I remember the worst night of my divorce. Work and school filled my days with activities and people who could take my mind off the reality of what was happening at home, so coming home to the apartment I once shared with my husband was sobering.
Once alone, I could not pretend to be happy. I remember falling to the floor of our living room and crying out, “How could you do this to me? Why did you leave?” I felt like my world was ending. I was not strong enough to get through a divorce. I had lost my best friend in the entire world. Surely, I would die of heartbreak.
But in reality, being married to him had been awful. My husband wasn’t my best friend and his actions during our marriage proved he wasn’t my friend at all.
My pity party lasted for exactly one night. The next day, I accepted that my loneliness did not start with the end of my marriage; it started after our wedding. I may have been a wife, but I never had a partner. His irresponsibility caused constant problems in our marriage and on his job. The memories of sleepless nights spent worrying while he was out drinking came flooding back. I remembered the fights he picked after I went back to college and how hurt I felt because he didn’t respect my goals. After he disappeared for three days, I had to acknowledge that our marriage wasn’t working.
He wasn’t husband material and I told him as much when he came home. He sobbed after I revealed I was seriously considering divorce. Somehow, his tears did not seem genuine. But, I never filed the papers until he became violent. One emergency call changed my life forever. He was arrested for assault and removed from our marital home permanently. In my desperation to be loved, I had chosen a horrible husband. Though he’d left scars on my heart and my body, I still found myself mourning the loss of our marriage.
It is human to miss people after they are gone, even when we know they are toxic. The things that helped me heal during my divorce are the same things that can help you during any type of personal life crisis or loss.
4 Things That Helped Me Through The Hard Times:
Follow your passion. I threw myself into pursuing my life purpose. My love for learning sustained me through the times when I wanted to give up on pursuing a degree. Because my ambition had been a sore spot during my marriage, I became more determined than ever to prove I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.
Transform your thoughts with positive words. I filled my mind with positive stories. I only watched comedies and feel-good TV to bring more laughter into my life. I only read positive literature. Authors like SARK and Paulo Coelho exist because we need others to inspire hope when we have none.
Fill your life with encouraging people. I befriended people who were upbeat, confident and loving. After living with someone who was hell bent on sabotaging anything good in his life, I was much more appreciative of people who are optimistic. I had to surround myself with people who were happy to remember what happy looked like.
Get a reality check. I realized that divorce was hard, but not as hard as the challenges I could have been facing. I had my home, my family, gainful employment, good health and goals for my future. Listening to others and taking a look around my community to see how people were suffering helped me keep my problems in perspective.
Time has healed the pain I once felt during my divorce and I am far removed from the woman I once was. Divorce may be the worst thing you have ever been through in your life, but there will come a day when much of the hurt you are feeling now will be a distant memory. Until then, have your pity party, but don’t let it stop you from transforming into the woman you are meant to become.