After Separation


Restored Lives: Erik’s Story

Part 3: Just When You Think Things Can’t Get Any Worse


Restored Lives: Things get worse

When I was going through my separation lots of bad things would happen.

One day I was talking to my neighbour and we were both moaning about all these bad things that were happening. We started saying to each other “You know, things can’t be any worse, can they? And then we ‘d chat at the end of the week and we’d realise that actually through the week everything had got worse.

I remember there was a couple of things that had got worse for both of us. So we thought about this and we decided actually that the phrase shouldn’t be “Things can’t get worse”, it’s actually that things could be worse. Things in my life could be worse.

It took me a while to realize it but actually life takes time to turn around. You might be in a situation where you feel that things are just bad. Constantly bad. Day after day nothing is getting better. And it’s often that we fall into that valley of despair quite quickly during separation and divorce: for example you might have real difficulties of seeing your kids… everything can sometimes fall over.

I have a friend John who, when he separated, he lost his job and his father died within about two months. And it just seems like it gets worse and worse.

Maybe it’s appreciating other people around you. Appreciate your friends. Say to them “Thanks!” Value them. Really importantly be kind to yourself. Try and do the things that you like doing. Stuff all the rest – as much as you can; you need to do your work, you need to do those things but do the things that you enjoy. Even if it’s small and cheap; just go to a coffee shop by yourself.

We need to find ways of just getting through each day sometimes and I’d encourage you to find the things that help you. There are lots of little tools and skills that will help you. Take one day at a time. Don’t plan about tomorrow just take one day at a time. Maybe starting to write a journal write down all those emotions that are coming out. Give them an outlet.

Have time by yourself. Maybe its enjoying laughter. Laughter can be really good for mental health, find a good comedy program. Find a good film that you can watch. Take some physical exercise. Sometimes it’s good to let out all that built up tension and emotion. Just a little bit of exercise can really help.

Maybe it is seeking help from others. If you find yourself going round and round the same sort of issues find someone else to talk to. Talk to your GP. Talk to a counselor. Find someone. This might be the rainy day where you might need to spend a little bit of money talking to someone. There are people out there who can really help. The good news is that there are tools and skills which will help you just get through the next five minutes . Get through the next hour. Get through today and we can build up those things which will help you get through this stage and be able to move on successfully.  


 The Divorce and Separation course, Restored Lives, is both practical and supportive, giving any divorced or separated person the opportunity to discuss the challenges they are facing and the tools to deal with them effectively.

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