It’s New Year’s Day and I’ve been wondering whether the winds of change have blown into your life.
I think it’s potentially disastrous to make resolutions today for the things you want, however, it is a perfect time to reflect upon the things that you don’t want in your life any more.
Abusive, neglectful, unfaithful, unloving, hateful, bullying and oppressive spouses need to watch out because the turn of the page into January often signifies a turn of the page for bad relationships too.
If you are looking for the perfect time to end your marriage, believe me, there isn’t one. As you stand at the edge of that emotional precipice waiting to kick off a pea-sized chunk of gravel that you know will dislodge other rocks and displace boulders, starting an avalanche cascading down the cliff face of your life, take solace in the fact that you are not alone.
The hardest part rests in making the decision to say it’s over and as you kick that piece of gravel, invariably, you’ll feel a weight lifting from your shoulders.
You may well have to clamber over those wretched boulders for a bit, but a new life, a happier life awaits you if you’re ready to embrace it.
Consider carefully the motive of a (possibly soon to be ex) partner, who tells you that you don’t need counselling to help deal with any stress you may be feeling.
This is most especially important if the stress seems to be stemming from your relationship, particularly if they have refused to attend any jointly proposed visits to make things better.
Professional relationship or personal counselling can be incredibly effective at patching up your differences and helping you get back on your feet.
If your ex/partner intimates that seeking such help is a sign of personal weakness, have a long hard think about their motives for saying so; it is more likely to be a fear of you waking up to what’s really going on.
‘I’m gonna wash that man right outa my hair’, a toe-tapping line in a classic tune from the musical, South Pacific.
Sometimes washing just isn’t enough. As part of your resurrection, perhaps you might enjoy considering a new hairstyle and possibly even a dramatic cut, or maybe a colour.
The history of what we eat and drink is traceable in the strands of our hair. Stressful events can be visible too and have the power to change the colour of it.
Even if the only benefit of a haircut is mental catharsis and a relaxing hour having someone caress your head, it might do you more good than you think.
Treat yourself to a comfortable pair of proper walking boots, new if you can stretch to them or look for second-hand bargains on Ebay or in the charity shops.
Go to your nearest Tourist Information Centre and find out where the footpaths are in your immediate vicinity, or a little further afield if you prefer. Then pack a flask of your favourite brew, something savoury to eat and something positively naughty and energy boosting and take to the paths to explore the simple beauty that Mother Nature lays out before us every day.
The fresh air has a remarkable ability to blow the cobwebs out of our heads and the gentle pace you set with your feet can be positively meditative.
It might come as an awful shock if your doctor confirms one of your greatest fears; your divorce is causing you to suffer with anxiety or depression.
You are not alone, don’t worry. According to the UK’s Mental Health Foundation, around 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental problem in the course of a year.
Don’t fight the diagnosis or the recommended course of action and if your doctor advises you to take medication, don’t fear getting off antidepressants before you’ve swallowed a tablet.
Rather, consider the consequences of not paying attention to their informed judgement on your current state. All things pass and you will be back on your feet again in good time.
Accept the fact that divorce has the ability to completely liberate you and debilitate you too.
It’s a very powerful word and state of mind and its energy should not be underestimated.
Treat the entire divorce process with the utmost respect and do all you can to learn from experience.
After the event, find time for some careful analysis. Digest the lessons, really learn from them and build on them with a view to it never happening again.
Finding a good solicitor to represent you in your divorce, is a next to impossible task if you have no prior experience to draw upon.
Various Internet directories will present you with unfathomable lists of firms who may simply have paid the most amount of money to sit on the top of the respective list; top doesn’t qualify good.
Personal recommendation is unquestionably the best way to find somebody, but it doesn’t tend to be the sort of thing one talks much about.
In the first instance, contact friends or relatives who have personal knowledge of a solicitorius nature and ask them if they are OK discussing it, then bombard them with questions.
If you draw a blank, go through The Law Society’s worldwide selection process, find a solicitor, ask to see testimonials that you’ll be able to follow up, then do!
Major changes to your daily routine following a separation, can leave you with pockets of time you’d rather not have empty.
Any upheaval is likely to be part of a temporary phase and you will undoubtedly have nice events to look forward to in the not too distant future.
The problem is, the bit between now and then can often feel like a gaping chasm.
Find a local charity who you affiliate with and donate a few of your spare hours to them. They will be delighted to receive your assistance and it’ll give you lots of fresh activities to occupy your mind.
It’ll also open the door to a flock of new people and interaction with like-minded volunteers will create a healthy and healing environment for your mind to reside in.
If you have an occasional off day, don’t spend half of it giving yourself grief for feeling that way and the rest of the day searching for something shiny to lift your mood.
Sometimes, it’s good to just embrace a bit of stillness and if you choose to, feel sad about what’s going on, have a darned good cry about it, then pack all those thoughts away back in their box and let the feelings pass of their own accord.
Chocolate might help, tea might too (it most certainly worked for me) just be careful of temptations to steer towards unhealthy distractions, like excess alcohol or drugs.
Your inbuilt survival instincts will kick in after a while; all things must pass.
‘A divorce is like a death without a funeral’, so a learned soul once said; how true that statement is.
Living with the ghost of your ex in the early days can be extremely taxing, especially when they’re making more ‘noise’ following their departure, than they ever did whilst in your relationship!
If their audible vitriol is loud, take solace in the fact that it will eventually fade and go. However, when silence replaces it, that can be a double-edged sword, bringing a welcome end to their wittering but also a void where the noise once was.
Have a funeral for your relationship’s end. Take flowers to a water’s edge and throw in the petals as you close the door on your sadness and mark the event.
Everything goes back to the earth, including the energy from lost love.