There has been a fair bit of change since my last blog post over 8 months ago. In hindsight, beginning a brand new blog in the midst of a break up was perhaps a bit ambitious (or stupid..) but I am back, and what better place to return than with a bit about what has been happening since the last time I posted…
It is fast approaching a year since my last relationship broke down. After 4 years together, Mr C broke the news that he was leaving, 2 months after we had celebrated my 30th birthday together. To say I was devastated feels like an understatement. He had been distant for a few months prior to his announcement, but I had put it down to some big life changes that he had been going through. To me, we had built a relationship that felt strong, loving and honest, so I was shook to my core as I watched him pack up his half of our life into boxes around me. He left 3 days later.
This was not the first break up I had experienced, however it was the most committed relationship that I had been part of. As I reflect on the last year I wanted to share with you some of the things that have helped me to cope with the loss of my relationship.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
There is no doubt about it, surrounding myself with supportive people was fundamental to the healing process. In the past, I tended to isolate myself after a break up, not wanting to face up to what had happened, let alone share it with others. For me, this quickly led into pools of depression. This time around, I did something different. I reached out, asked for help and let others support me. I am still overwhelmed by how much love and support I’ve received. Each individual had their own unique ways to lend support and show up for me when I needed them. A weekly roast dinner with family, articles of interest and jokes sent by the hour from my best friends, and regular adventures to new places to lift my spirits. Times like these are a real reminder of the blessing of a good tribe.
All the extra time that appears when a significant other leaves can be pretty unsettling, especially in those first few weeks. I did of course have plenty of ice cream, quilt + Netflix binges but I also used some of the time to take a bit better care of myself. Sometimes this was getting out in the sun with my book, or sinking into a hot bath with some salts & essential oils. Other times it was cooking myself my favourite meal whilst listening to my soul sister playlist (a joint playlist shared with my family that we listen to every morning). In the last year, I have really enjoyed committing more time to the things that nourish me – inside and out.
TAKING MY TIME
In the past, I moved on quickly from relationships; shutting the door, making a change and off to something new. Whilst that worked for me back then, things felt different this time around. There were times I had an urge to move straight out of the home we shared and start over, but almost a year on and I am still here. Looking back, there were some tough days but reclaiming the space and having something that was constant amidst all the change gave me some stability to focus on myself. My home has grown with me through this past year and has provided a little sanctuary in the chaos.
LEARNING THE LESSONS
Some of the deepest learning in my life has come via the darkest times. Over the past year I have learned more about my values, boundaries and recovery and resilience. I have sat with painful emotions and felt immense gratitude for the moments of connection. I have also learned one of my toughest lessons yet. How to say goodbye to someone I love. How to truly let go. Despite this being one of the saddest and unexpected break ups I have faced, I’ve realised that the resilience I have gained throughout my personal recovery journey has provided me with some of the tools that have got me through. For me, choosing connection over isolation, self care over self punishment and facing up rather than running away have all been a fundamental part of the day’s work thus far.