Christmas is traditionally a time for families to be together. This can heighten emotions, especially loneliness if you are single as the focus is on happy families at this time of year. It can really highlight the fact that you don't have that special someone to share it with and that can be hard to deal with.
A few weeks ago I had a breakdown. It was pretty spectacular. A masterclass firework display engineered by a consummate pyrotechnic expert. No expense was spared as multicolours rained down from the sky in all shapes and forms. This episode was like something I never experienced before. I lost myself. Albeit just for a moment...
I learnt pretty quickly that life doesn't stop for you and that you just have to keep on moving. I refocused. Set my goals around all of the things I wanted to do just for me. I had nobody else to think about but myself for the first time in a while, and I was learning pretty quickly that being dumped was just too common for me to feel unique.
Victims will often protect their abusers in public for fear of any repercussions at home. They will act the loving couple so that nobody suspects and even to convince themselves that things are not as bad as they are. It is often only when the abuse has gone too far and there is no way back that the victim will confide in a close friend or family member.
Recently, after a particularly venomous comment about the standard of men on Tinder I was tweeted by a disgruntled man suggesting to me that - 'all women were mad!' I always welcome constructive criticism and was glad that my writing had stirred up passion in his loins, albeit of the confrontational sort.
There are a number of easy ways to recognise a bad relationship and without torturing her further by reeling off the job she'd already done for me - guys who want space, want space from you. Guys who won't commit after two and a half years won't commit to you and guys who don't like being called on unannounced don't like being called on unannounced by you.
I'm glad my heartbreak happened when it did, early on enough for me to realise it wasn't just my feelings that mattered. If you've been heartbroken, you'll know what I mean and if you haven't? Well, just pray that when your time comes it's swift and fixable - and that it comes before you break too many hearts yourself.
In the car the phone is hooked up to loud speaker and a call comes through as we whizz through an underpass. It's a woman's voice, high pitched and breathy, speaking in an unknown Eastern European language. They have a short conversation and after she hangs up I start giggling and ask who the hell it was... "It was my wife" he said flatly.