” Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth. “

~ Bradley Whitford

I still vaguely recall when I was trying to drag myself out of the hole, the memories are hazy probably because that’s how I saw life at that point. I can’t remember the exact moment when I felt enough was enough and I needed to start doing things again but I do remember standing in the reception of my gym. I was signing up to a yearly contract because I was convincing myself that I would have the energy in a few days to come back and maybe a few days after to try again. What I distinctively remember the most about this moment was the look on the face of someone I knew through relations, he was taken aback either by my appearance or the fact that I was in the gym. I will bank on it being my appearance because I stood there with absolutely no makeup on which at that time was a massive rarity, my joggers were no longer black but grey, my trainers were not fit for gym purposes and I had on some mismatching hoody. I know my face would have just been zombie like because it was hard enough mustering up the energy to get out to the gym let alone worrying about my appearance whilst there. I really just did not care.

This incident was after my first major ‘low’ period, during the time I had become a shell of who I was. Thinking about even going back to how I ‘normally’ was seemed like a strenuous feat. I had let everything go, I didn’t know how to manage life. Even getting my eyebrows done was anxiety inducing. I felt as though trying to get back to a place where I was ‘ok’, was like trying to put together a 50,000 piece puzzle. I couldn’t even find my edges….

People have asked me multiple times how I managed to get out of it and remain out of it. I will start with remaining out of it. That’s not something that is permanent, you live in hope after the first time that you will never feel like that again but that’s not the reality. You have to realise that this is part of your makeup, you have to acknowledge that it’s there and understand that its ugly head will protrude time to time. And you need to start to learn how to manage it and be comfortable with the fact that you may never be rid of it.

Getting out of it…was a process, a process of first letting myself know I was enough. Enough for me to want to make me slightly ‘decent’. It takes a small step to decide that but it feels like a step where are you are carrying huge ice blocks with concrete strapped to your feet.

During a time of dire need and lost hope I decided to google how I would be able to overcome the loss of a relationship;; I thought was the be all and end all. The endless thoughts that came after the numbness of the end. Especially in a frame of mind in which, I thought life just followed the ultimate checklist of education, job, marriage (maybe house if you didn’t have to live with the family), (regardless once married) leaving your family home and having children. I felt like a failure and I COULD NOT STOP thinking about that and the fact that I was no longer in a relationship.

Asides from people telling you time is a healer (which is true) and everything will work out (still waiting….but I can’t deny it’s much better). There wasn’t much else and while you are feeling this certain way, none of these words matter as these are all things in the future and you are trying to deal with the pain right then and there. Being the impatient person I was and also having people thinking I should already be over it. I needed something to make me feel better, anything not to feel this pain not to feel the loss feeling over and over it again.

There weren’t many coping mechanisms when I came out of the relationship and so google had to be my friend. And google took me to forums, forums which had only recently started using terms such as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a big movement now and has been for the past few years but when I was at this phase in my life I had to dig deep to find it. It wasn’t as apparent even though people had been practicing mindfulness for a while, for me it was associated with just meditation and meditation for me was left for people who could sit still for a minute and not think about all the things in the world. However, the more I delved into mindfulness, the more I realised there was so much more to it. The first thing was to live in the present and I’ll be honest this nearly put me off. How on earth are you supposed to live in the present when all you can think about is your past?

The many thing which run through my head …

  • Why was I not enough?
  • I am never going to find someone (still on my list but I think about this differently now)
  • How is it possible for him to move on and I haven’t?
  • I am never going to get married
  • I am NEVER going to get over this…..EVER!

With further research I came across affirmations. I began reading about affirmations, halfheartedly writing down affirmations that I felt that I needed but I was scoffing at them when I was writing them, wondering ‘How the hell is this going to make any difference to me?’. However, I knew that I just did not want to feel like this anymore, I couldn’t handle it or the self-pity.

And so I persevered, I am one of those people that physically needs to write things down if I really want them to sink in and I wrote down a list of things I wanted to achieve and apparently I wanted to do this in 2 weeks

  • Positive affirmations
  • Smile
  • Be happy with myself
  • Stronger
  • Try
  • Counselling
  • Be positive
  • Quash negative thinking
  • Life without -> accept
  • Why should I wallow?
  • He doesn’t care that I am not in his life so why should I?

A big list hey? Let me tell you some of these I am still working on, but don’t let that let you lose hope knowing that. Whatever I started, has helped me, to the fact that 6 or so years later I am still fully committed to achieve everything possible to me make a version of myself I know I can be. Knowing it all takes patience and time.

I have attached an actual write out of my first affirmations below.

It’s funny, I read back on some of those affirmations today and some of them came to fruition, some of the things I wanted for myself have manifested. Without me knowing, these affirmations were goals, before this I had no goals, no view on how I wanted to carry on or where I may want to be. I didn’t care about me and this reminded me that if I didn’t care about me, who else would? And since then these affirmations have been the foundations of the goals I have now.

This was one step towards getting myself to know me and the way I work better.

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