In May 2016, I left my husband.
I don’t regret it at all – it was the best thing I could have done for myself, him, our relationship and our children. From that break down I started to step out of the shadow of the person I had become. There was so much unhappiness that I was carrying and the weight of expectations was becoming so much of a burden that I was living in the depths of depression fuelled by anxiety and self hatred.
I always felt alone – like a single mum that was in a marriage.
Removing myself from the primary situation of uncertainty was the hardest decision to make, as it housed the comfort zone, and all that I had come to know.
For weeks there was so many tears, so many questions, grief and fear, then one morning I woke up and felt a sense of relief wash over me.
It was like the parting of storm clouds.
Over the next few months, ine of the things that I learned, was what really set my soul on fire.
I slowly stepped away from blogging, and reduced my social media “airtime”, because I felt like I was drowning in a sea of comparison and self doubt.
I felt uncomfortable in my skin, and lost, as a newfound single woman, so I sold a large chunk of my wardrobe contents and hired a stylist. Rather than having her take me on a shopping spree and buying an abundance of clothing that was on trend and currently in season, I completed her styling course which showed me how to dress based on my skin tone, features, body shape and personality. I invested in myself.
Understanding these small details about how I cover my body and the impact that it was having on my mental state, opened my eyes to life in a different perspective completely. I wasn’t expecting that learning to dress myself would actually turn my world on its head – suddenly it was about simplicity, understanding the psychology of style/colour/texture, and removing that which doesn’t bring you joy.
Clearly my interests were going in a different direction, and the change was one which would rebuild my self confidence, introduce me to a beautiful group of sincere, and supportive souls, who were there alongside me as I fumbled and stumbled my way back to womanhood.
Over the past 12-15 months, so many things have taken a side step, and this path I’m on keeps leading me to new doorways – each with a new challenge, opportunity, and so much growth and learning.
To speak of gratitude is cliche (“I am soooo grateful for this journey” insert eye rolls errrrywhere), but that’s what has got me into this uncomfortable, exciting phase of life.
I recognised that I would not be able to find love, if I didn’t in fact love and care for myself. I am now open to receiving it in a positive and honest way, rather than allowing myself to be mistreated, and being someone’s last resort.
I understood that if there weren’t stronger boundaries put in place with the kids, they would turn out to be everyone’s worst nightmare.
I knew that if I didn’t feed my passion, I’d always feel incomplete, unworthy, and negative.
This Real Mama couldn’t continue – I wasn’t being true to myself. We know we’re not alone in this parenting journey, and the last thing that I wanted was to share my continued struggles, when I wasn’t able to seek help myself.
The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others. – Albert Schweitzer
My blog has changed direction – “Amber Does Life” sums it up perfectly. My health has forced me to take a new approach to living, and then there is my dad, who has been battling melanoma, and now a heart condition amongst other issues. He is my rock, my number 1 man, and my guiding light.
Why do we wait until we’re sick to seek peace, or fulfilment?
For 4 years I have lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, and recently been diagnosed with coeliac disease. I have learned to manage these issues through diet, and lifestyle changes (so far, so good!), after learning about the extra damage that comes with temporary medications.
My passion lies in walking hand in hand with people, finding the small things that make a simple life one filled with wonder, love and contentedness; living mindfully, and being aware of what really makes people blossom.
Amber Does Life has so many avenues – there’s the parenting gig, autoimmune management, self love necessity, and of course, living simply (and yes, I’ll be back on the style wagon again because so often I’m asked about where I go for items, or what I recommend).
Life doesn’t need to be any more complicated. We don’t deserve to be compared. We shouldn’t feel lonely, uncomfortable, unloved, unworthy.
It wasn’t until I got myself an incredible psychologist, and connected with honest and supportive people that I realised when you release that which is weighing you down (physically and mentally), an incredible life awaits.
All of this came from understanding the psychology behind style, which has saved us money, reduced our possessions, and increased time for our kids (less housework👌) and in turn, for ourselves.
This Real Mama has changed and while it’s been a merry-go-round of emotions, it’s also one that has been the shake up I needed.
Be kind to yourself, not because I said to, but because you’re worth the investment. ♥