Flashback to 2011 when my came to a crashing halt. I woke up on a Saturday morning and felt like everything had changed. Women’s intuition isn’t a myth; it is real and it was in full force on that morning. I found my husband’s mobile phone and discovered a string of messages from his lover.
We had been married for six years, had a two year old daughter and I was five months pregnant with our second child at the time. To say I didn’t see it coming would not be a lie. I had felt tension between us but he had assured me nothing was wrong and often blamed my “paranoia” on my pregnancy hormones. I had honestly believed he was my soul mate, and that we would raise our children together and live happily ever after, but it all ended on that day.
I felt as though this person had decided my future for me with his actions. He instantly made me a single mother to a toddler, a pregnant singleton who would have to go through the birth of a child on her own and the sole provider for my family. My fate was signed, sealed and delivered, and it was painfully depressing.
All I wanted to do was lay in bed and wallow about how unfair life was but I had a little girl to look after, a business to run, emails to reply to and deadlines to meet. Everything was extremely overwhelming and even though I have amazing family and friends, I knew I could not do this alone. I made an appointment to see a psychologist and so my healing began.
The habit of positive thinking is only learnt by repetition so I spent my time reading an endless amount of self help books. I am fairly certain I could take up a second profession as a psychologist by now! Got trust issues? Rhonda Britten is the author for you! Want to work on your relationship? Gottman is the man you want in your life.
Some books were life changers and others were just time fillers but I would highlight paragraphs that spoke to me and would go back and read them over and over. I saw my psychologist weekly for a long time and she would work my arse off. She didn’t make it easy for me and would ask the tough questions and give me homework.
I worked; I did not give up on my business. I wrote lists and worked every day. I continued on even when all I wanted to do was run and hide. Some days it felt too hard and I would make my mum sit at my desk with me while I worked through my list. Just having her there with me was comfort. Yes I was a 34 year old baby.
Looking back I see that continuing to work whilst going through the crisis was one of the hardest periods of my life, but honestly the best thing I could have done. It gave my brain a rest from emotional problems and showed me that life does go on even when you think it shouldn’t.
I would only work 3 - 5 hours a day but it was enough to be productive and keep me going. I didn’t tell many of my clients what was going on, only the most loyal and trustworthy, and I doubt many of them even know that I am now a single mother. I did my best to keep my professional hat on.
There were so many times when I wanted to tell the world what had happened to me so they could tell me how unfair it all was, but I took the quiet humble road. I deactivated my Facebook account because dealing with one reality was enough and the online world can be equally as cruel as reality. It was time to simplify and protect myself.
I would write in my journal daily and list what I was grateful for. I look back and see I was most grateful for my family, friends and my work. I feel grateful to do a job I love, a job that allowed me to escape from crisis, a job that allowed me the flexibility to heal while still existing.
When I eventually had my second daughter Stella, I still continued to work with the help of my supportive family. I was tired and emotional once again, but work kept me on the straight and narrow and prevented me from heading down the doom and gloom spiral.
Continuing to work in my own business saved me from myself and I am proud to say I am a successful business woman who weathered a pretty horrible storm. During that time I provided for my two daughters, two employees and serviced over fifty clients whilst remaining relatively sane.
What I learnt is that sometimes life turns to shit and you cannot control what happens around you. Just don’t throw away your dreams and passions because
they are yours and no one can ever take those away from you.
When life throws you lemons, remember to...
• Keep working even if it is only a few hours a day, it will give your purpose and keep your mind busy
• Stay professional - your clients do not need to know the details of your personal crisis
• Don’t be afraid to seek professional help
• Make a habit of listing three good things about your day, everyday, in a journal
• Think about the future and set goals
Thank you Anna for sharing this empowering story. You can connect with Anna and all the amazing work she is doing at: