Monday, April 14, 2014

Life will be OK

No Make Up Selfie

I think its safe to say that 2014 hasn't had the greatest of starts for me. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to say it has been one of the worst year beginnings of my life…
Most of you who read my blog regularly will have noticed that it has been quiet and I thought it was about time to give you the reason why…  Not only as an explanation but as a message of strength for all of you and proof that life does get better, no matter how low you fall.
A few days after Christmas, I went through the break up of a long term relationship. I was totally consumed by heartbreak and the time of year certainly didn't help matters. I was lonely, sad and scared of the future! I sank so low in fact, that I remember saying to my Mum "I've really hit rock bottom"…
I genuinely believed that I had and no amount of logical thinking would make me feel better or make things ok! For anyone that has experienced a heartbreak, I am sure you can relate to this awful desolate feeling… No matter how much you are told that it will be ok, you cannot rationalise that in your head… It was a horrendous few weeks but thankfully I remained strong and life started to have a whole new meaning and outlook. Things were looking better and I started to realise that break ups happen for a reason, even if you can't see it at the time.
Just as I started to smile again, unfortunately things took a turn for the worse and I was about to experience a loss that made my initial heartbreak seem slightly insignificant.
I lost my beloved grandmother on the 7th of February. Along with my Mother and my Brother she was one of the most important people in my life, my style icon, my role model and a humongous piece of my heart. I looked after her and cherished every moment I had with her for as long as I can remember! I never made plans without considering her first, she was a large part of my world and I had to watch her slip away before my very eyes whilst I held her hand, willing her to stay.
It soon occurred to me that there were so many million miles below the "rock bottom" that I believed I had felt less than a month beforehand. I felt like my world was crashing down around me and there was nothing I could do about it. For the first time in my life I felt totally out of control and I couldn't deal with it. Yes the break up was horrendous but we both still had our whole lives ahead of us… it didn't work out together but we had our health and our memories, whereas a death was completely new territory for me, the finality of it all was so horrific and I was left with an emptiness that I don't believe will ever be filled but life had to go on and so did I.
If you had have asked me 6 months ago would my life be continuing without her, my answer would have been NO.
If you had asked would I be able to get out of bed and dress myself and go about my day to day business, I would have said NO.
But here I am and life is ok!
I hurt every single day and there isn't an hour that passes that I don't wish she was with me but I had to realise that I couldn't just stop going because she had! The world keeps turning and though I had no conception of how this could be true, the harsh reality is that that's life!
As her coffin was lowered into the grave, I collapsed to the ground… I felt like my life was going down with her and at that point I only had two choices… sink or swim…
I could keep falling, not just physically but mentally… Or I could stand up, be strong and make my Grandmother proud! Hard though it was, I chose the latter.

Basically my reason for writing this post is to reach out to any of you that have ever experienced what I have! Maybe you are going through it right now or maybe you are still dealing with the pain… But I just wanted to tell you that life will be ok! You will smile again and you will feel happiness! It is damned hard and a part of you will never lose the hurt but you will gain a strength that you never had and life will go on!
Never ever feel like you are alone… Without the help of my family and friends I would have been lost… But I had to let them in and allow them to help. Had I turned against their outreach, I may not have gained the strength that I have, so please, if someone is there to help you… let them!

I chose to use my "no make up selfie" picture for this post as to me, this was such an amazing campaign of strength for women everywhere! We embraced our insecurities and shared them with the world! Trust me, as someone who had never even let their closest friends see them without makeup, It wasn't an easy task but it was such an incredible display of sisterhood and solidarity that it gave me a serious amount of confidence. Women were working together, drawing on inner strength and fighting for a cause and this was so empowering for myself and for many others. We were stripped bare and vulnerable and to me this summed up exactly how I had been feeling.

This is me… No mask…
I am human and I feel pain…
But my message to you is that that is ok!
Its ok to hurt, its ok to feel, its ok to grieve…
but it is also ok to feel good when you feel good… 
Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are!
Be yourself, be proud and be strong. Remember always that you are not alone and that life will always be worth living, even if sometimes you find it hard to see the sun behind the clouds!

Love to you all and thank you for your patience, your support and your strength, I hope to inspire at least one of you to believe that life is worthwhile!
Nicola x
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