I have a belief that life is a journey. That each of us is living in our own ‘choose your own adventure novel’ and that the decisions we make lead us on new adventures. Just like a novel, we never really know what the ending will be and so it is the path, or the chapters, where the excitement of life lies.
But not all adventures in life are fun. In fact many are anything but. And falling out of love would have to be, for most of us, an unenjoyable part of most of our journeys.
But the thing is, for love to be ‘love’ we need to fall or even dive in, head over heels and up to our necks. That is what makes falling in love such a thrilling, exciting and enjoyable ride (well most of the time!) And so, it is not surprising that this same thrilling and dangerous ride can come crashing to an end with almost as many fireworks as set it off in the first place.
Falling in love is a dream sometimes and falling out of love can equally be a nightmare. But, for so many of the people I meet they are choosing to fall out of love without the fireworks and instead with a sense of control and calm.
So how do they do it? What do they do when their hearts are breaking and when love comes to an end? They take it a day at a time. They look at it as part of their journey, as a new chapter in their novel and a chapter that too will close before they start a new one. They accept their own emotion and they call on the support of their friends. And perhaps most importantly they keep their eyes open for that next chapter- they don’t look back and focus on what life’s adventures will appear around that next corner.
This week Shauna shared her story with me of how she has survived the past 10 months since her separation. She is moving to her next chapter and has done it with her head held high:
“I am sitting here thinking about what I have done to get through the last ten months of my separation. Firstly, it was very sudden. There was no warning, we were arguing a bit but I look back now and feel that was his way of picking a fight so he could, after seven weeks, just say ‘He’s Done’ in a very cruel way. We would have been married 25 years in the July.
I have two adult children 22 and 20 with my 20 year old son at home.
I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules for getting through this situation. I know with me I did, and still do, talk or vent a lot to my closest of friends. They have been very supportive.
I have only declined one invitation in the past ten months. I vowed not to let this have me sitting at home. I had to be social and I’ve become closer friends to people that I didn’t really see when I was with my husband.
I have never felt awkward with my married couple friends. I spend quality time with my adult children, like dinners and even saw a concert with my son.
As I’m a dog lover, I find if I am at home alone my labrador gives me comfort just knowing he’s there. I think pets are great therapy. Also, they get you out and about when walking them.
I have seen a counsellor and I found her to be helpful as sometimes it’s good to talk to someone who doesn’t know either of us and I would recommend this. And I found a very good lawyer who was very calming and I didn’t once feel that I couldn’t understand the jargon.
I am still struggling with it all, but I do believe you have to be open with your emotions- whether it be anger, sadness or jealousy- have never held back my emotions, I think it helps to release them.
And I do read a lot of these sites, it helps to know that everything I am going through is perfectly normal and to not give it a time frame to get over it.
Never forget that each of us has the power to write and re-write our own narrative- in fact you are doing it right now. Choose your adventures with courage and when it feels like they have been chosen for you, jump in, up to your neck and swim as fast as you can because we never know just what new adventure awaits us around the corner.