Why I’ve been Absent from BBC

I’ve been wondering about whether or not to write this post, and have finally decided that I should write it because it’s always been important to me that my readers know I’m a real person.

I’ll tell you why I’ve been noticably absent from the site and not sending newsletters for the last six months, and what’s coming next. Hopefully you’ll stay around for that bit.

Anyhoo – here’s the thing. Some of you know I separated from my husband in May 2011, after 31 years of marriage. It was amicable enough as these things go, we’d talk as needed with no anger or animosity, no rush to get into a property settlement, I was renting in the City and he stayed in the house in the country, where his office was based since he’d worked for himself for 20 years.

In January he was involved in a fatal traffic accident on the highway, he was killed instantly.

Needless to say it was a shock, and it’s been hugely complicated: it fell to me (with support from our wonderful daughters) to shut down his company, deal with his clients, 20 years of business records, taxes, legal affairs, insurances and so on. And deal with my grief – turns out there was a part of me holding out hope that he’d finally find the courage to deal with the fractured-family-crappy-childhood stuffΒ  that gave him reason to drink himself senseless every night and be verbally and emotionally abusive, so that our life together would finally work out (though I also knew it never would, and that’s why I finally left after years of threatening to do it) – and also work through the grief of our daughters and family.

I’ve looked after myself quite well I think, having regular acupuncture to deal with the effects of grief and stress on my body, taking the custom-blended mixture that my acupuncturist calls my ‘no cry’ herbs three times a day, and having regular counselling. Some days I’d only eat if it was takeaway. And after about six weeks I decided to get a job, because it was clear to me that I’d not be going back to counselling in the foreseeable future; I didn’t have the wherewithal to support myself emotionally, let alone anyone else and you know, mortgage, rent, food, bills….

So I found a contract in the government, doing my old job of working online, this time reviewing and reworking a vast intranet site. That contract ends at the end of June, and I’m really grateful to have had it. It’s not been difficult but it has been complex and required my full attention, and it’s given me a reason to get out of bed every day instead of lying staring at the wall. And I’ve known exactly what I’ve doing every day, no energy required for decisions about how to grow my business next.

But, I’ve worked for myself for so many years that it’s been a challenge to work within a highly structured environment, wait for mulitple levels of approvals to do simple things, and have to wear a ‘no’ when I’m used to the test-and-measure approach.

That said, I’ve really enjoyed the job and the wonderful people I’ve worked with.

What’s next? Right now, I’m thinking I’ll take a couple of months to focus back here, maybe run another Body Image Revolution series (maybe I have enough energy, time will tell), and see if I can get back to the point where this work pays the mortgage and the bills; it’s my passion and my preference.

Time will tell.

And I’m also aware that it’s only been six months; grief does strange things like throw you back to the beginning of the cycle one day after feeling just fine. Mostly I’m intending to be patient with myself, live simply, treat myself kindly, and see what comes next. And hopefully do a bit of blogging and get to know you all again.

Hi, how are you doing? πŸ™‚

50 Comments

  1. Lisa Lee on June 9, 2012 at 3:44 am

    Sending much strength and hugs to you Sandy. I’m so very sorry for your loss, and hope everything starts to get back to normal for you in the near future xx

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Thank you Lisa, for your kindness and presence here.

  2. AEG on June 9, 2012 at 2:11 am

    I don’t know how to answer the survey question, but I wanted to extend my sympathy and regret for the difficult changes you’ve been moving through. I hope that you do indeed find the right direction in moving forward to restore your sense of balance and fulfillment.

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 3:02 am

      Thanks Anastacia, much appreciated – time is an amazing healer though isn’t it? I read something a few months back which said that ultimately we all end up alone – and so we should really get to like ourselves. I thought it was a bit stark but it makes ya think….

  3. alana on June 9, 2012 at 2:12 am

    really sorry to hear of your loss, and the grief and difficulties around your family. so shocked to hear of your exhusband’s accident and death. thanks for sharing your journey – full of good people – and adventures in departmental work, sounds like a mixed bag. no more words x x

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Hey Alana, thank you. I hope you’re well and still doing amazing designs!

  4. Kim on June 9, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Sandy, my heart goes out to you. I divorced after 24 years and was left broke, alone and lost and yes it was difficult, but for you having to deal with the grief and emotions that have arisen after your ex husbands tragic death, it is unfathomable. Sometimes we will never know the reasons why … but darling lady I believe those of us who are given big lessons have a BIG mission. Sending you love and hugs and I am looking forward to your next blog post. Love Kim xxxx

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 3:00 am

      Kim, it’s strange I suppose, I’ve never gone into ‘why’ – I know a lot of people do. I believe that when it’s your time it’s your time, and the circumstances would arise for that to happen… but yes the confusion and not knowing what the day would bring in terms of emotions etc – a great life lesson. As in ‘huge’, not ‘fun’, heh. Thanks for your support πŸ™‚

  5. Krishna Everson on June 9, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Oh Sandra, I had noticed you where quiet, and wondered if you were just now showing in my friends feed. Very sorry to hear what you have been going through. Thank goodness you have some good support. Please know that I will be very happy to help promote your relaunch. I really value the work that you do.
    To new beginnings…
    Krishna xx

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 2:57 am

      Thanks Krishna, the time has flown, and I’m really grateful to have swonderful people around me, very blessed! Not sure what shape this is all going to take but I’m aiming for patience πŸ˜‰

  6. Veronica (Roni) on June 9, 2012 at 2:49 am

    So real, tender & fragile yet strong & patient….precious & kind. To yourself. Thankyou for sharing…I want to give you a big hug :))

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 2:58 am

      Thank you Roni, all hugs appreciated πŸ™‚

  7. Kathryn Hodges on June 9, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Sandra,
    You are courageous to share this difficult time with the world. Not because you shouldn’t, but because so many don’t. Thank you for leading the way, with a wholehearted piece.

    I am in awe of your capacity to keep going, in a new and completely unexpected version of ‘going’.

    I hope that this heartfelt, quiet and respectful standing ovation does some small thing.

    Love,
    K xxx

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 9:16 am

      Hi Kathryn, thankyou – I’m embarrassed really by your comments, because it’s just been one day a time, and choosing to get out of bed, and some days holding up my girls, and more days them holding me up. And now time to stand up and finally, seeing more than one day at a time. I’m not sure if that will last or if I’ll wake up tomorrow only being able to deal with ‘today’. Patience is the big lesson here I think. And reconnecting with work that matters to me, and people I really like, and so on… It’s funny though, I thought turning 50 would be my big challenge this year. Life’s a funny old thing isn’t it?

  8. Lenore on June 9, 2012 at 6:54 am

    Sandy you are an amazing woman. You conduct yourself with such honesty and grace, I have no doubt your community will embrace your return.
    Much love and strength to you
    Lenore

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Lenore, you’re such a blessing in my life dear friend πŸ™‚

  9. Cecile on June 9, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Oh Sandy, my heart breaks by reading this. I don’t find words to express how sorry I feel. I admire that you are so courageously dealing with it. Hold on! Take care

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Cecile, but you know, what’s the alternative? :/ I choose to keep living and growing, I’m planning on being here for a long time still and I need to commit to making those years happy ones… thanks for being here too πŸ™‚

  10. sylvi on June 9, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Oh Sandy,
    I am so very, very sorry. Thanks for sharing. Everybody tends to think they walk that lonely path alone but you do not. I think of the 23rd Psalm which is not one of my favorites but the line, ‘yea though I walk through the shadow of death, Thou art with me’. Yes, DAvid is talking of God, but the ‘other Thous’ are your friends (internet and otherwise), family and support groups. Reach out, share your feelings and let others carry some of the burden for you when it gets too heavy.
    When you have made it to the other side of this grief, you can do the same for others.
    Blessings to you and yours.
    Sylvia

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Sylvi, my daughters and parents and friends have been amazing, I’m a very blessed and lucky woman. Thank you for your kind wishes. I didn’t expect these wishes, I guess I just wanted you all to know that I’d not just drifted off, as it seems quite easy for people to do in this space…

  11. Kama on June 9, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Sandy you have been missed. Sometimes people are an inspiration to us and they don’t even know it. You are one of those people. I can’t even imagine what you have been through, I only know that you will use your experiences to be even more of an inspiration. Stay strong and know that you are not alone. Kama x

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      Hi Kama, it’s good to know the world continues πŸ™‚ Kind of feels a bit more solid somehow. How’s the grey naturally going? I bet you’ve done updates, please add one here?

  12. Sandra on June 9, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Sandy, I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through! I’m sending up prayers for you and your family. I’ll be glad to see you back, bringing to us what you feel led to.

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Hey Sandra, good to see you’re still here πŸ™‚ Thank you.

  13. Fran on June 9, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Just read your blog from the qld bloggers Facebook page. Seems you have a lot of support online and I hope life improves each day for you.

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Fran, it’s good to connect with you on the Qld Bloggers; a really good group and lovely to see how it’s grown since I was last there. Thanks for stopping in πŸ™‚

  14. Jackie on June 9, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Hi, I’m new here. Thank you so much for opening the door to your life, I always find it amazing that when people share…others are encouraged, supported, and inspired. I’ve had a rough couple years too, but no need to get into that. Reading your blog this morning was just what I needed today….to see that a woman can heal, move forward, and do great things. Don’t worry about us…you first πŸ™‚

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Thank you Jackie – as soon as I finish this contract I’m off to a healing retreat for a week – massage, meditation, yoga, journey work, facials – and someone to prepare three meals a day for a whole week! I can’t wait! Just what I need, I’m counting down the days πŸ™‚ And, reconnecting here has just been amazing for me, thank you for being here.

  15. Maria on June 9, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Good to have you back, Sandy! πŸ™‚ I’m trusting you to make the right decisions, and KUDOS to you for finding your way “back”… or “forth”… or anyway you need to go now!

    LOVE from France,

    : ) Mimi

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

      Mimi!! :):) So good to see you. Here I am and plan to stay.

  16. Brooke on June 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.

    Divorce is one thing – there is always a remote possibility that the relationship can be fixed – but a total loss like you’ve suffered simply won’t be fixed.

    My hope is that you are able to find your way through the experience and come out the other side a stronger person – and it sounds like you will.

    Be gentle with yourself and know that there are many of us out here who are mentally supporting you through this difficult time.

    brookela

    • Sandy on June 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Hey Brooke – really good to see you, thank you for dropping in πŸ™‚ And yes…. a real head spinner and heart opener, gee it’s been tough to ask for help but I’ve been astonished at how willingly people offer it.

  17. patty sherry on June 10, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Hi Sandy,

    So sorry for the challenges you have been going through…and me calling it a challenge is putting it mildly…I can’t imagine what you have gone through but glad to read you are taking care of you one day at a time, and that you are being gentle with your body

    I can also resonate with what you wrote about going back to work for someone else and yet wanting to come back and be working for yourself, I am in that exact same position..

    It’s hard to say just one thing I would want to know more about, but I am a big advocate of ‘loving your body” so I am always interested in learning about new ways to show your body love, whether that be through nurturing recipes to eat, or ways to de-stress..

    I’m interested in what you have to say, and of course would be more than willing to help share/spread the word

    • Sandy on June 11, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      Hello Patty, thank you for your kindness. I am giving myself some time off after this contract ends to figure things out, so may well be in touch πŸ™‚

  18. Barb on June 10, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank-you for sharing your deep humanity. I’m sorry that it is so hard earned, but it often is….Your honesty, sincerity, and authenticity (which totally runs through the whole gamut of your expressions: from feeling like you’re “barely making it”, to standing strong and trustful) is very healing to partake. Thank you for sharing yourself.
    Great Big Hug—
    Barb

    • Sandy on June 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Barb, thank you. I keep hoping the ‘barely making it’ days are passed then something comes along that boots me back (feels like back anyway!) but I am so fortunate to have wonderful support around me, keeps me going, helps me see that I can still do one day at a time. And then tomorrow, it’s better….

  19. Aunty Carrot on June 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Oh Darling Gal,
    Sooo sorry to read of all your deep pain & sorrow.. Big hug X
    but so lovely to be in contact with you again…thank-you for sharing so openly ..
    all the best for your continuing life journey..
    dear gal do be patient & allow yourself time to grieve fully.. there’s so much loss..precious past memories, present life with your girls too & future family dreams too.. Lots of empathy, compassion, love & prayers for you all dear Sandy.
    ” when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than me…” Ps 61
    Aunty Carrot ! XX

    • Sandy on June 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      AC, thankyou πŸ™‚

  20. Jane Changuion on June 11, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Hi Sandy,

    Dealing with divorce is hard enough but then dealing with the loss of a person who you still had to clear the air with is incredibly hard. You gave clients a lot of your wisdom in their time of difficulty and that same wisdom will get you through those awful dark and just yucky days. Love is sent with great healing for your journey foward.

    • Sandy on June 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      HI Jane, I hope you’re doing well yourself, nice to see you here thank you.

  21. Daisy on June 12, 2012 at 4:43 am

    Hi Sandy, I left a comment on your survey, but wanted to leave one here as well. I first want to say how incredibly sorry I am for your loss. It seems a lot of people on here know you personally. Even though that’s not the case for me, you and your family are in my thoughts. I am sure it’s been a difficult journey. Also, I want to say that your work is important to me. I can’t tell you how validating it feels to read a blog that says the exact opposite of every magazine, billboard, etc that seems to scream to me that I must lose weight, that I am not good enough. Thank you for spreading the message that we are all okay.

    • Sandy on June 12, 2012 at 5:05 am

      Hello Daisy, thank you for your kind wishes. I really wasn’t expecting so many messages to be honest, I just wanted people to know that I had a good reason for being away so long. I really get how the messages we see all the time need to tear us down so we’ll buy their stuff, and it’s important to me to one of the small but persistent voices adding some balance. So thank you, I greatly appreciate you taking time to share here.

  22. Andrea Bee on June 14, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Hi Sandy
    Thank you for sharing your story. I am really sorry for what happenden. I’ve been following you on fb and I wish you all the best in every part of your life!
    Just let me tell you, that reading your blog and listening to Body Image Rev 1+2 was a big turning point in my life.
    Two an a half years later, I am a coach, writing and self publishing my own book on body image. I’d love to connect with you over skype when I’m back from my time out in Italy in August. Deal?
    Big hug from Switzerland
    Andrea

    • Sandy on June 14, 2012 at 8:21 pm

      Hey Andrea, good to see you again πŸ™‚ I’d love to skype when you’re back from your holiday, you can share happy snaps as well as your amazing journey, really looking forward to hearing more πŸ™‚

  23. Paige on June 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Sandy you are amazing. I remember reading this a while back and apparently I forgot to comment, or was just too stunned. Your bravery, resilience, and transparency are inspiring. You have done the best you can, and that’s all you are required to do. Continue forward in whichever direction you choose, and may the universe propel you to your next level.

    • Sandy on June 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Hi Paige – thank you, I’m just doing one day at a time most days, what else can we do really? I was listening in to a webinar the other night and the presenter was talking about how we don’t own ourselves, the Universe owns us – made me go hmmmmm. Interesting idea for us westerners who think we’re so independent etc….

  24. Karen on June 16, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Hi Sandy,
    How could we not comment?! Firstly, thank you for sharing. It is a measure of your trust in us (your community), and that, even amid your own sadness and grief, your care for us is there.

    I hadn’t noticed you were absent that much because I was dealing with personal issues myself for the last months (including the death of three close relatives), but your teachings (through BBC and the BIR series 1 and 2) are firmly ingrained in my heart and mind by now, and their effects on my life are everlasting.

    ‘One day at a time’ is really all we have and understanding that concept and putting it into action is one of the greatest challenges in life.

    As to your ‘spam warning’ issue, I made a point of telling GMail exactly the opposite: I set up a filter with the ‘never send it to spam’ rule and, in your honor, I created a new label: FeelGood, because that is what you make us feel every time you write.

    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{Sandy}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    • Sandy on June 17, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Hey Karen – thankyou πŸ™‚ It’s delightful to have such wise women in this community πŸ™‚ And I love your instruction to gmail πŸ˜€ I”m mulling over a new category of posts, they’ll start cropping up this week, hopefully you’ll all like them πŸ™‚

  25. Cheryl on August 5, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Hi Sandy,
    thinking of you my dear. Making the choice to leave your husband is a huge decision. You wonder have I done the right thing. I loved my husband when I made the decision to divorce him. I couldn’t handle his affairs any more. I tried three times to make the marriage work but after the third time I realised he wasn’t going to change. It was affecting my children as well.
    It has taken me two years to get over the divorce.
    It will take you time to come to terms with what happened. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I did. Remember he also had the choice the change his drinking habits and to think of his family. He made his choice.
    Guilt and grief does terrible things to our emotional state. When you cannot face getting out of bed think of your children. Remember you are a powerful and very strong woman. Don’t feel guilty about the decision that you had made to save yourself and your children.
    Time heals all wounds. You will heal too and be much stronger because of what you have gone through.
    All my love and blessings.
    Cheryl Evans

    • Sandy on August 5, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Hey Cheryl – yes I get that completely. I *know* I did all I could, and probably too much more. I did have some moments of guilt, but quite quickly worked through it because I knew there was no more I could have done. Mostly it was the grief that undid me, and that was around finally surrendering the vision of how life would be, and coming to terms with what my life so far did, and didn’t, mean. That was tough. What’s undoing me now is cleaning up his business, every time I think it’s done something else comes along – surely it will be done soon? But yes I am stronger every day, and it’s funny how other women’s stories really help to shore us up, I find πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

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