What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger

It’s only when you look back, with the benefit of time and distance, that you realise that day you thought was the worst day of your life, was actually the best. That out of the storm, something better has come.

Yesterday was two years to the day since my marriage collapsed. The day that my world fell apart, the day it felt like my heart broke into a million pieces. I had spent years and years trying so hard to make things work, putting my needs and wants aside to do what I thought was the right thing to do. Years of believing that everything that went wrong was my fault, that I was crazy and never enough.

So it was without a doubt, that when I found out what had happened, I blamed myself. I questioned every little part of myself. I spent six weeks living with him, begging him not to leave because I’d been taught that I wasn’t strong enough to do life by myself. Six weeks of listening to reason after reason why it was my fault.

Six weeks of drowning, of sinking so fast that it scared even me.

Then one day, somehow, from somewhere I found the courage to stand up for myself. I could see how ill it was making me, I knew that if we carried on like that, I wouldn’t survive. I found the tiniest glimmer of strength and threw him out. It was without a doubt, the scariest moment of my life.

I’d spent the past fourteen years desperately unhappy, yet feeling trapped, feeling like I couldn’t walk away from this marriage. So making the decision that this was over was terrifying.

I thought that day would be the beginning of a new chapter. But by then my mental health was in tatters. I was a broken shell, lost and unsure. Riddled with doubt and insecurities, depressed and anxious, not eating, not sleeping, only barely existing. It turned out to be the beginning of the toughest year of my life, while I battled with my mental health, battled to survive, to heal, to learn to be me.

Months and months of questioning everything that I had come to believe.  A couple of months after our marriage ended, talking to a friend, suddenly everything made sense. Years of believing that I was ‘too sensitive’, that I was ‘crazy’, that everything I did was wrong.

It was hard to get my head around it NOT being becuase of me, yet it gave me the freedom to realise that it wasn’t my fault our marriage broke down. I’m not saying I was the perfect wife, I’m sure I did things wrong too, but ultimately I tried my hardest to make things work, to be the person he wanted me to be, to do everything I could to support what he wanted, even at the expense of myself.

Two years on and I look back on that September day and what I see is freedom. If I hadn’t found out, I would never have had the courage to leave. I would have spent the rest of my life trapped in an unhappy marriage, losing more of myself every single day.

It is true what they say, ‘What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger‘. Looking at how far I have come, and how different my life is today, I almost can’t imagine that I was the same person who begged the man who cheated, lied and belittled me to stay.

It has been one hell of a journey to get here, there were times when I doubted myself, thought that maybe I should have just settled for what I had, as maybe that was better than being alone. But slowly, I’ve found the strength to rebuild myself. To create a life that I love, to nurture my family, to heal my wounds and to be happy.

For the longest time, I couldn’t imagine ever trusting anyone else again. Couldn’t imagine letting anyone in. I went on a few dates last year, but nothing felt right. I was still trying to keep up a front, to be ‘normal’ and not this wounded being.

Then one day, a chance encounter and the biggest amount of courage I have ever found within me, I met someone. A comment from him to a mutual friend, who passed that comment on {telling me he thought I was beautiful, in front of my amused kiddos}, on a day when I was feeling incredibly shit, somehow my heart took over and I went and said hello, and the rest, as they say, is history.

I found someone who I can be myself with. Who I don’t have to hide the broken parts from. Who I can talk too without fear of being judged. Who understands when I have hard days, when my anxiety kicks in, or when I’m paranoid for no good reason. Who loves me regardless.

I don’t believe in regrets, I don’t see the point in sitting and thinking ‘what if’. Life teaches us lessons, over and over until we learn them. I got given a second chance, a chance to be me AND be loved. And I am grabbing it with both hands and not letting go.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash


  1. Jo Middleton

    September 12, 2018 at 12:51

    Oh Polly, this is so wonderful to read. Everything you’ve been through – (two years ago!) – I’m so glad you have finally found a happier place.

  2. wildandgrizzlylori

    September 14, 2018 at 12:26

    i read this other night but wanted to stop by and actually say i’m so happy for you that you’re in a much stronger better place now and happy after dumping the garbage out xx

  3. Alice

    September 17, 2018 at 08:05

    Polly, after knowing what you’ve been through these last two years it is amazing to read this. I’m SO happy for you, you really deserve all this xx

  4. Emma

    September 17, 2018 at 09:10

    So happy for you Polly x

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.