The biggest risk I’ve ever taken

I was never so alone

All day I’ve been asking myself whether I’d be able to write on this subject.

You see, I’m not a big risk taker – I’m really more of a risk averse sort of a person. Perhaps that’s because I did take a huge risk many years ago and the toll was huge.

I chose to end my marriage.

I had three young children. It’s one thing to make decision that affects only your own life, quite another when it impacts directly on others. It wasn’t a decision taken lightly … it never is.

I’m not going to go in to the why’s and wherefores here but I will say that prior to the break-up I spent two years agonising over my decision. Two years agonising over breaking up our family – taking my children from the father they loved, wondering how I was going to manage financially, how I was going to manage emotionally, whether my children were going to hate me, whether I could cope on my own, what people would think, and would I ever find happiness with someone else.

When I was able to sleep, I slept fitfully waking many times through the night, unable to stop the voices in my head.

I was running on nervous energy. In the pool, it was nothing to swim 100 laps. I had to make myself stop. There was no escape from anxiety. My weight plummeted. My hands shook and my heart raced whenever I felt threatened or challenged.

It was a terrible time.

None of my friends had been through a marriage break-up. There were no words to explain the immense grief. I felt so so alone – knowing I couldn’t go back, not knowing how to feel better, not knowing how to deal with my children’s hurt, wishing my parents were alive so that I could have strong shoulders to lean on to ease my pain.

I’ve never cried so much. The grief at losing my brother Rick, my father and mother and my marriage just poured out of me. It would only take a word or a thought and the tears would flow uncontrollably. It was good for me – I needed to do that, to get it all out.

This was all a long time ago and the risk I took, the biggest risk I’ve ever taken, was right for me and I made it through.

But in saying that, there are still times, especially at Christmas, when I feel an overwhelming sadness at the loss of our family unit.


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