When a traumatic situation explodes in your lap there follows that same silence as if it’s a real explosion, followed by an overwhelm and blindness colliding. Then a deathly dearth of capacity.
My situation dropped me in virtual quicksand, into a situation that I simply could not manage. I felt like a broken stray needing to limp to a corner – but that wasn’t an option. With things only getting worse as time went on I knew I could live in a state of coping or I could take myself and repair.
I told my friends, my family that I needed a perspective, I needed not to try to solve the problem. I just needed to feel OK.
All my friends assumed I was simply having a reaction and upset. After all who would up, leave the city and live in another country, with another language and bring children. All while I was clearly broken and alone.
But I did. With that mad sudden strength you see in movies, I left everything behind and moved to southern Spain. Not the costa del ‘expat’ but a small village, wild beaches and views over Africa. Most importantly what revealed itself there, was it’s gold – the most kind people I’ve ever encountered.
I thought I’d be there for a school term. But it turned into 7 years. I was on survive. The creative neurons sparked, the fresh air of change fueled my energy. The sun every day made, in real terms, our life brighter.
All the previous naysayers then changed their, ‘you’ll never do it’ to a different negative tune. Now assuming I had opted out, lying on a sunbed, Sangria in hand and generally living in a paradise. They couldn’t have been more wrong. This was not an affluent town with easy work to hand. The south of Spain has 65% unemployment. But I was determined. I felt I had nothing to loose. At one stage I had four jobs at once, I worked as a teacher, worked in a hotel, anything I could find.
As I started to heal but still with nothing to loose. My former qualifications in my pocket, I reached high and got a job on a radio station as a type of resident ‘Fraiser’. I then got a job in Gibraltar working in a clinic as a psychotherapist, I also set up outdoor therapy in Spain and even managed an award for a newly formed Instagram initiative.
Most importantly my children were healing too, life became exciting. We were stepping out of the dark … we learnt Spanish and I rebuilt a life for me and my children. Back home the negative hung steady. I got the whole ‘you’re running away’. They could label it how they wanted. I called it living. I called it taking a chance and knowing that I had needed to get out of the ever enclosing swamp of my situation and get myself to dry land and live.
7 years on, I’m back in the UK. Now I’m asked why are you back! It is my home, I just needed to repair, it was never forever. But also I know that I need to inspire. There’s too many people who are caught in a situation where they need a ‘reset’ but don’t have the confidence.
I’m also now asked how did I do it.
After you live in what so many assume is paradise, when you come back the most important thing to return with, is a new perspective. A recognition of achievement. I now know you don’t have to go to a new country to press this reset button, you just need support to make a small difference and the ripple can change your world.
You can unpack that baggage and fly -without ever having to go through security! You can follow your change, your dream. You too can have the confidence to live the life you need to feel right.
Fiona works privately, one on one to help you with wanting to change your world, your business or just your mind.
She also works with companies and groups to inspire and motivate for change.
Fiona is a Lifestyle Designer and Therapist with BMCC