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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 134 Sleep Easy > After the darkness comes light

After the darkness comes light

Few of us will avoid emotional hurt at some point in our lives. Here, three people talk about the lessons they have learned, and how they are managing to live well after their heartbreaks

“What counts is how you deal with it”

Bel Mooney, on divorcing her husband Jonathan Dimbleby

As an advice columnist, I read countless letters from women whose husbands have left them. Would I be capable of answering them if the experience hadn’t happened to me? It was 12 years ago, and nowadays I don’t choose to dwell on the details, because (as I so often tell my readers) pain does recede, and you can rebuild your life. But the sudden end of my 35-year marriage was like a car crash, and, for years, the noise and pain of it filled my dreams. Now, even though my new life is so blessed, I still hobble occasionally – like one whose broken bones have not quite healed.

Looking back, I realise it wasn’t the experience that contained vital life lessons, but what I made of it. After all, when you hurt yourself, you yell ‘Ow!’ and reach for the sticking plaster – which may well take the form of a bottle of wine. You’re in no shape to analyse what has happened to you. What counts is how you deal with the hangover – the aftermath.

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Psychologies November 2016 - Sleep Easy
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