A new beginning

It’s been over two years since I wrote any content for my blog and my newsletter, there are a couple of reasons for that, and this particular post is the hardest I’ve ever had to write.

14 months ago I moved from New Zealand back to England, with my wife, two children and dog. Then within a month, my wife left me. I don’t want to go into detail about what happened, except that there is no pain like it, and it has been the most difficult period of my life.

I will say this. No matter how much you have going on, how busy you are and how stressed or overwhelmed you feel. Please take a little extra time to hug your spouse, ask them how they are, then ask again if they say they’re OK. Do an extra job or two around the house without them asking. Tell them how much you love them. Because you never know when the chance to do so may be taken away from you, and they deserve it.

I honestly do not know how I’m going to recover right now, but I’m for damn sure going to try. That’s partly why I’m sharing this with you, for 13 months I’ve kicked and screamed and tried everything I can to get her back and make it work, but sadly it’s over, and talking about this publicly feels like some kind of step in accepting what’s happened and starting to move on.

For 13 months I’ve felt like I had no purpose, little motivation and just a lack of reason for doing anything anymore.

At the beginning of last year, I had to literally drag my ass to the computer to get the bare minimum amount of work done just to get by, just to keep as many clients as I could. Some days I couldn’t even manage to turn my laptop on.

I couldn’t motivate myself to work any more than I had to, but I did find a way to channel the initial pain. I started working out, six days a week, often twice a day. Whenever I felt in extreme pain I’d run 5k or so up the forest, it helped.

In New Zealand, I used to struggle to run once a week due to an ongoing knee injury, time and motivation. Now I ran 3-4 times a week, and although at first the knee pain was severe, I just ran through it because I didn’t care, and it actually got better and eventually went away (not medical advice).

I kept this workout routine up for a few months until I caught covid, had a nagging wrist injury from the gym, moved away from the forest where I used to run and lost motivation during a particularly stressful period.

I went to counselling for several months, but eventually my counsellor said “there’s nothing more I can do for you, maybe you need to speak to someone else”. I tried multiple different types of healing, mindfulness, journaling, gratitude practices and meditations to try and deal with it.

I took courses on things like how to be a better listener, I read every relationship book you can think of. I tried and tried and tried… and tried, everything I could think of to be a better person, to understand, to make things work and save my marriage.

But it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t heal myself and I couldn’t get her back.

I wrote this while I was in a lot of pain and didn’t initially plan to share this much, but I think it’s part of accepting my new reality and processing it in whatever way I need to. And if it inspires someone to heal their own relationship before it’s too late, then it will be worth sharing.

It is what it is, but it certainly isn’t the end of my story. In many ways, it is the beginning of a new story.

I’ll be resuming my weekly Strategic Sundays emails as part of an effort to motivate myself into being the best person that I can be, rebuild my life from the ground up, become successful in other areas such as health and business, and hopefully help a few people along the way.

I’m not sure exactly how this will look at the moment, but I do have an idea that I want to implement one big new habit change in my life every 66 days, which is how long on average it takes to change a habit. The emails will likely be in a similar format to how they used to be, with one main topic per week, relatively short and focused. Let’s see how this develops.

See you next week.

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An SEO Consultant based in Mansfield Woodhouse, United Kingdom. I'm obsessed with SEO at the moment, but I also love talking about and interpreting marketing in general, productivity and entrepreneurship.

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