00:00:00 - 00:00:50
Hannah: Welcome to Happily Ever After the podcast where we talk about life's big stories, from great sex to sexual trauma, breakups and breakdowns. Icky secrets and happy endings. It's the stuff that makes us human. And boy, do we cover it all. I'm your host, Hannah Harvey. I'm a writer and a parenting blogger at MumsDays.com. That's M.U.M.S.D.A.Y.S dot com. I would be very grateful if you could subscribe and leave a review because it means more people can find the podcast. And I also really, really, really love hearing from you, so please contact me through Instagram @Mumsdays with all your stories of life and any thoughts you might have on the episode or even questions you want answering. You can find all the details from this episode in the show notes.
00:01:07 - 00:03:40
Hannah: Hello. Welcome to Happily Ever After with me, Hannah. This is episode 40, and it's a solo one that I'm bringing you all the way from Calpe Rock in Spain, because I'm currently on a retreat and it's called Wellness Journeys. And it's kind of a combination of Yoga, really gorgeous food, working out. So, like, we're working out in a gym, but also, I would say a big factor of it is kind of the companionship. It's, um, I think there's like ten of us all kind of. Just come together to have a go at being in a lovely hot country and doing workouts and stuff. So it's amazing. And. What I wanted to share today is. How the last month has been since. Firstly, I turned 40 and then two days later I discovered after two and a half years that I'm finally divorced and. This is like obviously highly personal because everybody's different and everybody experiences things in a different way. So, you know, if you're just starting out, I don't want you to assume that this is how you're going to feel once you're finally divorced. But equally, if you do feel like this or you feel worse, you know you're not alone. It's. The NHS says that divorce is one of the most stressful things that you can go through. And alongside, I should say, things like moving house and moving job. And often when you go through a breakup, you have to deal with all three of those things at the same time. So, you know, it's hard. So I'm bringing like my thoughts almost in real time as to how. Uh. How I feel. Now that I know I'm definitely divorced. Um.
00:03:43 - 00:07:31
Hannah: And it might be that I revisit this in a year's time and I can look at it through a clearer perspective of what was really going on. But this is kind of like how I feel right now. Having finally got through two and a half years of what felt like at times like a big fight and other times we just were kind of getting on and it was just paperwork. So probably the first thing I would say is it took much longer than I thought it would. I started this podcast back in July last year, so 2022, and I assumed that my divorce would come through by the September at the latest, and it actually took another six months after that. So, you know, I bump into people and they're like, You're still not divorced. And I'd be like, Yeah, Every time I thought we were nearly there, there would be another piece of paperwork to sign or something else that I needed to kind of look at and approve. So yeah, it took a lot longer than I thought. And so when it finally kind of came through, it was almost kind of underwhelming because I was like, We've been doing this for so long. Like, I haven't been with my ex for so long and he's with somebody else now. And. Yeah, it wasn't like a big. Woohoo. It was just, you know, it was two days after my birthday. I'd actually spent the day with my ex during kind of kid related activities, and it was actually my ex who gave me the news. So I was walking around Lidl buying some eggs or something, you know, like grocery shopping. And he texted me and said, It's done. And it just felt surreal. But also because it was him that told me, I then felt under pressure to. Appropriately respond to him and acknowledge that it was finally over and that we can move on. So.. weird. And I'd say, like the rest of the day was like a bit of a. A bit of a fog like felt relieved, but also just a bit numb. Um. Yeah, it's, you know, like when Diana died or when the Twin Towers, you know, when that happened. I feel like a lot of people are like, I know exactly where I was. I know exactly what I was doing. And I feel like the day you break up with your ex and the day you find out is almost like technicolor. Let you remember it in great detail. And. That's. Yeah, I just remember exactly where I was and what I was doing and what I was holding. Uh, almost like it was traumatic. So I don't think I'll ever forget that. But the rest of the day, it was like, who am I? Where am I? What am I doing? And, you know, lots of people would ask like, are you going to have a party? You know, a divorce party. Are you going to celebrate? And and I haven't. And to be honest, it's the last thing that I wanted to do was to celebrate. I felt like I wanted to sleep and, yeah, just be on my own for a bit.
00:07:34 - 00:10:09
Hannah: So since that day, it was. It's been the Easter holidays and also my 40th. So I had some really nice plans for the Easter holidays, both with my children and with my. I went away with my mum for another break with the kids. And so. I spent like the the three weeks after that being very busy, you know, with the kids. And then I went away to Madrid with the art teacher, who's the the guy that I'm dating now. And so I've been completely distracted, in all honesty, from any thoughts and any feelings about life in general. And it wasn't until I was sat on my own in my house that I could really notice what was going on. And to be honest, it's been quite uncomfortable, a bit of an uncomfortable roller coaster. But I kind of knew to expect it because I'd spoken to Lea. In episode 12 of this podcast, we talked about victim mode and how to get out of it, and she talked about her traumatic divorce and she warned me then that I wouldn't necessarily feel elated or celebratory when the divorce is finalized. So I did know to watch out for this. Um, I mean, I assume that I would just be like, Oh, I'm free, I'm liberated. I can just get on with what I want to do now, and I don't need to worry about all that stuff anymore. But really, I felt really sad. Like, I feel like I'm going through a kind of. Grieving again, the end of the relationship, in a way. Maybe in a way that I couldn't before because it was a fight. It was a. We need we need to deal with certain things. And I needed to stand up for myself in order to do it. So I had to be almost in battle mode. It wasn't, you know, whatever. It was what it was. But. Now I can actually be like, Right, that's over. Me and my ex are in a good place where we can, you know, really look after the kids and put them first. So now I am safe to be sad.
00:10:22 - 00:11:52
Hannah: The other thing I've been feeling. You know, when I'm sitting on my own, is actually quite anxious. Like anxious about the future and what I'm going to do next. You know, like this is it now, I have to do this by myself. I've got to be a grown up. I've got to make it, you know, it's all got to work all on my own. Um, and kind of comparing like other people can do it. So, you know, so can I. And I think. Yeah. So actually over the last few weeks, for the first time since maybe like a year or two, I've had a couple of like panic attacks out of the blue. You know, one minute I'm feeling fine and I'm just getting on with stuff, and then all of a sudden I feel really panicky and quite upset. So if I was sitting with you in a room now, I'd be able to be like, Right, I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that. And I feel completely fine. But, um. Yeah, just suddenly out of nowhere, I'm like, Oh, my goodness. And I think it is, um. I do think it's related to the divorce finally being over and like my nervous system calming down or something. I think I'm going to do an episode, I hope, with my therapist so I can ask him questions like this. Um, but yeah, feeling really quite panicky.
00:11:52 - 00:12:55
Hannah: And so coming on this retreat has been really interesting because I booked it as a sort of. You've turned 40. This is my celebration. I'm going to go away because Josie is like a really good friend of mine who's running the retreat. So it's like I'm going away with her. But it's also really, you know, wholesome and a really lovely thing to do. Um. But like the days before, I was like, I don't want to come. Like, I haven't got time to do this. I need to get on with the rest of my life and it needs to be now. And I panicked. Even though rationally I know it's exactly what I need right now. Right here, right now is to be on something like this and have just a little bit of space to do some amazing exercise, be with some wonderful people and. Just process, process what's going on.
00:12:55 - 00:13:45
Hannah: And it's been really interesting to observe what my head is actually telling me like. One of the big things has been - you don't deserve to be on this amazing retreat. Um. So in terms of the therapy work I've done, that's like an old one. Like we've been there and we've covered it. My beliefs core belief system was like, You're not good enough or I'm not good enough. And it's a belief that many of us have. Apparently there's like only about 12 core beliefs you can have and loads of people have the 'I'm not good enough' one. And so I felt like I'd been working on that and dealing with it. And what's the point of coming on something like this if you're then going to beat yourself up about it? Like, come and enjoy it. Um.
00:13:48 - 00:14:15
Hannah: But it's been you know, you've got to sit with these things. And it's interesting to observe it and know that the feeling will pass and that I can enjoy it. But I have felt like it took a little while to settle in and I've had to. I just. Know that some of the feelings I'm feeling aren't going to last and that I'll be all right. Yeah.
00:14:15 - 00:15:32
Hannah: So one of the let's say like one of the other big things coming up is that sort of loneliness, feeling like I'm in this on my own now, like the divorce is over. I am no longer married. I have to be on my own and doing it all on my own. And part of me is like. I'd really love to have a partner, and I'm sad that I don't have that anymore. But I also really want to be independent. And but I think that's partly to do with the good enough thing and wanting to prove myself. And, you know, life isn't a competition for who can do everything on their own. Like it's just not. We have many partners who can be our friends. They could be people that, you know, professionally support us. Like none of us have got anything actually to prove. And it comes back to, yeah, that feeling of not being enough. So like in my head, I'm like, Oh, I need to prove to myself and to others and to God and what God knows what else that I can succeed on my own. And yeah, I probably could, but like, what's the fun in that?
00:15:33 - 00:17:25
Hannah: Like, you know, people say it takes a village to raise a kid and all that, but it also takes one to live as a human in a fun and fulfilling way. Like you need your support system around you. So, yeah, the other day when I was home alone, I'd done, I'd done all the right things. I taught my yoga class at the bound bookshop in Whitley Bay. Come along, 11 till 12 if you're about. And I taught that class, and the whole class intention had been about trust. You know, trusting that the right information will come up when it's meant to and will, you know, we'll cope. We'll just we'll make it work. So, you know, great. And then I went for a lovely walk with a friend, but I hadn't really said how I was feeling then. Um. But to be honest, I was still like, I've just got back from holiday, I've had an amazing time. And then I got home and I was like, Oh shit, I'm completely empty. It was like I could feel the void was like dark and I was in danger of like, filling that void with sweets or something. And I felt sad and lonely and scared and panicky. And so what I did, because I was like, Who am I going to tell? I can't tell anybody. You know, everybody's busy. No one want to know about this. But I did. I sent up a few flares to some close friends, and I ended up having a really long conversation with one of my close friends. And it turned out that she was feeling exactly the same. And the act of as each like physically not being together, but knowing that the other one felt the way we did already made me feel better and less alone.
00:17:29 - 00:18:29
Hannah: You know, you're not going to feel better immediately. But it's also important to sit and feel what you're feeling so that you can just observe it and understand what you're working with and not trying to just always distract. It's like, yeah, acknowledge that the ending of a significant relationship is. Sad. It's sad. Um. And that's yeah, that's okay. Like creating space, like being on this retreat is perfect for doing it. And however uncomfortable it is, it's nice to at least go through it with somebody else and being able to be like, I don't feel great right now, but we're going to go climb a massive rock and I can be like, Yeah, totally. I can do these things as well as feel panicky or scared about my future. Um.
00:18:31 - 00:21:14
Hannah: And yeah, I think this, this first bit of just, you know. The day that they say you're divorced. Yeah, like we split up years ago. That's. That's fine. But that. It is a significant day and it does signify the end of. A chapter. And like the end of all good chapters, it's a bit of a cliffhanger. Like, what's going to happen next? Hmm. How is this person going to cope on their own? And yeah. It's just this bit's now like working out what it looks like now that you're no longer fighting. And, you know, the battle scene has ended. Um. What happens next? Is it going to be something scary or is it going to be? And they're back in the hobbit hole. Having second breakfast. But. We get to choose. I think that's the crucial thing. Like when I was speaking to Jambo on it's episode 38, you know, we were talking about anxiety and life purpose and all that kind of stuff. And he was saying to me, turning 40 specifically like, we get to choose what we do now. Like, what kind of 45 year old do you want to be? Be that now. But equally. I guess if you look too far ahead, that's when you get panicky. So maybe saying like. Yes, I want to be somebody who's 45 who looks after themself. Goes on nice retreats with their friends. Works hard when, you know, when you can, but also, you know, really takes time to look after myself and to exercise and to be with friends and, yeah, be in the village and. It's. Yeah, we get to choose what we do to a certain extent. And it is scary, but it's also incredible. So that's where I'm at right now, and I imagine I will revisit. The aftermath of the divorce announcement at a later date.
00:21:14 - 00:21:59
Hannah: But I would love to hear your experience. Like, how did you feel the day that your divorce papers came through? Like, you know, send me a message. Tell me the story. I'd love to hear it. Um, did you feel some of the things that I felt? Did you feel other things? I think it's really fascinating. Did you feel like you regressed? Because I do feel like some of this process is regression. Like I've gone back to old feelings that I had before, and I wonder if it is just part of that process and that moving on next chapter stuff, you've got to have a bit of a this is what happened and now we're going to move on. So thanks ever so much. Bye.
00:22:01 - 00:22:23
Hannah: Thank you so much for listening. And I'll see you next time for another episode of Happily Ever After with me, Hannah Harvey. It would be wonderful if you could leave a review and subscribe. And of course, if you've got a friend who might enjoy this episode, then please do pass it on for anything else. You can get in touch with me through either Instagram @mumsdays or through my website mumsdays.com