Recently my partner and I separated after being together for over 10 years. Although this has been a difficult time, I am pleased at how well I have coped since our split a few months ago. I have felt lots of different emotions and shed plenty of tears. Despite this, I am managing to stay positive about the future and cope well with my day to day life. I have thought about what has helped me cope recently and with difficult times in the past.
One day at a time
I have been given the advice to take one day at a time. At this period of change, my mind could easily start worrying a lot about various things that I need to sort out such as finding a permanent home. However, I have found that staying present and focusing on what I need to do today to be a comfort.
Also, while I am reflecting on my past relationship and what I can learn from it, I am not spending too much time ruminating about the past so that I miss out on now. I try to live in the moment as much as possible.
I really like this quote by Ida Scott Taylor because it reminds us to make the most of the present:
“Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.” Ida Scott Taylor
However, from what I have learnt about going through a separation, I am grieving for my past relationship and need to do this in order to move on in the future. For me what is important is to have a balance between grieving for the past, thinking about the future but also living for today.
Asking for help
Some people are reluctant to ask for help yet I don’t hesitate to look for advice from experts when I need it. I looked on the relate website (they are relationship experts in the UK) shortly after my break up to see what might support me at this time. I saw advertised a one day workshop for people going through a separation. Attending this was a good decision for me. It was useful to talk to other people going through similar experiences and also to learn more about coping with a separation.
For example, we were all given a copy of the Wei Chei Chart which showed the different stages that someone usually goes through after a separation. Having more knowledge about my current situation has helped me to understand that the different emotions and confusion I am experiencing is normal and it has also prepared me for how I may feel in the months ahead.
I have kept in touch with the lovely people I met at the workshop and we are all going out for dinner soon. Although we just spent a day together, we were talking about such personal issues that it was a bonding experience.
I remind myself of what I have to be grateful for. Although my relationship has ended, I still have my family and friends, work I enjoy and good health. I could go on and on about what I have to be grateful for in my life as there is so much!
Research in the field of Positive Psychology has shown that gratitude is good for our well-being. For me, this knowledge has helped me through tough times. In the evening, I sometimes write down things in my diary that have happened during the day for which I am grateful for. Examples of the type of things I may record are a phone call from a friend, the sunshine and a walk in the park. They don’t have to be huge events for me to feel gratitude.
Self-care not self-destruct
For various reasons, a separation for some people can lead to depression. If you are feeling like you may be depressed, please seek professional advice as quickly as possible.
Years ago I went through a difficult time in my life and one coping strategy I used was white wine! Looking back, this was not helpful at all. These days I am teetotal and I realise that self-care is a much better option. I make sure I get enough sleep, take time to do activities I enjoy and generally take care of myself as best I can. For me, self-care also means me realising that at this time I may not be as productive as usual and this is fine.
Support from people I love
I am separated from the person I would often talk to about my feelings and who would give me support when things were tough. Therefore, it has been important for me to turn to other people in my life who I love. Family and close friends have been there to listen, give me a hug and make me laugh.
Hope for the future
When times are difficult, I remind myself that things will improve over time. I am an eternal optimist and always expect my situation to get better.
I love this quote by Winston Churchill:
“For myself I am an optimist-it does not seem to be much use being anything else.”
When feeling down, it can be hard to imagine things improving. However, I only have to think or read about the lives of others to know that time does heal.
I help people achieve extraordinary goals by offering one to one and group coaching, online personal development tools and inspirational stories. Whether you want to climb a mountain, travel the world, set up a charity or run a marathon, the principles of achieving extraordinary goals are the same. I use these principles in my coaching and help you apply them to your personal goals. After only one coaching session with me you will be further on your journey towards achieving your extraordinary goals.
No posts to suggest...