The day I fell apart…

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Falling ApartOver the last few weeks I’ve been hearing the same comment on a regular basis….”you’re dealing with your breakup really well”.

Sometimes it’s said with surprise, sometimes it’s said with an element of hope…at other times with a slight hint of dismay.

At a lunch meeting a while back, a colleague mentioned to me that I was one of these women who seemed to always have it together…and she wondered if I ever have days where things just get too much.

Well, I do 🙂

I’m just like everyone else in that sense.

So today I thought I would share about one of my more ‘challenging days’…so that you can see that I have them, just like everyone else.

As you know, a couple of months ago I went through a difficult breakup when the boyfriend I was living with left unexpectedly the night before Valentine’s Day.

I shared a bit about my experience on my blog to help other women who might be going through a similar situation.

Unfortunately it was never going to be an easy split because he was involved in some technical aspects of my business…so as much as it would have been easier at that point to have had a completely clean break with no contact (at least for a while until the wounds begin to heal), this wasn’t the reality of my situation.

Over the past month or two we have had to stay in touch to try and work out the details and come to a conclusion about how things will be resolved, including a few financial issues.

So it has been challenging, but all in all, I’ve been doing pretty well. There have been good days, and bad days, but I’ve followed my own advice and felt whatever emotions have come up in order to begin to release them. I’ve had some health problems along the way, but generally I was doing OK.

…until last Tuesday.

Now, I love social media…it’s a great way to stay in touch with my many friends across the world, but there are times (like this) where I really wish that we weren’t so connected.

On Tuesday I had a phone call from a friend.

Unfortunately due to a problem with my friend’s phone I wasn’t able to have a proper conversation with her….I could hear her, but she couldn’t hear me…so I just had to listen, sat on my own in a venue in London.

She told me that few days before, through the magic of Facebook, it was announced that my ex was on holiday with his new girlfriend.

I felt a rush of emotions all at once….hurt, angry, betrayed, used,…you name it, I felt it.

I completely fell apart.

The challenge with this was that I got this information literally minutes before a meeting in London that I was supposed to be leading.

The women walked into the room to find me in tears.

A few years back, I would have ‘pulled myself together’, put on a brave face, and powered through.

Not on Tuesday.

On Tuesday I allowed myself to share what had happened. I was completely open, I was completely vulnerable and more importantly I allowed these amazing women to be there for me.

It didn’t stop the hurt, but it certainly did help.

What was interesting was the more I shared…the more the ladies there shared that they had had similar experiences…and it helped to know that there were others who had been where I was in that moment.

That completely honest connection with another person where you understand each other’s pain, you’ve walked in each other’s shoes, creates a bond. It gives a real sense of understanding, strength and hope.

So I’m sharing this today for one reason. I know that there are other women out there, perhaps you’re one of them, who are going through a situation like this.

It’s OK that it hurts. It’s OK that it’s painful. It’s OK that you don’t always have it together. It’s OK to sometimes have a hard time dealing with things. It’s OK to cry. It’s OK if you need to fall apart for a little while. It’s OK to lean on others….even if you’re supposed to be doing the leading.

We’re human.

None of us are perfect…myself included.

So the next time you have a moment when it just gets too much…give yourself permission to lean on the people around you.

You do so much for them, that it’s good for them to have the gift of giving back to you…especially at the times when you need it the most.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

15 replies
  1. Laura Wilkes
    Laura Wilkes says:

    Sound advice Claire. It’s taken me a long time to realise that the people who care about me sometimes feel shut out when I don’t share my vulnerability with them. I think you did a very brave thing sharing with strangers and showing true vulnerability and it was wonderful that they were there to support you and not judge you as somehow weak, but unfortunately some women would see it that way. So be it, I’d rather borrow some of your courage than play their game. Keep on doing what you are doing, you are an inspiration xxxx

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Thank you for your kind words Laura. In my experience, people who judge someone else’s vulnerability as weakness tend to put that same judgement on themselves, which makes healing from pain so much harder for them than it needs to be. It’s done as a defence mechanism to try and shield themselves from feeling hurt, but it can end up causing more pain for them in the long term. I do understand it and the best approach I’ve found for dealing with it is just to show compassion as they are probably hurting themselves more than anyone else. I’m just walking the path that is right for me…and I’m honoured to share it with some wonderful women along the way xx

      Reply
  2. Claudia
    Claudia says:

    I love your openness and honesty Claire and, you know, I’m a great fan of yours as a result. You’ve shared your pain with others and in so doing gave them permission to share theirs with you. Then you share that experience with us so that we can benefit too. What an amazing trait. How generous! I have just 2 words for you – thank you. C. x

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Thank you Claudia…you’re right that it’s through sharing and showing our own vulnerability that we give others permission to do the same. As you know my mission in life is to help and inspire other women, the only way I know to do that is to be the best version of me I can be…and by that I mean showing and embracing all of me…the good, the challenges, the real, the quirky, the downright silly…and most important the beautifully and sometimes painfully human x

      Reply
  3. Heather Waring
    Heather Waring says:

    You are a great example to have Claire, by sharing this you are helping so many women out there who feel they cannot let their feelings out unless those feeling are joyous and positive. The sad feelings are just as important. And when we cry and let it out, if we have the right support around, it can make us feel s much better and enable us to move on.

    Reply
  4. Anne McGhee
    Anne McGhee says:

    Lovely honest and authentic post Claire. We all hurt and times, as you say the trick is to express rather than suppress which only leads to blocked energy and illness. You gave a gift that day to the women in your group, a reminder that we all need support and to be a supporter and that feels good regardless of which of those roles we are fulfilling.
    Go with the flow with the feelings and remember the pain is an indication of how deeply you can love. Take good care of yourself during this time of personal growth

    Anne x

    Reply
  5. Missy (StargardtEyes)
    Missy (StargardtEyes) says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m at the end of a nasty divorce where he left on Xmas day 2010 after I stuck by his years of cheating, foolishly believing he’d stick by me after we found out i’m going blind from a rare genetic disease. I made excuses: it was a mid life thing, I was lacking, etc etc. I find myself struggling with new issues. As we all do. I’m now engaged to a wonderful man. Everyone thinks since I’ve been diagnosed 3 years, I should be used to going blind. (I literally wake up to less vision). Since my ex left almost 17 months ago & we have no children, I should be over it. I keep up a brave front like you. But, yesterday, walking my dog, I suddenly found myself stooping on the sidewalk crying like a baby. I finally just let it all out. I hadn’t realized how much I’d held in. I wasn’t embarrassed. I think other people need to see our ‘humanity’ sometimes. Especially when we are known to be strong women.

    I want to thank you for sharing this with us, as well as all of your wisdom, inspirations & encouragement. I hope you know we are here for you as well. I really needed to hear things you wrote above. Particularly today. So, again, a very heartfelt thank you. *Hugs* Missy (StargardtEyes)

    Reply
    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Missy, what a beautiful message. Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing. I’m so sorry to hear about the challenges that you’ve faced, but I’m so pleased that you’ve now allowed yourself to let it out and release it. I absolutely agree that other people need to see our humanity and vulnerability…by having the courage to these sides of yourself you inadvertently give other people permission to do the same.

      It’s my honour to share my story with incredible women like you and I am so pleased to hear that it came at the right time for your situation. It’s funny…normally I share my Wednesday post through my #FF tweets, but for some reason this week I felt compelled to share this one instead…now I know why. Much love to you…sending you big hugs xx

      Reply
  6. Missy (StargardtEyes)
    Missy (StargardtEyes) says:

    Thank you. I’m forever grateful that you shared when you did. I truly treasure you. Love and light. 🙂

    Reply
  7. Dianne Dixon
    Dianne Dixon says:

    Been there. I remember it was a slap in the face and a couple of good friends told me to drive over to their house immediately OR they would come and get me. They were my saviors.
    It is so great that you were able to open up and share with your group. Fantastic. Everyday you should thank him because he was smart enough to step aside so that a better man can step up and into your life. Team Claire! 🙂

    Reply

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