Life's little balancing acts that trigger a smash up

This is really going to sound like a cliché, but life is a delicate balancing act. It could be something like making sure you get a balanced diet. Or, it could be making sure you get your work/life balance right – because all work and no play…you know the saying.

But, it amazes me how much time people spend in trying to control this balancing act by implementing routine after routine. Just looking at my life before After the Storm, gives an insight into how I tried to control it all. I’d set an alarm to get up to go to work, leaving the house at the same time every morning, to sit on the same coach and in the same seat (I wasn’t alone on this, everyone else on that coach did the same). I’d do my day’s work and leave work at the same time, getting the same coach back, sitting in the same section of the coach. I’d allocate time to family, friends and hobbies. Does this sound familiar?

We all have our lives, with its comfort zone and it all runs like clockwork…until it doesn’t. And mine stopped working at the point I was told during a ten minute consultation that I wouldn’t have children.

If you’re anything like me, you will have had expectations around meeting the right person, settling down and having a family. You will have had expectations around the number of children you would welcome into your family and would’ve planned accordingly, renting or purchasing a property, car and lifestyle that fitted that expectation.

So, when it all goes pear- shaped, it can leave you feeling like a tourist in your own life. Nothing fits anymore – the car that now is too large for your needs, the property that no longer feels homely, but more like an empty warehouse. The friends that had once seemed to fit you like a glove, now seem to be more like an oversized gauntlet, with little in common, or they’ve just completely buggered off, leaving you to it. What was once a finely balanced life, is now just totally off-kilter and you find yourself surrounded by smashed plates and dreams. Nothing feels comfortable – the way you behave, who you are, the life you’ve built up for yourself is all wrong. Every last bit of it, just feels off. 

So, how the bloody hell do you come back from something like that? For me, it meant going back to the drawing board and starting over. And it hurt, because it was an admission that I had reached the end of my dream of having a family. I had to admit to myself that what I had, just wasn’t right for me anymore. But, it’s tough to let it go. So, when you’re faced with someone who has the life you wanted, is it any wonder you feel triggered?

If you ask me to list my triggers – the ones that still come up are the top five that I’ve had from the off. While the pain has dimmed somewhat, and I can be around them, I do need to still take time out and make sure I am able to recover. People might question why they still bother me, but when you read back you can see the massive investment – a hell of a lot of my time, my life, love and effort has gone into something that was never destined to be mine. So, is it any wonder?

And I can imagine that this feels the same for you…different circumstances perhaps, but the same levels of investment. So, next time you find yourself becoming emotionally triggered by something, sit with it and understand that you’re entitled to your emotions and reactions. Be gentle and understanding with yourself and don’t feel you have to justify why you feel the way you do, because starting over again is never an easy thing to do.

Sometimes the path to acceptance of a childless lifestyle means smashing all the plates, starting over again and accepting your triggers.

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