He kept very busy with his business and worked long hours, although always had the energy to go out for dinner and a few drinks in the evening. He started each day at the gym for his 6am workout. The weekends when he didn’t have his children were always packed full so he was rarely at home. He seemed like a man who led an exciting life and was always on the go.
There are some warning signs here to look out for. Many people use humour to deflect from what is going on inside. It is an avoidance tactic that works well to put people of the scent that you are struggling inside. When working with me he admitted that he didn’t like to think about his divorce. Once the decision to break up was made he packed his bags and left. He had to get on with his new life and kept himself occupied so his mind could not wander, as when it did it upset him too much. He had given up smoking 3 years ago but had started again. He said he was finding it hard to sleep at night so he was drinking almost a bottle of wine every evening to help him relax and fall asleep.
Many of us will shy away from feeling upset although this can be damaging as grieving the loss of a relationship is part of the healing process and should be encouraged. Everyone has to go through it to come out the other side. It helps you move forward in a healthy way. It’s good to acknowledge the emotions you are feeling and let them flow. Facing them head on diminishes your fear of them and increases your ability to deal with them. Once your client has acknowledged the different emotions they are experiencing they will find it easier to move forward and not be held back by fear.
There is always going to be heart ache and pain when a relationship ends, sadly that is how we mark the end and move on to pastures new. However there are ways to help make the healing journey easier and faster. Facing your emotions is one of these ways.
Look for warning signs that people are trying to cope with their grief by suppressing it and pushing it down. They will try not to think about any of the things that are making them unhappy. This only makes things worse. It means that even though you may move on, you have not dealt with the negative emotions. They are still there inside you and will not allow you to move on freely. It is common to find people who suppress negative feelings often turn to drinking or just get extremely busy so they don’t ever have time to feel or heal themselves. Neither of these are solutions, they just prolong the pain and it will keep resurfacing when the hangover kicks in or it’s time to sleep. It can keep resurfacing for many years to come too.
I taught him my 5 step process for how to face his emotions head on and deal with them. He practiced it every day for 20 minutes at home. After the very first time he began to feel a sense of huge relief. I also shared with him my simple techniques for helping him to sleep at night and to stop his mind whirring.
Nearly two months on he has stopped smoking and has cut down his drinking. He is able now to think about his divorce as he realised it helps him to heal and move forward. He says the best part is that he feels like he can be a better parent as he is calmer for his children and can be truly present with them during their time together.