When it comes to dealing with pain, the strangest thing I ever did to help me move on was to literally speak to myself, out loud, while I got ready for bed one day.
I had spent the day, like the previous 5000, mourning for my broken marriage and sinking ever deeper in the well of self-pity, pain and living in a sort of wilderness.
There had been countless days spent struggling and fighting with emotions that ranged between pure triumph (I was out of the marriage and I was ok) to what felt like major depression with no way out.
Those evenings and afternoons spent self-medicating with alcohol and very little food became the norm.
I remember that turn-around evening so clearly.
I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth. It was past midnight and I was exhausted emotionally but buzzing mentally.
I suddenly caught my reflection in the mirror and I looked much rougher than I had pictured in my mind.
As I picked up my toothbrush, and begin my evening hygiene routine, which thankfully I hadn’t neglected, I stopped, sat down on the edge of the bathtub and said to myself:
“Are you going to cry for the rest of the year? Have you not done enough of that? Really? You think your life has ended? Get a hold of yourself and get on with life. Right now, right here there is no problem. The only problem you’re having is living in the past and grieving for the lost future you so wanted. Enough. This, right here, is what it is. This is the youngest you will ever be. You will never have this moment again and you choose to continue sitting, sleeping and crying for moments lost? Brush your teeth and go to bed! Tomorrow is a new day make it so!”
I brushed my teeth. Took a breath, not a deep breath like we’re always instructed by yoga instructors to do, just a normal, shallow breath and thought, “Goodnight Soila. Your new life has just began”
It really was as simple as that, but it is important to note that for that turn-around moment to be allowed to happen, other important moments had laid the path for it to get to me.
The crying and anger and resentment moments had to happen in order for me to be able to overcome and deal with my divorce.
If I had refused to face my pain, continued with the alcohol sprees or buried myself in my work so as to “ease” the pain, I would very likely be in a very different place mentally and emotionally – a not so nice place.
It is true that the past, with all it’s experiences and lessons, is what makes us who we are today. The future gives us something to hope for, something to look forward too. But the present gives us life, it gives us time to grieve, cry, learn and grow. It is the present, when we choose to live it, that opens that door for us to take the next step to wherever we are meant to be, wherever we are meant to go.
Don’t miss it because you choose to remain in the past, because you choose to hold yourself hostage to the past. See today for what it is. The relationship is over. See it, understand it and most importantly, truly and deeply accept it.
Soila is the founder of The Divorce Magazine and creator of the online course – Helping Children Cope with Divorce
She is known for taking away the pain of trauma and loss in children, adolescents and their families
Soila holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology from UCL (University College London), is an accredited Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) practitioner and a trained Family Mediator.
Soila is Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society.
You can contact her on 07850 85 60 66 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org