk about their grief emotions. It’s when I ask them to talk about how much they love themselves. (more…)
My first Christmas post-break-up was emotionally tough; it was 10 months after my marriage had ended and the resurgence of grief took me by surprise. Special occasions can knock you off guard just when you think you are coping, and can be particularly cruel if they happen very close to the end of your relationship. The Christmas season, weddings, summer holidays – in fact any celebration which drives home expectations of “togetherness”can make you feel like an outsider, a failure or just really sad and low.
It can feel hard to turn to other people at this time of year; who wants to feel like the killjoy bringing down everyone’s happiness? From the other side it looks like everyone else’s life is perfect; meanwhile, you are desperately trying to avoid the “what are you doing for Christmas?” conversations or trying not to cry at the thought that you may not be with your children this year. (more…)
Can you get quiet and hear the voice inside you that knows what you need?
At one of my lowest points after my marriage broke up, I could not see a way forward. I was exhausted with emotion, drained from overthinking and part of me still hoped my husband would come to his senses and return to our family.
I spent a long time obsessing about the “what ifs” or whether there was a way we could get our life back on track.
Then came the day that I was utterly sick of how I was feeling. I realised logically that there was no going back, yet I STILL couldn’t let go of him emotionally. I was obsessed with what he was doing, why he treated me so badly, was there any possibility things could be different.
I knew that I needed to think another way but I didn’t know how. (more…)