So, exactly what do you do when your relationship breaks down? Panic. That’s what I did. Panic is my first reaction to everything!But I must start this blogpost (which is a long time coming, by the way) by saying that I’m the happiest I have ever been for a long time. It’s empowering to say it out loud – or in writing, in this case. Like I almost can’t believe how great my life is going but I am honestly having the best year ever, it feels so good to be able to say that and genuinely mean it.
For once, I’m not anxious about what’s ahead and I don’t feel guilty about how carefree I am. I live each day as it comes and I feel positive, empowered, and excited about it. If you know me, you’ll know that this is a big difference from the person who used to plan every single scenario in their head before confirming plans.
I’ve been busy focusing on my well-being and enjoying life, which explains why I’ve taken a huge step back from what was once my unhealthy obsession; my blog. I promised myself not to beat myself up about neglecting it (forgive me!) and that I’ll pick things up when the time is right (I’m ready now! I’ve missed you all SO MUCH).
My blog has been my baby for a decade (a whole decade!) and I’m proud that I’ve built it to a level where for the past five years it has become my main stream of income, but I’ve been enjoying life too much at the moment to document it online and even though it’s at the forefront of my mind, I’ve fallen out of love with social media too. My Instagram followers are dropping like flies but I’m not stressing about it (much).
Now is the right time for me to process what’s happened in my life during the past 3 years. As a private and reserved person, I’ve kept a lot things to myself at the time (even my parents didn’t know back then) but the things I’ve done such as moving to London on a whim, getting a new job, forcing my workaholic self to take weekends off, and becoming a big believer in self-care was because my long-term 10 year relationship (or rather, to be pedantic, someone who has been in my life for more than ten years) had come to an end.
For someone who has tried hard to never fail at anything, I took this extremely hard – not because it had hurt my ego to be dumped but because I felt like I had failed. Defeated, in fact. I knew the relationship was failing, I knew there was no future – he sure made that clear enough, but mainly because we grew apart and became different people.
Even so, when we finally parted ways, I couldn’t handle it, I didn’t know what to do. The thought of having wasted ten years of your life was far too overwhelming.
What did I do wrong? Was there a way I could’ve fixed it? What can I do better? What do I do now? How has this happened? How will I cope? What happens now? What happens next? When will I get over it? Who do I talk to now? What will everyone else think? Where will I live? When does he move out? What happens if he meets someone else? Will I ever meet anyone new? What’s dating like these days? Do I have to go on Tinder? Are there plenty more fish in the sea? Do I even want a fish?! So many questions, so little time. Calm down. It’s fine. Stop panicking. That’s what I wish I had told myself.
Coming To Terms With It
It’s only now, 3 years on, that I’m able to accept what has happened and look back on it as the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Looking back, I can see that I was going through the grieving process (denial, anger, bargaining, depressions and finally acceptance) and had to allow myself to go through that time before even thinking about anything else. There’s absolutely no shame in needing the support from others around you, I fully encourage it. I appreciate that I have the best people around me but I chose to deal with this quietly and at my own pace.
When it happened, I ran away. Literally. I actually ran away. I could’ve easily have gone off the rails but I wasted no time in looking for a job in London (250-odd miles away from home) and what a minefield that is. That was another hurdle that made me question and doubt myself on a whole different level but as soon as something came up, I packed my bags and left. There was less than a week between my interview and when I moved, so it happened quick and it was a total whirlwind.Still, I was telling people that I just needed a change of scenery. I need to get London out of my system, I told my friends. I didn’t want to talk about what had really happened, I didn’t have any answers to their questions.
I really enjoyed living in London for a short amount of time, but it was always going to be a short period. I worked at one of the best beauty brands in their digital department located in a fancy, shiny big office in King’s Cross. It was my dream job and I completely threw myself into work because this is how I deal with all my problems; I distract myself with working non-stop. Although I had a great experience and I worked my arse off, it was lonely and I was heartbroken.
I took solace in others who were going through the same things at the same time as me (Louise from Sprinkle Of Glitter, Jesse and Jeana from BFvsGF and various other celebrity couples who couldn’t make it work. The wise words on Anna’s website helped a lot too). So, in a way, I hope this blogpost gives comfort to someone who’s going through the same thing to feel less sad and less alone. You can and you will get through it, I promise.
Break ups, or losing your best friend is never an easy to go through. You’ve invested time in each other, you valued your time together, you’ve grown into the person you are today because of them. But it’s made me realise that nothing in life lasts forever. And I’m ok with that. Once you come to terms with that, it makes you enjoy every moment and appreciate things more. I keep reminding myself that certain people are only meant to be in your life for a certain period of time. You can’t force someone to stick around if they don’t want to.
As cliche as it sounds though, time is what it takes to heal. I know, I didn’t believe that sort of bullshit either but it’s true; time is a healer. I couldn’t wait for the day it wouldn’t effect me or when you won’t find things (read: everything) that reminds you of them anymore. When you eventually move on (trust me, you will) and you find happiness in your ‘new chapter’, all the things that used to remind you of them will fade along with the good memories. But it takes time and you have to work for it to take effect. Take as long as you need to make yourself a priority and do what makes you happy.
Focus On Yourself
It’s a bit cringe but you have to spend time to heal and re-discover who you are. You will have lost a bit of yourself during your relationship but you can pick up where you left off, and be back to your old self in no time.
I’ve spent the past 3 years concentrating on looking after my well-being. I went from working 80 hours a week (that’s the reality of being self-employed) to allowing myself to take weekends and bank holidays off without feeling restless and guilt, I had to learned how to slow down and take care of my mental health. Most importantly, I had to learn how to love to living alone instead being scared of having too much time on my own with my own thoughts.
Structure and routine is a good start. Trial and error is the next step. Learn what you like and use that to grow as a person. Start small and soon this will amount to big changes, and you’ll see the difference and reap the rewards.
I bought new books, took long walks, sat in front of the sofa and watched Netflix, had relaxing bubble baths every evening, ate well, indulged on treats without guilt, reached out to friends, got a new job in social media, met loads of new people, went on nights out, spent more time with my sisters, joined the gym, explored the city by myself, appreciated my hometown more, chose to see the best in everything. I treated myself to expensive candles, cosy fairy lights, new clothes, new loungewear, and created a comfortable, happy place I call my home. The home he chose to leave. The home he has no place in no more.
In time, I have become stronger, regained my confidence, become more independent, fearless, grateful, empowered, and free. Even now, I have no bad blood or bitterness towards him. That isn’t what this blogpost is about. I mean… if that was the case, we’d be here all day…. ha, jokes (or not. Whatever).
It has been an intense period where I’ve chosen to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone even when I didn’t feel up to it. Anyone who has anxiety will tell you that the boost of adrenaline will make you panic which puts you into “fight or flight” mode. For me, I often choose to run away (the “flight”) before realising I need to go back to square one and deal with it (the “fight”). I needed to do whatever I could to be happy again.
We all have the choice to lead a life of happiness by being brave enough to make changes to break the monotonous cycle we’re in. I’m so glad that I can finally say that I’m truly happy and beaming with positivity. Life couldn’t be better and I’ve done it for no one other than myself. It’s taken a while but I’m finally there.
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