Out of the Clouds
Ruby Frost shares her story of heartbreak, loneliness and what she did to get through.
Life is great at throwing curve balls. I've had my share of heartbreak and disaster, and while I haven't quite mastered the art of dealing with all my problems gracefully, at least I have plenty of stories to share...
One in particular sticks in my mind, partly because of how absurd it all was. Picture this: Being all dolled up (with bright pink hair, lipstick and curls) standing behind the giant X Factor doors, ready to go on stage. I can hear Dominic Bowden's booming introductions, the doors open and – I've just been dumped by my longterm boyfriend and have to walk out onto live, nationwide TV. It felt like one of those dreams where you're standing naked in front a school assembly, thinking, “How did I get here?”
I remember walking out in my wobbly high-heels, leaning on Daniel Bedingfield's tartan arm, completely disoriented. I plastered on a giant fake smile for the duration of the show.
Everything felt like it was floating around me. We'd been working pretty much nonstop around the clock for months on the show, and there was no time to stop and think about what had happened.
When filming finally wrapped and the season was over, I was exhausted. I burst into floods of tears at the after party when I was talking to the Executive Producer (pretty embarrassing). Suddenly I had time off, and all I wanted to do was lie in bed all day and drink cups of tea.
It was a delayed sort of depression, after the hype and stress of working constantly and losing a relationship.
I had taken too many selfies and smiled too much. I hadn't seen my friends and family in a long time. I felt heartbroken and alone, and didn't really want to do anything, anymore.
It took a while to feel normal again, and I ended up moving to the other side of the world to get a fresh start (which is another story).
But there were a few things that helped get me out of my slump:
- Learning how to run. I downloaded the 5K Runner app, and gradually started jogging. Exercise chemically changes your brain, and running had the power to turn my days around.
- Writing things down (like songs, letters, and bad poems). Journalling thoughts and scribbling down ideas helped me find some clarity.
- Blogilates. Cassey Ho is the best.
- Being silent. Sitting still with your eyes closed, for half an hour at a time, is incredibly calming, whether you're into spiritual things or not.
- Talking to people. It's hard letting people in sometimes, but there's something magical about airing your thoughts out and feeling like you've been heard by someone.
- Avoiding social media. It's really easy to develop toxic online habits and start comparing ourselves to others. It's better to just stay away from social media if it's going to make you feel bad.
- Finding little acts of kindness to do, like helping a friend or writing someone an encouraging letter. Buying yourself a donut also counts - anything that adds some positivity to your day.
- Doing stuff alone. It was cool getting to travel by myself; I learnt to be okay hanging out alone. It's good to learn who you really are, away from all the busyness of normal life.
It's amazing that little things can make you feel a whole lot brighter when you're going through a hard time. Sometimes it feels like you're the only one dealing with change, or rejection, or disappointment - but we all go through it and it can take a while to walk through these things.
Eventually, you walk out of the clouds and find yourself smiling again.