Everything is going to be okay!

Herne bay-2524Sometimes we struggle. We’re all the way up and then all of a sudden we’re all the way down. Life can throw obstacle after obstacle at you and you just feel like giving up. You might fall kiddo but here’s the thing, you get back up. You might get hurt. Your heart might be in pieces and your mind is a mess but somehow you survive and keep going. Never forget all you have managed to get through.  EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY. Whatever miserable situation you might be in, it’s not forever. All things are temporary. You will overcome it. Everything is a journey and darling you are on it.

Really you can transform your thinking. The silver lining is you cannot technically go wrong because even failures are an opportunity to learn something. Everything is a lesson. Sometimes ‘wrong’ decisions can lead you to something so great. Keep showing up, keep being grateful for everything in your life and the universe will guide you.

So you’re feeling shitty? Can you just take a moment to think about all of the amazing things that you have done.  Now think of how many more are awaiting you. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be still and know. Live in the moment. Focus on one thing at a time. Do not worry about the future or the past, be here now. Forget what happened yesterday or what is happening tomorrow. Trust the process. It will all work out in the end. Remember everything is going to be okay and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

 

Babysteps: Why I started this blog…

I started this blog because my life has ended up very different to how I expected it would a few years ago. I needed a way to try and process that. I couldn’t afford more therapy so I figured a healthy idea would be to write down my feelings to get them out of my system.

Some days I wake up and think maybe it was all just a bad dream. On Christmas Eve 2015,  my husband of only 4 months decided he wasn’t ready for marriage after all. It didn’t seem possible when only the day before that, he’d been telling me he loved me and given me a bracelet engraved with our wedding date and ‘always and forever.’  Now here I was and this was it, after 5 years of investing my love and energy in the belief that my future was with this man that I adored, it all just disappeared before my very eyes.  Everything I had known, believed and hoped for was suddenly no longer true. It completely broke me.

I don’t know who I became but it was not someone I had ever been before. I had too much hurt, anger and shock raging in my veins to even contemplate what to do. I absolutely could have killed him and then something in me just clicked and I realised he wasn’t worth spending my life in prison for. Somehow I’m alive to tell the tale which probably sounds awfully melodramatic if you haven’t been left before, but if you have, you’ll know the feeling of abandonment I’m talking about. A part of me definitely died that day. A part of me that I think I might never get back.

The last 18 months has been some sort of attempt at trying to piece back together and rebuild a life.  There have been countless hurdles but many small victories. Some days are easier than others. I remind myself every day that I am loved by my family and friends and blessed in many ways and this in itself is a long way from the worthless void of a person I became 18 months ago. She did not know her worth. She was broken and empty.  I know I am strong, so much stronger than I thought but every once in a while I get tired of being strong. The weariness escapes through, and that’s okay. I’ve realised that we need to hurt in order to grow, but to make the pain worthwhile we must learn  the lessons life is giving us.

First things first, please don’t think this is an intentional pity party! I think if you’ve never experienced heartbreak you are probably not going to relate to anything I am saying so please just be compassionate as sharing my most painful life experience is scary and raw. I do not intend to play victim and I do not wish to be defined by a heartbreaking experience. I know we all go through shit in some form.  But I think it’s so important to share real experiences and to be open about hard times. I started this blog just as a way to get some of my thoughts out of my head. They were so exhausting.  A counsellor recommended writing down feelings as a great way of healing from traumatic experience.

For some reason, anytime I tried to put pen to paper it was just impossible to know where to start. I don’t think any of it made sense to me and if I tried to make it make sense I would just end up doubting myself and feeling even worse….  I think I was afraid to write it down because it made it more real. Things came to a head and I decided enough was enough. I knew that there was no shortcut to the healing process  but above all else I was entirely fed up of feeling so utterly shit. I was willing to do anything to feel like I was making some sort of progress.  Even if they were babysteps.

So on the first day of 2017, I reflected that I wanted 2017 to be nothing like the year before. I was starting to realise things about my grief , and what I was learning through hurting, was worth writing down. Partly so I can avoid ever going through this again but also so that when I next faced adversity I knew that suffering didn’t mean the end of the world, it just meant a learning curve and a journey to find what needs to be learnt from every experience, good and bad. I’m kind of hoping this may help me in the future, to be proud of the adversity I’ve faced and survived, to remember to always expect the unexpected but more importantly to always be thankful every step of the way.

I started writing this privately but I have since experienced first hand the power in sharing real life experiences openly and think it can be empowering both to the writer and to people reading. If sharing my pain and experiences helps even one single person feel that they are not alone, stops them giving up, or lets someone out there know another human being feels the same as them, then that would make it worthwhile.

Have courage, dear heart.

Lauren x

Dark Vs. Light

© laurenbythesea
© laurenbythesea

Aren’t we our own worst enemy at times? I really need to stop giving myself such a hard time and allow myself to grieve. I know this but I seem to slip back into bad habits. Kicking myself for not being/ feeling more. I need to remind myself that it’s because I’m a caring person that this relationship meant a lot to me and that isn’t a bad thing that I am still so upset by what’s happened. It just means I’m hurting because it really mattered to me! I didn’t take any of it lightly, I knew what I was doing and I loved him with all of my heart and everything I had. So now I am starting to accept that a part of me will always feel brokenhearted that this didn’t work out the way I hoped. I just pray that the grief gets easier and that the sadness fades because I really do not like the feeling of overwhelming sadness. It’s so shit!

Being in a relationship with someone that couldn’t ever be honest with me was entirely draining. I developed awful anxiety that went through the roof. Over 5 years later, by the time it was over, I don’t think I had an ounce of energy left to repair myself and so recovery has been like a slow rollercoaster. Can you imagine a SLOW rollercoaster? A ride without the exhilaration because you’re going slow enough to see how high up you are and how far there is to fall. Finally realising and accepting I have anxiety has really helped me to better cope. I am more self aware than I’ve ever been. I have done a lot of work on myself and I’m ready. I want, I need, to feel like I’ve made progress.

This relationship ending has emotionally destroyed me, I can only try to handle it with grace and dignity but at the same time, feel like I could burst into tears and endlessly wondering when things actually changed and what went wrong. I beat myself up for it, even when friends say ‘it was him not you.’ Anxiety makes you feel that you’re unloved and not good enough.

Day to day it is just exhausting. I’ve got fight left in me yet and I’m determined to learn to cope, to better myself. Reading articles and books increases my self awareness; give me a way to understand, to empathise , to try and make sense of what’s going through my mind and for that I am so grateful. People have recommended counselling but I’ve tried it before and it was emotionally quite harrowing. I don’t really want to bring negativity back to the surface, so I’m sort of doing it my own way. Accepting that there are going to dark days, but I think, I hope, that if I accept the darkness then it may be easier for me to start seeing the light.

 

Hope…

I’m sat here trying to figure out why sometimes, even when I really want to, I can’t bring myself to sit and write about how I’m feeling. Because it is beyond explanation. But I often wonder whether these are the times that I need to write most and whether I should just force myself to get it out into the open. Maybe if I could see it there in words it would be satisfied and go away. Would the act of writing out my thoughts bring to light the answers. What am I even asking? Sometimes it all seems like such a vague mess I think that there’s no point in writing, but maybe I could write it into some sort of sense.

I feel so scarred by the experiences of the last year. Some days I seem to function well, to put on a smile and make it through the day without falling apart at the seems. I wish I knew the formula for it but it just seems to happen.

Other days, well those scars seem to throb, to burn, to drag me down like huge weights on my back and then the hurt just gushes in like water surrounding me and it’s overwhelming,  helplessly watching myself drown in a sea of sadness. I don’t want to be here like this, I don’t want to feel heavy and broken. Dizzily, sinking under into the abyss, I get so lost under those waves it feels as though I might never get out alive.

Somehow though, I do make it out. And this is not the sort of trauma that you visibly see so normal life resumes. No one knows any different. I’m just glad to have survived it.  I wish I knew where I find the strength … wish that it felt like it gets easier to get myself out of it the next time but it isn’t, seems there is no rhyme or reason, just a coming out of the darkness and back into the light. I’m always looking for the light.

Is it God? Is it hope? Is it my mind growing or my broken heart piecing itself back together and fighting back? Maybe it’s all of those things. Maybe it’s none. I’d like to say I know but truth is I have no idea how I’ve survived the last year. Part of me still feels dead and so many parts of me still feel broken.

If I knew a straightforward way to just move forwards with my life, I would surely do it. But the only way out seems to be through. It feels like I’m stuck in limbo. And so I go on swimming through the endless waves of emotions. Sometimes they relent and there is a brief calm. A peace. A sense of surrender. Maybe it’s just because I forget for a few moments the pain and destruction that seems to have lodged firmly inside my heart.

In those few moments of peace and surrender I want to grasp at the happiness and relish the gratitude I feel, the light that surrounds me before the darkness descends again, and I lose the ability to feel thankful, to feel anything. The darkness swallows me up, brings me crashing back down.

It is beyond frustrating. I guess it would be like clambering a mountain only to slip back down each time. And I am so exhausted. This weary journey to an unknown destination that seems to just get further away. I can’t grasp it, something elusive, which I am reaching for. And each time as I watch my self drown and strenuously try to sit with the pain, hope somehow brings me back to the surface.

Is hope is a choice? Well hope is my choice.