When I started writing this blog, I didn’t expect to take an extended break so soon. The very reason I started it became the same reason that made me stop. When I ended up at my rock bottom a year ago I needed an outlet, something to focus on and so setting up this blog and turning my attention to doing up my home and sharing it on Instagram became the thing I needed to distract me from the reality of my life. Hiding behind pretty pictures on Instagram is relatively easy but as I started to write for here, I quickly realised that to be able to do so freely, I had to be able to be open about me, my life and give context to what I was saying but I just wasn’t ready to do that. And so I stopped.
A problem shared is a problem halved or so they say. I am incredibly private in some sense but I also like to talk. A lot. Too much sometimes. I know that what has helped me beyond measure is learning from others who have been through their own ‘tough stuff’ finding common ground and chatting with people who have been there or get it. There’s tonnes I simply can’t share but I feel more ready to be open about my life now. I know that people are interested in people and I am asked a lot of questions about me through the conversations on Instagram and my ‘virtual’ life and by the same token people make massive assumptions about how great my life must be based on those pretty little squares yet I have always felt like a bit of a fraud concealing a truth that I actually feel ashamed about when I really shouldn’t.
I’m all too aware that ‘relationships breakdown all the time’ (a line that strangers often like to say to me) mine didn’t breakdown though, it had a wrecking ball taken to it. Maybe it doesn’t seem like a big deal to many? The ‘1 in 4’ marriages end statistic has desensitised society in to it just being the ‘norm’ but it wasn’t normal for me. And unfortunately, my situation had all the hallmarks of a Jeremy Kyle episode and then some.
It’s a strange thing witnessing someone you knew and loved turn into a total stranger. When the one person who shouldn’t hurt you does. When the one that ordinarily you would run to for support and comfort is the one that caused the need to. I spent weeks in utter bewilderment, shocked beyond comprehension of how someone can change so suddenly. I couldn’t understand how that at the beginning of that last week we were sat in our IVF clinic nervously laughing and joking with the nurses while they teased my husband about making sure I ate something so I wouldn’t faint in the August heat having just had 12 vials of blood taken and yet by the end of it my life was left in tatters when I accidentally discovered the affair that he had started with his new assistant. I spent hours and hours scrolling through our text conversations trying to spot a problem. What had I missed? was I deluded? Yet all I found was our normal, happy banter, the good stuff, the message after message of encouragement to do the IVF, the messages of love, of a future being planned. So what the f***k happened? To this day I don’t really know, maybe I never will. Its confused me and pretty much everyone that knew us. But it is what it is. And on the 31st August 2016 my life as I knew it was over.
I know now I have nothing to be ashamed of. I can hand on heart say I have done nothing wrong in this last year. And I didn’t cause this. I gave my all to my relationship. While many would have reacted with the full venom of ‘a woman scorned’ I have turned away, kept my head down, ploughed my energy into something creative and dealt with unsurmountable grief at times trying to heal from a life I had lost. I’ve hit rock bottom. I can honestly say there were moments I didn’t want to wake up. Yet with the passage of time, sheer determination and the discovery of strength I didn’t know I had, somehow, a year on, on the dawn of the anniversary of ‘d day’ I find myself ok. More than ok.
So many people said to me that the most horrible, challenging and difficult situations can be the ones that transform you, that change you for the better and make you happier in the long run. I never believed them at first but I can now say that for me at least this has been true. I feel free, like I have been handed my life back albeit a different one. Yes some of my dreams may have been shattered but I have new ones. I’m eager as to what’s out there, what things there are to discover, what opportunities might arise. I never planned for this, I never wanted what’s happened and it’s been incredibly hard and probably still will be at times as the nonsense continues because these things are so complicated. But, at the same, time I have learnt so much, grown so much and I’m happy – happy with me. It’s like finding an old friend in myself and getting to know them all over again. Now I smile, I laugh (a lot) and its real, it’s not pretend. And the magic is that people see it.
I don’t know if this post resonates with anyone, whether what I go on to write about it all will help someone in some way. I know hearing from others helped me, I’ve made friends through it. And I am more than happy to share, to talk so please do message me – you know what they say, if it helps just one person then it was worth it…