Rosie Green joins Happiful’s podcast to share her thoughts on heartbreak, healing and finding the positives in an unexpected change in life direction
Award-winning journalist Rosie Green has released a new book, and it’s one that’s been needed for years. How to heal a broken heart: From rock bottom to reinvention (via ugly crying on the bathroom floor) draws upon her own experience after her relationship of 26 years ended, and it’s an honest, supportive, helpful and hopeful read for anyone living through a similar experience.
Rosie first wrote about her marriage ending for Red Magazine, and the response was phenomenal. “I think because I wrote about being left, rejected and abandoned and I didn’t sugar coat it or say it was a ‘conscious uncoupling’, I said it felt absolutely awful and I’m devastated, the reaction was just unbelievable. I’d never experienced anything like it.
“All these women identified with what I was going through. Their break ups may have been different, no one is ever the same, but I think heartache is pretty universal”, she explains. “Suddenly I found myself with this community of women and I wanted to help them. I’m very lucky that through my work I have access to hypnotherapists, therapists, aromatherapists and psychologists. So I wanted to create a book to help people through heartbreak and show there is hope and a path through it.”
Rosie had visited the book shop herself when her relationship ended in the hope that she could find something to help her navigate her way through the trauma of heartbreak. The books she found were mainly academic, didn’t cover the real-life feelings and consequences of a marriage ending and how that will impact your feelings about the past and narratives you have created as a couple. There was an obvious need for a book that explained how you might change as a result and how you might find yourself behaving too.
Rosie researched widely for her book and discovered the physiological symptoms heartbreak can bring about, as well as the psychological impact and grief you’ll experience when your vision of the future is dramatically changed, especially without your consent or participation. Her own experience matched the professional’s explanations.
“I went from being this super confident person to being absolutely desperate,” Rosie reflects. “I likened it to driving and skidding on ice, I was doing everything to try to get my ex husband back in the family zone. It was exhausting and so demeaning sometimes.”
Rosie sought to normalise what happened to her, and what she was sure other people would experience too. “It’s really important to share those experiences, so that other people don’t feel such shame around theirs because they know others have felt and behaved that way too.”
Rosie also shares the joys of moving forward after heartache, and her experiences of dating. “I met my husband at age 18 so I’d never (apart from kissing boys at discos), really been on a proper date! I went on my first one at 45.”
Rosie explains how she navigated dating (with the help of It’s Just a Date gifted to her by a friend), found the joy of snogging again and meeting new people. “I was getting all the dopamine, sending the flirty messages and enjoying it.”
While it’s not always been easy for her, Rosie believes that practising gratitude has been incredibly helpful in her healing. “Feeling grateful and creating certainities is important, because everything has been taken away including your vision of the future and that’s almost as painful as the person you were in a relationship with leaving. You’ve had to let go of what your life was going to look like.
“So to employ those mental strategies and remind myself I’ve got a loving family and a strong friendship group, was really powerful for me.”
Listen to Rosie’s episode of I am. I have
Author picture by Matt Lever
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