Beautifully ugly


When I was feeling lost and traumatised after escaping an abusive marriage I had this urge. No, not that one. Well that one too. Post divorce sex is a relief in all senses of the word. But it makes you feel sick after. No, I had this urge to see beauty. To see beautiful things. To soak up art in free galleries. To look at beautiful pictures, To look at beautiful things that people had made just for the hell of it. Creation. I needed to feel that in the midst of all this destruction (and loss is destruction) there was something beautiful there too.

Beauty in destruction. My back garden before repossession.

Bombsite weed

Did you know that there is a flower that grows on bombsites? It’s called Fireweed (or Bombweed in the UK.) It can actually grow out of destruction. It blooms in loss. So can we. We can be like that flower, I promise.


There is a lot of ugly in the world. The news focuses on it. Social media breeds it like yeast. What we focus in expands. It’s not rocket science. So when we are living through loss – on that bombsite – we need to change the focus. We need to search for the beauty. We need to search for the flowers in the wreckage.

Always stop to smell the flowers

Some flowers do bloom in the dark. We need to be those flowers to survive any loss. We need to actively seek out and smell the flowers because otherwise, why did we survive? We survived for a reason. Remember this.


The 361 recovery programme helps us to stop and smell the flowers. We may feel so bad that we have to search for them. Where are the flowers in our lives? What are those strengths we have that cannot be destroyed? What beauty do we have in our lives that we can focus on? When I had PTSD not only did I feel that I had no beauty in my life – I did not want to see it. I felt bitter and that can only ever be a temporary emotion. Bitterness is like weedkiller to our hope.

I refuse to be bitter

Make a firm commitment to yourself to not be bitter.

Look for the flowers. Look for the sweetness. Look for the honey. A favourite saying of mine that I have had to apply to my sharp tongued personality is – ‘Use honey not vinegar.’ The 361 can help you to find that one thing that will make you smile and laugh and feel again. Even if we don’t want to, we will. Because that is the beauty of life. Find the flowers. Find that one thing. Find the one. The 361.

We will laugh again

Alice Smith 2019

recovery #divorce #death #bereavement #grief #wellness #wellbeing #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #women #domesticabuse #fortysomething #widowhood #midlife #menopause #writer #poet #pride #lgbt #sobriety #lifecoach #coach #spirituality #empowerment #ptsd ptsdrecovery #recoveryjourney #sleep #sleepalone #celibacy #rest #docmartens #empowerment #survivor #writer #single #singledom #singlefemale #photographer #sex #sober #dating #love #dating #selfhelp #relationship #beauty #ugly #flowers #seaside

Published by 361one

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

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