Get me OFF this Emotional Rollercoaster

Get me OFF this Emotional Rollercoaster

What to expect and how to change how we ride change

I think most of us will agree that this rollercoaster that comes with relocation is unlike many other emotional rides.  Just when we think we get a handle on something, something else comes along to prove we do not have a handle on this relocation at all.

It is like going to a theme part of roller coasters.  Our ticket to ride comes up faster than we expect and each one has a new surprise or intensity to get used and walk through.  

For the longest time, I looked to the Kubler-Ross Grief or Change curve where Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross established the 5 stages of grief which many of us have seen or studies.  This however, only explained part of the rollercoaster we ride during relocation.  

We definitely have the Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance…
but there is more to this ride.

We grieve our old lives and what we left behind but we also have to learn and acclimate.  And this is not done all at once there is a going back and forth that happens.


The back and forth is what surprises me the most.  I figured, especially after the first relocation that I had this down.  I knew what to do and I would make it happen.  However, the grief came in waves.  What I learned could only be brought in a small bit at a time and all the time who I was, was being impacted and so who I thought I was changes in tandem.  Getting a handle on it all was difficult.  

For a long time I couldn’t see much more than what was right in front of me.  Today’s tasks and trying to remember the name of whoever was right in front of me.

When the waves of grief came, I would push it back with thoughts like, “but I like it here, why am I sad” OR “I should be grateful for all that we get to do now.”  

When I got overloaded with information ( like remembering all the new names….), I would beat myself up.  “They were so nice to me why can’t I remember their name.” OR “Which neighborhood was that?  I like the feel of it and I can’t remember.  What is wrong with me?”

Being excited and loving the vibe and then sad that my friends were not here to help me,
it was like being two different people at the same time.

Up and down, back and forth.  It is exhausting, and the judgement is real.


Sometimes from us and sometimes from others, it seems that relocation is filled with a fog of perpetual judgement.  We call back home to vent a frustration to people who are doe-eyed not comprehending why this is a problem.  Or we get our relocation partners staring at us in disbelief or talking down to us for not understanding such a simple concept.

I want to let you know, those things are only simple, to THEM!!

Just because it seems like a lingering thick fog that won’t clear, doesn’t mean WE have to take it on as ours to own.  Much of that judgement is simply quick unthought out opinions.  When cast upon us it does not take into account where we are, what we know, the other 20 things we are responsible or even how much energy we may have in that moment. 

What ironic is that…

Ultimately, their judgement and accusations
will only slow us down.


In Coaching at ReloWomen, we talk a lot about pausing.  What we don’t realize we can do the next 150 foot drop appears.

We rarely see the bright red PAUSE BUTTON 
directly in front of us, waiting to be pushed.

This isn’t about walking away from our responsibilities or a bottle of wine to ease the pain.  This is about remembering who we are and where our power is. 

When we pause the emotional rollercoaster we are able to see everything with more clarity.  With the pause we can tamp down the emotion, or even eliminate it during the time we need to. 

Think about angrily confronting a the bank about a mistake and having a Mom SOS appear on the phone.   What happens?

That confrontation comes to an immediate end and the emergency is addressed.  WHY?  Because the emotional confrontation that was so important, now takes second or fifth place, far after the emergency.  

Immediate change or pause is possible and it does not have to be initiated by an external event.

Most of us think that once this rollercoaster get going we CANNOT GET OFF until the ride comes to a stop all on its own.  However, the bright red PAUSE BUTTON is right in front of us.  

We don’t need an emergency to Press Pause.

What if we pressed it as necessary to gain our footing.  See with more clarity.  Find additional resources.  Regroup and create a new more effective plan.  


So many times, we feel we must have an external reason to press the pause button and jump off.  But in reality, we can press the pause button at any time.  If this ride is not productive or taking us where we DO NOT want to go, we have a responsibility to ourselves, to press the pause button.

Yes we will be confronted by judgement, others and perhaps our own.  But that does not mean our reasons, for pressing pause and jumping off, are not responsible or justified.  That is for each of us to decide.


Pressing the Pause Button can look many different ways depending on the circumstances in front of us.  

  • The pause itself will last as long as we determine necessary.
  • It will be pressed by us
  • It will be pause for our reasons
  • It does not require an explanation (except possibly to other core family members)

Pausing can last a few minutes, days or longer. It can be pausing a project , it can be re-evaluating the value of a relationship or contract, catch our breath and it can be to establish rules or new guide rails.

Every pause has a purpose.

Pausing is active and purposeful in realigning or redirecting an existing thing or process.

Let’s say there is trouble with the new school.  Perhaps the pause includes unenrolling and home schooling temporarily while negotiations take place with the school or a new education options is chosen.

What if the real estate broker chosen to sell the home becomes unresponsive and needs to be fired.  Cancelling the listing per the contract requires the house to be off the market for 90 day or the original agent/broker still gets paid.  Perhaps the pause includes taking the house off the market, consulting with an attorney to progress an earlier cancellation, or perhaps waiting out the 90 day contract period.


The purpose of the pause is to assess and see ALL THE OPTIONS.

Remember that the BIG RED PAUSE BUTTON ~  Like an Easy Button ~ is already right in front of you.  There are consequences to hitting it, but if a negative situation wasn’t present, the options wouldn’t have to be considered in the first place.

Knowing it is there helps all of us see more options.

This is so important especially when people tell us don’t do that and threaten us with consequences.

SIDE NOTE: Threats activate the pause button in my world.  Immediately my brain goes to “What are they hiding and why with this so important to them that I do this now?”


Relocation is emotional.  We have loss and joy, fight and acceptance among many other until we acclimate.  

We will ride an emotional rollercoaster, but it doesn’t have to be out of control.   
We get to choose how we ride it all. 

Life in the end is 50% positive and 50% negative or at least not what we wanted. We will grieve what we loved and no longer have, and we will find joy is what we find.

Taking control of our rollercoaster determines how we walk each of these emotions and circumstances.  By doing this, we live life more closely to who we are, and in a way we want to.


Want to figure out why settling hasn’t happened or simply explore the relocation tools, sign up for a discovery coaching call by clicking the Let’s Chat button on the top right hand side of this page.  

I look forward to meeting you.

Want more?  I can help.

Let’s Chat about how this can work for you.  Click the button in the top right hand corner.  Choose a day and time that works for you.  By the end you will know more about turning around a bad day and if One on One coaching is for you.

John Fisher | Psychologist, Coach, Writer, Graphic Artist: 
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