1. Look after yourself!
Keep yourself safe. Emotionally and physically.
Take a step back and ask yourself:
Do you need to do anything to keep you, and whoever you are with, safe?
Do you need to leave the house?
Do you need to ask for help? Be brave and ask for what you need.
It’s OK to be NOT OK at this point of discovery. This is one of the biggest lessons that I have taken from my life. I also know that when you have decided that you don’t want to feel bad any more, then there are a lot of people just waiting to help you deal with it and move on emotionally.
It is what it is right at this moment. You're feeling what you are feeling and that's fine.
Your thoughts may be running away from you or round and round in your head or giving you a load of self doubt. That's normal!
Maybe you feel confused, tearful, sad, angry, hurt or any range of emotions. It's possible you could feel glad that it’s all come out because maybe you've been thinking something has been wrong for a while. Or maybe it's been a total shock!
Just allow yourself to acknowledge the feelings and be OK about not being OK.
Acknowledge that it's a difficult time and it’s important to take time to let things settle down in your mind.
2. Find some way of reflecting
It's also a good time to write down how you feel. You'll look back on your rantings and scribblings and possibly tear-stained pages from some time in the future and realise how far you have come.
Get pens, paint, felt pens - whatever inspires you - and just start. Write down what has happened, what you are feeling, what you see and what you are hearing. Write down your thoughts so that you can notice patterns and start reflecting.
Because here’s the thing: the benefits of doing this are many:
• The thoughts move out of your head and onto paper where you will find it easier to remove yourself a bit from the emotions. An example of this would be if you felt "totally alone". If you write this down and realise that you actually have people around you that support you and love you that would be really helpful and means that you would take action to make contact with those that love you.
• You actually sit down and take time. This is very healing so make sure you do this regularly.
• You gain a different perspective by writing down how you are feeling. We will explore this further in my article called Take a Step Back.
3. Find support
People work in different ways so ask yourself whether you get your energy from being with other people or whether you get your energy from being on your own. If you get your energy from being with others, or a significant other, then find someone, or some people, who will support you through this time. It's tempting to speak to everyone about it, to ask opinions, to take on other people's points of view.
If you do this ask yourself what is the purpose of doing it? What qualities do you need in another person?
Is speaking to another person going to give you clarity or an outlet for anger, revenge or support? Do they have emotional baggage which would cloud their response? Only you know. If they become someone who is not helping then it’s OK to look for someone else and just learn from it.
What would a person giving you support be like?
Would they agree with everything that you said or would they listen without judging and just be there for you even if they disagree with you? We've all had friends who we think would be there for us and when it comes to the crunch perhaps it's not how you thought it would be. Perhaps it's difficult for them, if they know you both, to be objective? Perhaps they feel as though they are taking sides? Perhaps they've got a lot going on in their life?
If you need to have support find someone who isn't going to judge you or let their view of things stop them from giving you comfort and love. Write down the name or names of these people in your journal or book and remember them when you need them.
Have a go at this exercise.
Name of Person
What qualities have they got that you need at this time?
Will you contact them and ask for support? Y/N
How will you reflect on your contact with them?
In summary, if you are being OK with not being OK, if you are reflecting in whatever way works for you and you have found support from people, or a person, who has the qualities that you need at this time then you will deal with whatever happens next. I know you will!