Getting Through the Hardship
For me, Ptit Bunny is all about gentleness, authenticity, and love. It is happy and light.
But my path has not always been that way. And it wouldn't be fair not to talk about the hard times.
My wish through Ptit Bunny is to put forward love, sharing, and beautiful values. I also would like to be there for those who are going through the difficult moments of separation by sharing my experience. Of course, my experience belongs to me. Each story is different. The suffering is different too, and everyone's feelings are very personal. So the last thing I want is to give advice or to weep about what happened to me. Yet I sincerely want to be able, through my words, to sow some seeds of hope for those who are going through a difficult separation.
When going through hardship, it's good to hear ‘it’s going to be okay’, ‘I understand’, followed by reassuring, soothing, and encouraging words.
I understand, I mean that I really understand the feelings of deep sadness and disbelief, of the questioning about it all, and of ‘how am I going to get through this?’.
When I went through what I call the "earthquake," I was in a shock that lasted for months. I couldn't believe what was happening. I was lost, devastated, desperate. I had been living abroad for years. I had to come back here hastily with my children (the first one very young, the second one in my belly). At the time I wrote:
“I don't want to run into anyone, I don't want to make any eye contact, I don't want to see anyone, and above all, I don't want anyone to see me.
I would like to become transparent, for others and for myself.
Sadness, sorrow and pain stir each of my gestures, each of my thoughts.
The air hurts. Everything hurts. And thinking hopelessly brings me back to the "earthquake". Whatever road I choose.
Memories tear me apart, the present is terribly heavy, and the future in this new order is intolerable.
Everything reminds me of what we had built and what we no longer will be.
And yet I move forward. I put one foot in front of the other and I move forward. I get up in the morning and face the day. I get dressed, I put makeup on. And I get going. The day will be hard to bear, but I will bear it and keep going.
I am often asked how I do it to get through this. I feel like answering quite simply: I have no choice. I don't have time to get depressed. My children need me! They're already paying a high price, so I have to take care of us, to move us forward, to open doors for us; doors through which we can rediscover the sunshine, laughter, lightness, happy moods, and happiness.
I was watching an interview of a female sailor who wrecked at sea during a regatta, and I was listening to her explain how, when you lose everything, you start functioning differently, you don't ask yourself big questions. She was meticulously emptying the water that was entering her boat, making room on the deck so that the helicopter rescuers could come and get her, trying to make something to plug the holes through which the water was getting through the hull.
And I really understood those words.
It's hard to explain. It's a 'place' that you only discover if you are forced to.
When the "earthquake" happened, there was clearly no room for discussion, no middle ground, no hope that he would change his mind. I had to leave.
So I actually packed my bag, put my toothbrush and my toothpaste in my toiletry bag, took two jeans, four T-shirts, a pair of pajamas, prepared my son'seffects , a few books, a few toys, and put our 'suitcases' in the car.
I took my little boy by the hand. and we left.
I started driving, and I wanted to drive without having to stop. I wished my country would be further away, always further away, so that we would never reach it. As long as I was driving, I was moving, I was escaping, I was running away from reality. But the minute I would stop, it would catch up with me. Horrible feelings of emptiness and despair. Despair. I was desperate.
When I arrived at my destination, I took our things out of the car, and from that moment on, I continued to function by clinging to the essential gestures of daily life, which pushed me forward every day.
I functioned in the here and now. Obviously I couldn't stop the movie that kept playing over and over in my head. But I never gave up, I continued to take care of my ship and my little sailors.”
In such times of hardship, you have to face many things on different fronts, in the short and medium term. But you also have to manage each day and move forward, keeping in mind the belief that it will be okay. Even if it feels a bit artificial, even if it's complicated. You have to believe it. Because it's true!
One day at a time, you have to try to find the strength to do what needs to be done. And little by little –it may be hardly noticeable at first- the storm begins to calm down, the sun starts shining again, the energies align, and things will slowly find their new normal .
For some, the process is fast, for others it takes time, and a lot of time sometimes. I am one of those. ;)
So you have to hold on. Being discouraged is normal. Being desperate on occasions is normal too. But don't forget that things evolve, and that tomorrow the sun will rise again.
During those difficult times when you feel lost, when everything hurts, what could be soothing?
We all are different. What works for some doesn't necessarily work for others. But there are some essentials that, I think, can help us all.
People you trust: they can be family or friends. Someone who can be there for you without judging. Someone who can listen if you feel like talking, be there quietly if you just need a presence. Someone who will be by your side.
A book in which to escape, to focus your mind on another story in order to forget what you are going through.
A movie, if you don't like to read.
Music for some.
Sports, whichever. It's good for the body and the mind. Endorphins are a natural boost.
Meditation, if you can do it. It was too difficult for me at first. But if you can meditate, it allows you to refocus and live the moment, and to stop dwelling on the difficulties.
Therapeutic care: kinesiologist, osteopath, therapist, any person whose skills, attentive listening and kindness can appease you.
An activity that you are passionate about, or a new challenge. You could try something you have always dreamed of but never dared to do: I took acting classes in English and did the Cours Florent Introductory class (French Drama School). These parentheses in another universe where I discovered myself differently were like oxygen bubbles.
Blogs or websites where you can read meaningful testimonials and discover that others are living similar stories, read words that help you feel better. I followed "Lessons From the End of a Marriage" by Lisa Arends and I am still following "Must Be This Tall to Ride" by Matt Fray.
Motivating and inspiring quotes to stick in places where you will see them every day: little reminders of your value, your strength, the power of resilience.
Nature: walking barefoot in the grass, breathing fresh air, watching birds, and connecting to that dimension bigger than us, so pure and so strong.
Flowers in the house, or things that comfort you: candles, light, etc.And all those little things that are not on my list but that might work for you: words you've heard, a warm bath, chocolate,...
One day, at the very beginning of my difficult journey, a friend sent me a video whose message was essentially this: luck is not something that falls (or not) on us; luck is something that you have to work on, that you create. We all live through hard times. The key is to recycle them into something positive.
This message has stayed anchored in me ever since.
I knew that one day I would transform the "earthquake".
Welcome to Ptitbunnyplanet!