If you're coping with the aftermath of a relationship break up right now, I bet you've had people telling you "I know just what you're going through."
Nobody but you can know exactly what you're going through.
So, I'm not going to tell you that. But I will tell you that I know about sleepless nights. Wanting to pick fights. Feeling so low and so reckless you don't care what happens to you. Or you wouldn't do, if it weren't for your kids, family or friends who want or need you to be OK. To function.
I know about that big feeling of WHY? And all the other questions screaming around your brain as you struggle to comprehend and to accept what's happened to you.
How could he?
What about all our plans and dreams?
The promises and vows we made to each other?
I know about the complete denial that this is really happening to you; that at this stage in your life, you're going to have to make a new start when you thought you were set up for life. Or maybe, as was the case for me, this isn't the first time you've had to make a new start, and you know how damn hard it can be. That you can't believe you've got to crank up that amount of energy all over again when you're tired; so tired, your eyes hollow and burning with it, and yet you still can't sleep.
But listen, you will get through this.
Not only that, but maybe you'll be like me and you'll end up in a place when you can actually be grateful this break-up happened. I know that might seem unlikely right now, but honestly it really is true for me. I was so completely in love, I was like a moth hovering around a flame. I gave away all responsibility for my happiness to somebody else; somebody, it turned out, who didn't care enough about me to take care of it.
My recovery took a long time. Yours may do too. There's a definite process to go through, with clear stages to it. You will have to deal with each of these stages before you can move on to the next one, just as I did. But in dealing with them, you'll become a stronger, more grounded, content person than you were before.
I will never walk in someone else's shadow again. Or be dependent on someone else's whims to feel happy. These days I have an underlying strength that comes from the knowledge that I got safely through the most painful time of my life. And because I did, I know I can cope with whatever life throws at me in the future.
Writing played a key role in my recovery, and I'll show you how it can do the same for you as we work steadily, caringly though those crucial stages of recovery together.
Are you ready to make a start?
OK, I know you might not feel ready. Right now you might be feeling as if you'll never be ready. But just pretend you're ready for now, OK? That will be enough, I promise you. Together we'll set off on this healing journey together.
So, I want you to pick up a pen and find a piece of paper or a notebook. Now, write the word HOPE in big letters. There. Now, look at it. You've done your first piece of healing writing. This is what we'll be travelling towards together. Hope.
I know you can do it. Trust me.