Hayley came on one of my Breakup Recovery Retreats in October last year. She separated from her partner during January 2019 and was struggling to come to terms with the loss – it was having a ripple effect across her whole life.
Hayley’s relationship had broken down over the years and she had grown frustrated and resentful of compromises she’d made that were fundamental to what she wanted out of life. She had found her world becoming smaller and smaller and felt suffocated. She had tried couple’s counselling which helped temporarily but was later diagnosed with depression which she sought one on one therapy for.
When Hayley experienced herself slipping back into a depressive spell in November 2018, she continued with the therapy and experienced a fundamental shift in her thinking. She started to imagine what life would be like if she was to separate and put together an exit strategy, mapping out finances and life with her son, who was seven years old at that time.
That Christmas, Hayley knew she could no longer continue and in January she seized the first opportunity she could to talk with her partner. They agreed that her partner would move out and find a flat nearby the family home and he moved out in a matter of weeks.
As a lover of books, Hayley bought my book, ‘Uncoupling’ which became her bible during her breakup and over the weeks that followed- it helped keep her focussed on how to navigate the changes they were experiencing as a family. Following the initial sense of relief and freedom, she experienced highs and lows. From the excitement of jetting off on holiday with her son for the first time (they had previously been unable to fly), to buying the house back in her name. Then came a crushing blow when her ex-partner told her he’d met someone else. In Hayley’s words:
He’d met someone else….
“This revelation triggered a whole host of emotions and for around three weeks he didn’t speak to me which was incredibly painful. By mid-September, I hit rock bottom. I was in tears daily, couldn’t concentrate on work, I had a panic attack on the way to work one morning as I couldn’t face being around people in the office. At this point I knew I had to do something positive to shift me out of this dark place. It wasn’t that I missed him or regretted the decision I had made, it was more mourning the loss of the life and time we had shared, of losing our family unit and knowing things were changed forever.
I desperately searched for things to help me, arranging counselling, made the decision to revisit my NLP qualification and then I remembered seeing Sara’s retreat on her website. It was a big investment for me but after a call with Sara, I felt it was the right thing to do! Luckily the next retreat was just a few weeks away, so I told myself this had to be a line in the sand. There would be life before the retreat and life after the retreat and that was the approach I took.
What is a breakup retreat?
Anxious when I arrived, my fears were quickly soothed by Sara. The first day was heavy going and I felt stuck at times but with Sara’s support I moved through various emotions which helped me process what I was going through. The second day was really future focused and I took so much away from this session. During the weekend all the delegates bonded quickly from the shared experiences of divorce and separation and I can honestly say I met some great people and made some great friends and we continue to support each other to this day. I came away feeling empowered and ready to face the future. This was a fundamental shift in how I felt.
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So how is life after the retreat? Well it’s great! I feel much more confident in who I am, I feel more authentic, more grounded and have even started dating! I’m focused on what I what from my new life now and have been building a five-year plan to help me achieve these things. By contrast my life is now in full colour. I still experience the lows but I’ve got great tools to help me deal with whatever gets thrown at me which means I don’t stay down for long.
A wonderful new life
The whole experience really inspired me and having worked in Learning and Development within a corporate environment for over 20 years, so when I discovered Sara’s Breakup and Divorce Coach Accreditation programme, it was an easy decision to make. I’m now training to help people in the same way that Sara helped me. It’s great to know that I can use the experience of Separation and combine it with my wealth of experience in Self Development to help others in their hour of need and help them see that a break up doesn’t need to be the end of the road, far from it. Ultimately, the retreat was the best investment I could have made in myself.”
Sara Davison, The Divorce Coach’, next Breakup Recovery Retreat will take place on 29th February & 1st March 2020. For more details please find out more about Sara in The Hug Directory