Last Updated on April 3, 2024 by Angela Vaz

I know what it feels like – to lose.


It’s not happened to me once or twice – it’s happened a few times.

This post will be raw and emotionally heavy – but it’s essential for me to be honest because that’s how you’ll see that we may have a lot in common.

  • In 2011, I lost all my friends (whom I was living with in a dorm) over a minor misunderstanding. I wanted to leave my university and move back home. But I didn’t.
  • I made it up to them slowly – and two of those people are still my close friends.
  • In 2015, I married a man whom I firmly believed loved me. He turned out to be physically abusive and unleashed his wrath on me and my new pup.
  • In 2019, I found out that my husband was cheating on me, and my mom had 4th stage cancer. I was devastated, but I was also relieved because I could now leave this violent man. I found nothing but peace after leaving.
  • In 2020, my mom’s cancer got worse, but there was a nationwide lockdown. Cancer patients who were not children were told to isolate at home, and chemo was administered only to young people. Hospitals couldn’t accommodate everyone. But things were looking up – I found someone kind and loving – I learned to trust and love again.
  • In 2021, the same man broke up with me, citing religious differences – He also confirmed that his parents would never allow him to marry a divorcee. My mom lost her battle with cancer the same week – and I felt like my whole world was collapsing.

I’ve fallen and gotten up multiple times in life.

And every time I’ve fallen again, – it’s been much worse than before.

But 2021 was by far the worst year I’d faced.

I lost my best friend in the world (my mom) and a man whom I considered to be my forever person.

The pandemic and second lockdown in 2021 made everything all the worse. I was stuck in a different city arranging the funeral and burial for my mom – while my dogs were in another town – waiting for me to return home.

My dad and I (who aren’t very close) were trapped in an apartment in a foreign city, waiting for the police to announce that we could travel so I could get home to my pups and my dad could get home too.

All while having to face the fact that I’d lost my mother and my partner – in two very different ways.

My dogs had gotten me through everything – and now, to be apart from them while I was going through this shit storm made me feel like I was sinking.

This is when the magic started to happen.

I got back up.

And in this post, I want to talk about how I did that.

1. Accept shit is happening

I know I’m swearing.

But I do not want to undermine that bad stuff that happens to us.

It’s shit – it’s absolute and total shit and there’s power in admitting it.

Crap happens to absolutely everyone.

And sometimes – it happens all at once.

We can question it for a bit of course, by going down the self-pity route, we can say things like:

  • Why is this happening to me?
  • What did I do to deserve this?
  • How could I have fallen down so badly when I’ve worked so much for this to not happen?
  • How could I have landed here? Why isn’t this happening to anyone else?

But here’s the thing – you can only do this briefly.

Because, believe it or not, things aren’t going to change unless we do.

Shit has already happened – there is no point adding to it.

We just have to accept it has happened.

We have no control over what happens to us – tomorrow, a deadly disease could strike us, or an asteroid could fall on our house.

There is literally nothing we can do to change the past.

But we can do something about the present.

And that is – acceptance.

Accept it has happened.

And accept that right now, it’s okay to cry and hurt or be super mad about it.

2. Ask yourself what you can do right this moment

make a plan

Right now, take a sheet of paper and ask yourself what matters and what you can do to improve the situation.

In my case, I could do nothing except heal.

I took an off from work because I was in no mood to work. I video-called my dogs daily because I needed to let them know I was coming home.

I also took care of my father, who was grieving for my mom.

But I also tried to heal:

  • I read books on extreme loss, pain, and love. I needed to learn from people who had lost it all and gotten back up again.
  • I spoke to friends who comforted me and made me laugh again.
  • I meditated – because I needed to become stronger mentally.

There was quite literally nothing else to do.

So, I did whatever I could to become better.

So, make a list of what you can do and do it.

Let’s say you’re stuck – then in this case, find help.

Talk to an unbiased professional like a therapist or a counsellor and talk. Let it all out. This person is not going to tell you what to do but give you the tools to help you know how to fix the situation.

3. Know that it’s okay to cry every day

know it's okay to cry

Healing is not linear.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat for all eternity.

There will be ups and downs even when you are making changes to your life and healing.

But you have to focus on the bigger picture.

You have to move upwards.


Because it is going to only go up from here.

That’s the benefit of being knocked down – there is no way to go but up!

Losing, failing, or even being knocked to the ground will hurt.

So spend 10-30 minutes crying or feeling bad about it – it’s okay.

It’s okay to reminisce or feel bad – you’re human. But as long as you have an active plan that you’re working towards, things will be okay.

You are going to be okay.

4. Look at your life from an unbiased point of view

look at your life from an unbiased point of view

In the beginning, when you’re just knocked down, you won’t be able to see the light.

It’s too early.

I know.

But with time, you’ll get a better perspective.

I remember always blaming my abusive ex for what he did to me.

But with time, I learned that I needed to share responsibility for that relationship failing.

I should have left when things got bad – but I stayed.

I also ignored many red flags when I married him – so the responsibility for that relationship failure didn’t entirely lie on him.

And this gave me the courage to learn from that relationship and not repeat those mistakes.

But it didn’t deter my faith in love.

I saw love in my father, my friends, and my dogs, and I knew that, eventually, I would be okay.

I was going to be just fine.


I want to end this post by saying that during a time of crisis, it’s hard to see the light.

All you can see is darkness – but you have to believe that things will get better and move forward.

It will get better, but it’s going to take time.

Now, 3 years later, my life is good.

  • I’ve had a lovely relationship with a man for over 2.5 years. He loves and respects me and has three dogs.
  • My father visits on and off. He finds comfort in traveling and meeting his friends and family all over the globe.
  • I’ve made amazing friends with whom I play board games twice weekly. We also get together just to gab.
  • I started this website to help people see the light when they’re consumed in darkness. It has helped me connect with so many beautiful people worldwide.
  • I maintain a journal, writing down all the lovely things I am grateful for once a week because I know I might need to read this if I ever go through darkness again.

In short, I do not regret the dark period of my life – it was necessary for me to grow – it was necessary for me to educate myself and become a better version of myself.

So, no matter who you are or what you are going through – know that things will get better and you will see the light again.

You can always leave a comment and I will reply asap.

Wishing you nothing but strength and peace.

Here are a few more posts that you might find helpful:

Angela is a 30 year old Illustrator and Blogger living with her 2 adorable labradors in Bangalore, India. She has a degree in Psychology and Human Relationships from the University of Toronto. When she's not writing her heart out or drawing, you'll find her sipping chai and reading non-fiction books.

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