OK I know initially I went as I hoped to save my marriage. Well it takes two to do that and my ex-husband wasn’t committed to doing so – the lure of the new woman was just too great!
Left with having to pick up the pieces of ‘me’ I’ve continued to see Stephen over the last 11 months, determined to get myself into a better state of mind. I will readily admit there have been times when I’ve ‘fought’ Stephen with a passion, feeling and believing that I was right and he wrong! I’ve had sessions cancelled by him as he wasn’t prepared to waste my money (for which I am grateful!). I’ve argued with him and I’ve had moments of disliking the experience. None of which sounds very positive! But in hindsight 99% of these arguments have actually been with myself as I’ve battled to change how I view things, to take responsibility for me and to learn and understand how I can make things different for me. To learn and to realise that I needed to become my own best friend.
There have been times in this ‘process’ that I’ve had huge problems even understanding what was expected of me! As I’ve said on my blog it often felt as if I was learning a foreign language. I understood the individual words but the meaning of the sentences eluded me!
So what’s kept me going? Well in the final analysis a belief that if I didn’t I’d be letting myself down. Short-changing me. That I’d miss out on seeing the complete picture. Also a determination not to end up a forlorn divorcee!! I wanted so much more than that.
And although I can truthfully say I haven’t been one of Stephen’s high-speed successes (In fact I must have been one of his slowest!) I’ve appreciated his patience, encouragement, guidance and incredible, steadfast determination in seeing me through, as I’ve come to terms with understanding my past and planning my new future.
Some of my friends are aghast at what they think it has probably cost me. But given how many sessions I’ve had it hasn’t been a huge amount and anyway “What price Happiness?” It can’t have a price. I’ve probably wasted a few of the sessions – in fact I know I have – but I was the one who chose to do that. At least Stephen had the decency to temporarily ‘throw me out’ when I was in danger of wasting my money big time!
So where am I now. I have gained a confidence and belief in myself I’d have never thought possible. A knowledge of me and what makes me buzz and what I need in life to make me happy and feel alive. I now know, not only that I can and have to be my own best friend but I can also be my own coach! I can help me out of my own moments of despair!
I have discovered many different versions of me and to each of those versions I now know and understand the values I need to bring to the top of my list to make that version work well. I can swop in and out of these different versions with greater ease as the days pass and I am discovering that bringing different Values to the fore brings about an inner peace and control within me that I never had before.
But I’ve also learned that so often we fail to really communicate with each other, we each put our own take on situations based on what’s happened to us in our pasts. We interpret conversations and statements in different ways; we hear what we want to hear and we can fail spectacularly to understand each other if we are not careful. Our brains filter and distort the words we hear because the person speaking to us has a different past to ours.
I just wish I’d understood all this better a long time ago. But I also now know that for 17 years I was probably married to the wrong man. Yes he made me happy – incredibly at times – but not all the time. Why? Because ultimately he wasn’t happy with being himself.
I may not have got the future I truly want yet but I now believe it will be possible. I just know I will attract the right people around me and one day one of them will be the one for me.
So now I guess I’m probably fairly close to ‘going it alone’. I still feel I would love to know more. Stephen is now gently, kindly – and firmly – weaning me off my Coaching Sessions (I’m now going once a month!) and pushing me off on my own, but I know he is still there for help and guidance should I need it!
I have Goals I need to throw my heart and soul into achieving. And I believe I can. I have the tools to do so.
I shall miss the sessions when they finally stop, as I now find them so interesting and enjoyable but I know the time has come for me to fly and very soon – to fly alone. (Sorry about the flying reference – I’m a glider pilot!).
And if what I’ve written here inspires someone else in trouble to seek, get and learn what I’ve learned then that will be a lovely bonus for me.
If you wish to read about the journey Caroline has been on from near suicide to a vision of a wonderful future please click here to read her blog.