I'm incredibly unhappy, I need some help and advice please. I have been through a broken relationship and have lost my confidence.

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Nicole on Dec 01, 2015 • 3 answers
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Feeling at rock bottom and my relationship with my children family and friends are in turmoil.


Hi Nicole,

Firstly reaching out and asking for help when you're feeling vulnerable is a big step that so many of us find hard to do ... so my first recommendation is you acknowledge yourself for taking action - that takes courage.

When you go through a broken relationship there's a grieving process that takes place. It's a period of transition for everyone. William Bridges http://www.wmbridges.com/ talks about how it's the time when the old way no longer fits and a new way hasn't yet begun ... so it's like the crazy time of transition or in your words turmoil.

Unhappiness is guidance - something's not being honoured. In my view this is a time for processing how you feel i.e. being with it not skipping over it and then rediscovering what it is that you really want and what lights you up. Confidence is a state of being. If you lean into the turmoil and use it as a catalyst you'll see this is potentially one of those moments of rediscovery that Elizabeth Lesser refers to in her book Broken Open (Have a look at the clip of her explaining it here) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR4CpZHBc_Y.

My best advice is get some support. Find someone outside of your immediate family and friends to walk with you on the journey, help you to process what you're feeling, take the learning and move through. And finally practice self compassion and kindness. Kristen Neff recommends we say something like, "This is hard for me right now and I'm doing the best I can." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvtZBUSplr4 (have a look at her TED talk). Sometimes this feels completely counter-intuitive because we get caught in blame cycles or feeling responsible etc. yet in my experience it's key to moving through and restoring confidence.

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Vanessa Anstee on Dec 01, 2015
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Hi Nicole,

I'm pleased to see that Vanessa has got back to you and provided brilliant resources. It sounds like you're in that difficult place in the middle of the change process - you're not where you were before and the future is uncertain. It's like your life is a book and as you read it, you visualize and imagine the next chapters, but you suddenly turn the page and the story has changed. it's a place of transition which is often accompanied by stress and confusion. It probably feels like an identity crisis (who am I) right now but it will pass. Hang in there. The next phase is usually filled with newness - something is being born but patience is needed.

Pay attention to your self-talk (what you say to yourself) and focus on being kind to yourself. Stay present to what's in the moment and don't let your mind get carried away. Try not to hang out in the past. I would recommend finding out about and practising mindfulness (being present). A great book (that comes with a CD) which I know has helped countless people is 'Mindfulness, a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world' by Mark Williams - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-practical-guide-finding-frantic/dp/074995308X/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1448963459&sr=8-2&keywords=finding+peace

If you need someone to speak to outside your network, I know the Samaritans have helped so many people through relationship breakdown and family problems: http://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help-you/what-speak-us-about

Well done for reaching out for support. Don't ever feel like you have to go through your period of transition alone. Take care of yourself and trust that this will certainly pass. Sending kind thoughts and best wishes to you.

Go to the profile of OBI JAMES
OBI JAMES on Dec 01, 2015
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Hi Nicole. I'm so sorry you feel so unhappy. It sounds as though after the break-up of your relationship everything has started to feel dark and difficult and other aspects of your life have been affected. This is something that counselling can be a huge help with because a counsellor can listen, confidentially and professionally, with extra insight and overview, helping you to find your way to a lighter and much more positive state of mind. When you are in turmoil yourself, it's so hard (and often impossible) to get a good perspective and see the way forward without outside help. Your GP could direct you towards a trained counsellor. Please remember: how you feel now is not how you will feel soon and there are lots of steps that someone can help you take to get your life back on track. Be kind to yourself.

Go to the profile of Nicola Morgan
Nicola Morgan on Dec 01, 2015
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