Rock bottom

Buy one get one free

There is more than one rock bottom. I am telling you this now so you won’t be shocked like I was. 20 years ago, my life was blasted apart when Husband Number 1 ran off with someone, telling me he no longer loved me. I had two sons aged 3 and 5, a mortgage and no job. This was truly rock bottom in every way. I remember putting my rubbish bin out and listening to my son cry for his dad on Christmas Eve and the silence of a cold, empty bed in January,

Not enough? #edfringe

Roller coaster

It took me 10 years to recover – or so I thought.. Why do we think that getting another partner, another mortgage and a new car shows that we have recovered? Shows who? It looks great but – like shoddy decorating – there are huge cracks underneath that fancy wallpaper. We have not recovered. We are simply admiring the view from the top of the roller coaster.

Stay high

Down I went as Husband Number 2 turned out to be my greatest mistake. I found out that there is more than one rock bottom. I had told myself that nothing would ever be as bad as that first divorce. But I was wrong. Why do we do this? Tell ourselves these things to comfort ourselves when in reality anything can happen at any time. It’s safer this way listening to our own bedtime stories.

Fairytale for sale #edfringe

Cold comfort

This second rock bottom was further down. I lost my house, my job and my sanity. An abusive marriage can do that to you. There was no comfort. I literally felt like I was being stretched on a rack as I headed towards homelessness for Christmas 2015. My body physically rolled into a ball, I had PTSD flashbacks and constant calls from bailiffs, the Halifax (8 calls a day) and shaming court appearances. This truly was Rock Bottom. I lost everything.

View from the floor #bathfringe

Lost and Found

Every experience has an up side. This is true. I did lose everything materially and my mental health was completely shredded. But I did not lose something inside me. I can’t really explain what it was but there was still something flickering inside. Not pride. A bit of anger. Lots of shame. My sons. My writing. Even through all of this trauma I shared. I shared my ideas, my writing. I toured my stage show. I made theatre shows. I told people how it felt to lose everything – and they were scared. They did not want to know. Because if it could happen to me – a clever teacher with beautiful children, then it could happen to them.

Whatever remained I like to call it Hope, It was a small glimmer in the dark but it grew and I didn’t suffocate in that dark. I sometimes thought I would. It took me 5 years and 3 of those were spent at the beach but that Hope grew. That light grew, I got better. I started to recover from the traumas. I started to think more clearly and I developed the 361 recovery programme for women following loss.

Holding hope

In every loss there is a death of something we love. But it is a bit like Winter. In January the seeds and the bulbs are sleeping but they are still there.

Following loss, you are still there.

That small piece of you is still there, I like to think after everything that has happened to me that small piece it is indesctructable. The 361 helps you to find the one – that one little piece of you that remains. So one day you can bloom again in weak sunlight – if that is all there is.

Bloom

Alice Smith 2019

oss #grief #survivor #domesticabuse #domesticabusesurvivor #lifecoach #coach #midlife #writer #narcissist #coercivecontrol #dating #menopause #forties #fifties #wisewoman #empowerment #wellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #women #dating #addiction. #marriage #divorce #alcoholic #relationships #love #death #soul #spirit #sober #sobriety #addiction #rockbottom

Published by 361one

when I write I am a king. Listen to more at 361 live podcast

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