So your relationship has ended and it feels like the arse has fallen out of your world. How will you ever be happy again? Trust me, you will and you’ll be stronger for everything you are going through, even if you feel anything but strong right now.
Let me tell you something, I was in your position three years ago, when my partner of nearly 10 years left. I was left quite literally holding the baby (okay, he was 13 months). It felt like my entire world had crumbled around me; I felt so many things, anger, heartbreak, loneliness and sometimes I felt nothing, I was numb. I never set out to be a single mum at the age of 25 with 3 small children, I would cry myself to sleep at night saying to myself, “It wasn’t meant to be like this”.
The anger was probably one of the strongest emotions I felt, anger at myself for feeling like I’d failed (clue: you haven’t!), anger that I was left picking up the pieces and comforting the toddlers when they cried, “I want my daddy”. All while trying to hold myself together and figure out just who the hell I was now.
For me, trying to find out who I was after the break up was huge for me. As we’d been together since the age of 15, I’d literally grown up with this person by my side and now I had to find out who I was without them and also separate myself from my “mum” identity. I needed to learn to be comfortable with myself; believe me, it wasn’t easy but it was so worth it.
I wanted to share a few tips with you that helped me during those initial days, weeks and months following our break-up.
Be kind to yourself
Take each day at a time, allow yourself to feel all the emotions, eat chocolate, cry, scream, shout, do whatever it takes to process all this and for the love of Ben & Jerry’s know that you are doing your best each day as you go through this, and that is enough.
Write it down
This may not be for everyone, but when my ex left, I wrote, cried, wrote some more and just kept going until I couldn’t write any more. I’m not talking writing a novel worthy of J.K Rowling here, but write everything down, scribble, write words (“Twunt” is a great one!). It might not solve everything but it’ll certainly make you feel a little better.
Focus on the future
“Wait” you’re saying, “I can’t sing in my pants while downing wine from the bottle?!”. Do that, by all means, you got to do this your own way, everyone copes with a relationship breakdown differently, but grab the future by the balls and say “I deserve happiness”. Bank all the good memories from the relationship and dump the rest. You cannot move forward if you keep looking back.
Find something to do in the evenings
I found the evenings hardest as the kids were in bed and I was left alone with my thoughts and in the early days those evenings were just painful, so top tip from me, find something to occupy your mind in those evenings. Have long baths (and wine if desired), Enjoy having control of the TV remote (The Big Bang Theory on repeat, yes please!). Read, sing, bake, whatever it takes to stop you from rose-tinting the past. I crocheted a huge blanket!
Things will get better
It will take time, recovering from a breakup is hard, especially when we are expected to get on with “being mum” as well. I’m not saying one day you will wake up and feel of Sound of Music-eqsue with happiness but it will come, the days won’t seem as hard and the anger will fade and you’ll come to realise, that you deserve better, that you deserve happiness and by goodness you will find it, maybe not soon, but find ways to be happy and comfortable with yourself and always remember that you are not alone.
So there we have it, a break-up might seem like the end of the world but perhaps it is just the beginning of a better, happier one. No MOLO flies solo.
If you’re struggling with the breakdown of a relationship, you can read The Death of a Marriage – a painfully honest but uplifting account of divorce. For the very latest from our writers, visit The Motherload® homepage
Rosey is a mum of three little ones. Lover of chocolate, trainee counsellor and founder of PNDandMe.