A lot has changed here since I last wrote. Little did I know that, one sunny day at the beginning of June, my whole life would take on a new direction.
After almost 15 years of being with my husband (7 of them married), he took the decision to end our relationship. The reasons are personal, but what followed would be the hardest, most devastating and emotional time of my life.
In that moment, I felt my entire world collapse around me. What would the future hold for me and my 2 young children? All my dreams and hopes for my family going forwards were shattered. Gone. My heart was broken, so much so that I felt I couldn't breathe. The pain in my chest so immense, I couldn't even stand up straight. I cried so many tears I could taste the salt in the air.
In the weeks that followed, I fell apart inside... but kept it together on the outside. Many people never suspected a thing. For the first time though, I suffered from the effects of anxiety and ended up having to take time off work. There was no way I could concentrate on the education and welfare of others when I could barely look after myself.
The grief took over me; it would creep up on me when I was least expecting it, and engulf me in waves. One day I just drove round and round in my car on my own. I'm still not sure where I went, or how long I was driving for. At times, I couldn't see a way out, a way through to the other side. Sadness pulled at me like quicksand. I couldn't see the wood for the trees. The fog just wouldn't clear.
But I did manage. I somehow found the strength to get up each day, to take care of my children and shield them from their uncertain future. Through the devastation, pain, sickness and palpitations, I found an inner strength I never knew I was capable of. Behind me now is 8 weeks of emotional hell and 4 weeks of a new beginning. A rainbow after the storm.
Now, the children and I have a new home, a fresh start and a bright future ahead. Now is our time to have new adventures and make new memories. I have to be honest, I wasn't certain I'd ever get to this point. Our blog tagline is "Find joy in the little things, every day," and there has never been a truer sentiment to live by.
Making new memories on a bug hunt!
Something a simple as trying to find the positives in each and every day has really helped me to survive. Sometimes the positive was just getting dressed, getting the children to school, a day without tears - other times it was things like finding an immaculate second-hand 3 piece suite for a bargain price to help furnish our new home, or quietly watching the kids play happily in their new bedroom.
We've spent our 6 week summer holiday settling in to our new lives, our lovely little new house and new routines. I haven't been able to do as much with the children as I usually would during our time off, but we have started to make memories as a family of three. We've even started a picture wall, with photos that make us smile and remind us of happy times together since we started afresh. The children have been amazing actually. I am so incredibly proud of them.
I have also found a lot of comfort and encouragement in certain quotes and positive affirmations. I'll put a post together soon of my favourites! I never really thought words could be so comforting, or ring so true but some people really do say exactly what I am thinking and feeling. When you're experiencing some of the worst times of your life, it's easy to forget that you're not the only one who has ever felt like you do. In a time of such dark loneliness and isolation, I didn't feel quite so alone when reading them.
Today, I can look back at the shell of the person I became and feel proud that I have come through to the other side. There are tough times ahead, a lot of "firsts" to encounter, and flashes of memories from a life that is no more that knock me off balance. I will try to ride the waves of emotions that wash over me with grace, and strength and continue to see the light in the darkness.
As I sit here, with warm tears running down my cheeks, and an ache in my heart that is yet to subside, I just wanted to let you all know that it's ok not to be ok. Try to be kind to yourself. Take one day, one step at a time. There is light at the end of the tunnel; it may be in the distance and far out of reach, but you will get there. I'm not quite there yet, but I can see it now, and I believe I will reach it.
The storm is passing...I will soon see my rainbow.
All my love,
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