No one will tell you what its like to be where you are now. It’s not documented. People don’t write about it. There isn’t even much content on the internet, no blogs, twitter or facebook references to the journey you must surely now embark on. That’s because nobody wants to hear a sob story. Yet we both know that yours is not a sob story. Far from it. Right now you are at the lowest point of your life. You’ve been to some places, done many things, and experienced many significant life events like the birth of your child, the death of a parent or surviving a major accident. Yet non can compare to this one. The world it seems is divided into two groups of people, those that have been there and those that have not. If a person hasn’t been there, how would they know or understand, and for those that have, well, incongruous as it may seem to you now, they have moved on with their lives, contented in new ways to obtain the most from what they have left.. They have survived and grown as a result and so will you. And this is the first step. The one that says, your life is never going to be as it was. You know this is true but you don’t want to start walking down your new path. You are constantly looking backwards. You are stuck. It’s never going to be the same. And where you are now, you might not even know, can’t articulate or are unable to feel that it is so. That’s because like I was, you are not able to feel anything other than the pounding in your chest and the pain that starts in the pit of your abdomen, spreads up and around your ribs and grabs you by the throat. This pain will not go away and along with it is an indescribable feeling of fear, panic and exhaustion. Rolled into one it’s this separation anxiety that is more of a threat to you than the pain in your body. That same pain causes you not to sleep. By that I mean, you will not get one moment of sleep for days on end. Even as you lay down and try to give into the exhaustion, your body won’t let you. You see, it is currently in a permanent fight or flight mode and it has never been this extreme or more acutely felt. Although you know this to be true, you never expected this condition to be so utterly terrifying. The pounding in your chest grows stronger and you start to sweat like you have never done before. Its as if the only way for your body to release the high energy it is now generating is through the pours of your skin in hot liquid form. You notice other strange and uncomfortable things that are occurring in your body. Things you have previously not experienced. In my case, I was unable to go to the bathroom for up to 4 days at a time. Friends will stop you in the street and ask if you are ‘ok’ or they may refer directly do your dramatic weight loss and ask what exercise regime you have undertaken in order to look so fit. Its not uncommon to loose one and half stone in a matter of just a few months. Yet you are still eating, sometimes healthily but mostly not. You might end up sitting in front of your GP asking for ‘help’. Whether or not you receive it in the form that you would like, your doctor will note your higher than normal blood pressure perhaps also commenting “we should keep an eye on that”. Thank fully at the time I was only given sleeping pills. “Lets get you sleeping first” my doctor said, “and we can take it from there”. Doctor’s recognise, if they are well trained, that whatever physical ailments you have might be the result of extreme circumstances in your life. If they are very good, they might spot that you need some special consultation, invite you to another clinic and give you an opportunity to get on a path to recovery. That’s what happened to me. When I did sit in the special clinic for ½ hr one Saturday morning it didn’t take too many questions for the lady doctor to get me crying, sobbing like a baby with tears rolling down my face. She had only asked me what was going on in my life. My closest family did not know and so I needed to tell someone else. I needed to tell a stranger and preferably a doctor that I had also has serious thoughts about ending my life. You see your pain might cause you do things you would not have done before. You might spend money quickly on a whim, on luxuries. You might also seek out new thrills, on the one hand because you know no fear, deadened as you are by pain, or because you need to displace it some how. Of course you will want to meet, date and get into bed with woman. Certainly if you have liked a drink before you will use more of it to take away you anxiety. Indeed you might know any such displacement activity is short lived and potentially damaging to yourself, but you do it anyway. You will construct a virtual lifeboat, ideally with other men in it who have been through what you are going through now. There should also be family there or a friend who you call on day and night when you need the most. The false accusations you endured have taken you to place where your self esteem is the lowest it has ever As alarming as all of this sounds, I want you to know that where you are is all completely normal. You are broken, and that’s ok, you don’t know what to do about it, and that’s ok, because you will survive. You are angry because you are reacting to the unexpected betrayal and shock. You are fearful because you have not walked into a future like this one before and you did not expect to have to do so at the age you are now, at this time in your life. If you have a child or children they will save you now and always for each day and for the rest of your life. Its possible that children are with us for this very purpose, to save us from ourselves. I’m sure its been said many times before. Now you know it to be true. It seems you see that many men will go through all of this at some point in their lives.
He will deal with it as a man. The male of the species in the wild, finding himself in the situation you are in now will, naturally, with instinct, stalk and kill the others that threaten him. In human society this is of course unacceptable and so your killing instinct remains locked inside you forced to slowly and excruciatingly sweat its way out of your tiny pours each night. How many times do we hear it said “men can’t handle their emotions”. My advice would be don’t believe a word of it. The fact is those words were never spoken by a man and right now, you ARE dealing with your emotions, the one’s that are unique to your gender. Whatever physical exercise you did before you might be doing to extreme. This is a major positive. Thankfully with no guns readily available in my house, garage or country, I run, swim and bike the distance I need from any thoughts of self harm or harm to others. I also look at my child when she is sleeping and take care of her needs in the very best ways I feel I can always determined that our lives should continue on as a family of two. So the trip to Harry Potter World in Florida was made, shortly after, swimming together in the Red Sea amongst coral, sea creatures, and hot sun. A winter wonderland adventure, New York in the Autumn and China, to stand together on the Great Wall. During these times the night sweats had stopped, sleep had returned, but the pain was still there only deeper. Time is your friend, and you will learn to be kinder to yourself knowing every day what it means to live the phrase “give yourself a break”.