I completely burned out!

I completely burned out and I disappeared from life for a little while after I lost myself.

Leaving a toxic relationship was hard but having to keep him in my life because of our son and co parent is harder than I could ever have imagined, my health is a mess and I needed to check out for a while.

I kept pushing myself, at work, at home and socially and while I’ve been able to keep the wheels turning for a little while my health came crashing down and I fell into a heap!

Being a single parent is tough and people expect you to have your life “anchored” securely, anchors such as health, family, friends, romantic relationship, career, home etc. It’s not easy and I don’t know exactly how many are meant to be secured at one time or if is it possible to have it all? I honestly don’t think so..

We are often thrown curve balls and one of our “anchors” can break free, but we end up so focused on fixing that broken anchor because the secured one’s don’t need maintenance…wrong!

Here’s an insight into what “anchors” are broken at the moment:

  • Romantic Relationship
  • Home
  • Health
  • Career
  • Routine
  • Co Parenting

Sitting back and looking at whats happening has made me realise how important it is to take the time to look after myself so I’ve been working really hard this year on picking up the pieces of my life and starting fresh.

I wanted to share my story so I decided to start this blog, I’m hoping I can reach others in similar situations so they know they’re not alone. I wear my heart on my sleeve, i’m vulnerable, I crave routine and organisation and I want people to know it’s ok to not be ok sometimes! Be sad, be angry, cry, do what you need to do to weather this storm called life..

Falling into a heap puts a lot into perspective, I had to dig deep and put the pieces back together one by one…especially when it’s only lunchtime and you’re absolutely buggered but you still have a whole half a day of being mum to an adventurous 2-year-old left!

It’s been coming for about 6 months now and I really should have seen the signs a lot earlier. At the beginning of the year I went on a journey of self love….and I found it! I was doing well, I had all of my anchors secured (except romantic relationship of course) and I was kind of winning at life, then my ex showed up and took our son without consent one weekend.

My whole life changed at that moment.

I wasn’t prepared for it and there was nothing I could do either, but I didn’t realise how much it actually took its toll on me till now.

Since then it’s been a rollercoaster, my ex has called me more names than I can count, he’s publicly slandered me on social media (as has his family/friends), he is doing everything he possibly can to make raising our son on my own difficult, he doesn’t accept any financial responsibility for his son, he doesn’t ask how he is/what he’s been doing, and ignores me at handover. When I told him our son wasn’t coping of course it was my fault and told me I was a failure/i’d ruined my life and my families/I needed babysitting and couldn’t raise our son on my own…all via text of course because he is incapable of actually speaking to me.

As much as it shouldn’t hurt me because it’s not true, it still does! I stopped practicing self-love, I stopped meeting my friends at the park for play dates, I stopped going out of the house full stop and buried myself in work and helping my son cope after each access visit.

Eventually I got sick and fell in a heap in the form of pneumonia and middle ear infections!

Here’s what I’ve learned:

Sometimes we have to let go of people we love:

Realising our relationship was toxic was devastating, he ticked so many of the right boxes for me but at the same time there were a lot that he didn’t and they outweighed the good in the end. I tried to keep everything amicable for co parenting but understand he is hurting and lashing out at me now, he has even said he has a lot of hatred for me and that is going to take some time to move past.

It’s very painful to know someone so intimately and connect with someone so deeply only to have them take advantage of that vulnerability. They have the ability to detour your whole life on a new path yet at the end of our path I was left asking myself some difficult questions;

  • Who am I?
  • Is what I see and he see’s really that different?
  • Maybe he’s right, maybe I am useless, maybe Max and I are a burden on his life.
  • Can I stay for the sake of our son? Who’s happiness is more important, mine or Max’s?

We created the most gorgeous little guy from our relationship and whilst it was a great love, I think by the time I made the decision to leave the walls had been up for a while and I’d already started the grieving process so we are at the opposite ends of the scale now. I accept he is hurting and he needs time. I’m not angry, and I’m not hurt, I just feel sad that his bad behaviour is affecting our son so much and he can’t/chooses not to see that.

Time is definitely the only thing to heal this.

Keep Your Expectations In Reality:

I placed super high expectations on myself post breakup and chose to just power through life, people noticed this and then expected this from me.

I looked at those surrounding me and their expectations of themselves and me and found that they were very different.

I realised I’m actually surrounded by some pretty amazing people, they are very supportive and my gal pals are some very wise women that I’m very proud to call my friends. We are all experiencing different storms at some stage or another and we all weather them differently too.

I then decided I needed a new focus on how I choose to live my life, and whilst I still have some high expectations my wise women keep them a little more real so when I do meet those expectations I am grateful for being so bloody lucky!

Self Love:

Take time out!

I cannot stress this enough. Take the day off, get a massage, meditate, call a friend, catchup with friends, go out for lunch, walk into a store and actually buy something new for yourself instead of for your child (who isn’t guilty of this?), see a movie by yourself, spent some time on your own. My self-love routine is:

  • Monthly massages,
  • Self guided meditation at least 3 times a week,
  • Gym sessions at least 3 times a week,
  • Fortnightly park dates with my wise women and their children

This routine works really well for me. It’s a good balance of stress release, exercise, laughs and socialisation. It’s simple but totally works for me. I don’t want my tough experience to build up my wall, I like wearing my heat on my sleeve and there isn’t anything wrong with that and that takes courage to realise that. But I choose to be the person who chooses courage over comfort!

Friend Purge:

I had a significant “friend” purge post breakup and omg it felt amazing!

My friendship circle is certainly smaller now but I don’t mind, the people who are here now have actually always been here for me. They’re loyal and supportive and they are the traits of people I choose to be in my life as they help build me up!

I’m not here to please everyone as when you try to you end up feeling under appreciated and undervalued. Those who get me get me and those who don’t and that’s ok as people appreciate you so much more for being honest.

Be Emotional:

Be sad.
Be angry.
Cry.

Don’t EVER let people invalidate your emotions, period.

It’s not up to someone else to tell you how you should feel, your feelings are totally valid and so is feeling the need to communicate them, don’t ever forget that.

You Can’t Change Your Life Overnight:

We are faced with so many decisions every single day of our life but when you start choosing to look for positives, practicing gratitude, and celebrating the small wins you’ll be surprised just how quickly your situation changes and that it actually feels real instead of overwhelming!

Make little decisions first, mine are:

  • Routine – I’ve made some small mindful changes to my routine.
    – Lighting scented candles
    – Self guided meditation nightly
    – Focusing on eating clean again as I feel amazing when I’m eating the right food
  • Time out – I’ve been forced to take some time off work to recover from pneumonia and normally I would be feeling very guilty as it’s not productive but I’m actually enjoying it and realising that I need to recharge!
    – I’m organising my home
    – I’ve gotten a massage
    – I’ve had lunch dates
  • Investing in family/friends
    – Until we need them you usually don’t realise how important they really are! I’ve realised I have a bloody amazing support network of family and friends, but I’ve also realised I’ve actually been a bad mum/daughter/sister/aunt/friend at times over the last 6 months too. I’ve neglected them a little and came to this realisation when I felt guilty for calling on them to talk to when I needed support, but they hugged my while I cried and helped wipe away the tears. For this I am so grateful that I have such amazing and beautiful people who I call my family and friends!

Choose To Be Happy:

While this sounds easy it isn’t always and can be overwhelming at first, but it’s actually a state of mind achieved with the guidance of small goals and decisions.

Make your head space choose to be happy, and if you can’t choose happy choose love <3

 

 

A new way of life…

A new way of life…..just Max and I.

When my ex finally got the idea that nothing he could do or say would bring me back it was bliss! He stopped turning up at our house at all hours of the day and night (remember we are now 2.5hours away form him), the constant messages stopped and I felt relief. Relief that I no longer had to be alone in a relationship, I didn’t have to pretend to be happy in front of acquaintances, and relief that I’d finally escaped a toxic relationship!

I am finally free, free of a toxic personality, free to raise my son with positive male model models in his life, free to go back to work, to rebuild a network of friends, and most importantly…..to embark on a journey of self love! Max has so many positive role models in his life now, any of which i’d be proud if he grew up to be just like them because between his uncles, poppy and our male friends, he has some pretty awesome footprints to walk along side and who will help guide him through life. These men are all very different but they are all attentive, caring and loyal. Both of Max’s uncles are dad’s themselves, as is his poppy and some of our male friends, they are absolutely amazing with their children and they support their partners in every way….this is what I had wanted Max to see, a dad who loves and supports his mum. I’m sorry Max that that didn’t happen, but have faith that one day there will be a male in our life that does love and support me in every way…including you xx

I am finally being supported to return to work with the amazing help of my parents. I am extremely grateful my parents are around to look after Max while i’m at work as without them I wouldn’t be able to due to the nature of my career as a nurse. Max’s has been through a lot of change but having my parents to care for Max when I returned to work almost a year ago meant that he felt safe, secure, and had routine and continuity. I remember my first shift back, I was so nervous but i’d chosen an evening shift as I could spend all morning with Max and I went to work while he had his lunch time sleep and he got to spend the afternoon with just his Nanny and Poppy, which he absolutely loved! Meanwhile I was stressing the whole time that he was really missing me and he’d be a mess…..he wasn’t, just me! Max soon understood what “Mummy is going to work” meant and knew that it would be time spent with nanny and poppy. I’ve done some time in area’s of nursing that aren’t my passion to brush up on my skills and knowledge as well as undertake some short courses and educational sessions. My boss recognised this and almost a year after returning i’ve finally been given the opportunity to get into the emergency department! Excitement is an understatement and that is another story for me to share..

I’ve reconnected with some old school friends with whom i’d kept in contact with and i’ve met new people through them as well as new acquaintances through work and activities in the community. The new connections through work are new and exciting and although i’ve met a lot of people there’s obviously only a few i’ve “clicked” with. The same with new connections through my school friends, while i’ve met a few there’s only a small few that are now apart of my network. My schools friends are like i’d never left, it’s nice to have them in my life and also that feeling of long term friendships and loyalty….these girls make me laugh, they’ve wiped away many tears, they’ve grounded me post breakup, and they’ve kept my therapist bill a lot smaller then it would be without them, thank you xx

My journey of self love has been interesting, i’ve learned that I need to fill up my own cup of self love first, only then can I truely give to others from the overflow. I feel i’ve become a little spiritual and I have a totally new outlook on life, I now meditate and enjoy practicing Thai chi and yoga regularly to ground me and clear my mind, I have far more patience and then I ever did before and I am not allowing negativity into my life. It meant a big shift in my friends circle but those who are still here are that one’s there were here for me from the start. Meditating, yoga and Thai chi are very relaxing, having a clear mind ensures a good nights sleep, and for the times I haven’t been able to clear my mind I found some amazing guided meditation to help get me too sleep. I started to really look after myself, it’s something I haven’t done for a long time and I didn’t realises till now! I get a massage when i’m stressed, I see a physiologist when I need to, I go to the gym which i’ve found helps me immensely, and I enjoy time with my friends again. Having the odd dinner, night out, day at the races or mum movie date is huge for us, it doesn’t happen often but when it does we all needed the time out to just be adults again and have some time to ourselves! As a num most understand that doesn’t happen very often and is extremely exciting lol.

18months post breakup i’ve started to date again, I felt the time was right so I went with it. I am extremely cautious about introducing anyone new to Max until I know they will be in my life long term, but I also understand that he will cope as well as I do so my plan is to slowly bring someone into our life ONLY once they are family and gal pal approved! I didn’t listen to either last time so this time he will need pre approval before he gets to be apart of my life. I downloaded an online dating app as this is what people are doing now, I got introduced to people through my circle of friends, and I met new people through work and the gym. Between all of them i’ve met some really nice people, where these new connections will take me i’m unsure, but for now i’m just enjoying getting to know new people and seeing where it leads me.

 

Be the very best version of you,
Stay true to yourself,
Be genuine + authentic,
Always always always be kind + spread love,

Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind xx