I remember it as if it was yesterday. And yet it’s now almost 6 years ago.
We were on holiday, exploring Spain and flying from one city to the next. We had arrived at our final city, Barcelona. Sun shining, beautiful city waiting to welcome us.
And there I was. Early morning. Sitting in the living area of our AirBnB. In floods of tears. Desperately trying to sob quietly so I wouldn’t waken my husband.
Getting away on holiday is supposed to be about getting away from the norm, having a break from the everyday stresses and strains of life, feeling free, feeling light. And, yet, there I was… my world crumbling around me.
There I was struggling to keep it together.
When I looked into my world all I could see was doom and gloom. All I could feel was darkness. There was no light shining to guide me, no light shining to show me things would get better. I didn’t know what to do.
I hadn’t been feeling this way for months, I’d been feeling this way for years. But I didn’t know how to change things, how things could possibly turnaround.
In a desperate attempt I reached out to someone who had recently entered my life and who had promised they’d be there. But they let me down. They never called me when they promised they would. They didn’t step forward to help or save me.
So, I continued to feel alone. I continued to feel a failure. I continued to just wish that life would, somehow, change.
On the outside, to anyone looking in, my life was fun, exciting, full of adventure. No-one knew, not even my husband, how desperately alone I felt, how desperately low I felt. I kept those things to myself because that’s what you do, right?
You need to smile for the camera. You need to show a happy, fulfilling life to all your friends and connections on social media. Right? No matter what you feel inside, no matter how your life may be crumbling around you, you show up with a smile.
It took me a couple of months, after this most recent episode of tears, to make a choice, a decision to change.
It took the person who promised to be there for me to let me down, for me to realise that no-one other than me, could save me.
Sure, others could support and guide me along the way, but only I could save myself.
And that’s what I chose.
It hasn’t been the easiest road.
Just because I decided to change me, who I was on the inside, how I saw the world around me, didn’t mean that everything around me changed too. It didn’t. However, day by day, month by month, as I fulfilled my promise to myself to become happier, to change my outlook on myself, on the world, on my life… things began to shift.
Looking back, I barely recognise the woman who sat, sobbing, in the living area in Barcelona. And, yet, I know that without her I wouldn’t be who I am today.
One of the changes I made in my life was small and simple. Yet, over time it grew to become a powerful catalyst in my life.
And that was the simple practice of gratitude.
Every day, no matter how tough or how dark that day was, I would make myself find a handful of things to be grateful for. And gradually, day by day, my mindset changed, my outlook changed, I changed.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t have dark days, tough days, days I wish I’d stayed in bed. What it does mean is that those days don’t side-swipe me the way they used to. They don’t pull me under for days at a time. My recovery rate is so much faster.
Gratitude - the simple technique you can apply to bring a more positive outlook into your life. The simple tool designed for everyone who wishes to love life that little bit more, to love themselves that little bit more. It's so easy, it's so simple that, all too often, it's forgotten and ignored. And yet when you make a habit of gratitude, when you assume an attitude to gratotude, when you practice it every single day, your life will change. I'm proof of that.
There’s more to life than sitting, sobbing alone. Believe me.