Even though I am a licensed Psychologist, going through a divorce was terrifying for me. I remember when I was in the process of it; thousands of questions went through my mind, starting with:
Is this really happening to me?
How am I going to get through this divorce?
How much will this cost me?
What lawyer should I use?
What will my family say?
What will my friends think?
Where will I live?
How will I get through my work days?
How is my child going to feel?
Am I a failure?
what will g-d think of me?
My mind raced with these type of thoughts almost every day and night. It seemed like I had a never- ending flu, or went through a 15 round boxing match with Mike Tyson, experiencing headaches, body aches and pain, weakness and fatigue day after day. I felt the agony of defeat.
During my divorce, some of my fears and concerns were:
1. Not having money to pay for my chid’s needs, groceries, a place to live, etc.
4. His drug and alcohol abuse.
5. Him putting me down and reminding me daily that “no one will ever take care of you the way I do” or “treat you as good as I do”, which resulted in my low self-esteem.
6. Believing that no one is going to want me.
7. Family and friends saying: “you’re so intelligent, how did you let this happen, you’re smarter than this, you should have known better.”
At times, I felt I was living a nightmare, and could not wake up. Fortunately, the nightmare ended and I did wake up!
If you can relate to any of this, don’t despair! You will wake up too. You can take back control of your life, as long as you agree YOU are in charge of your own thoughts, feelings and decisions.
Here is how I survived and transformed into someone who thrived after a divorce. I survived by sharing my story, co-authoring and publishing a self-help workbook to empower and help other women get through relationship turmoil, and thrive in their own lives. The book is called To Stay Or Not To Stay? and it is filled with coping strategies and exercises to help you make a well thought out decision, alleviate your fears, and support you the whole way through.
Your transformation will occur when you focus on what you want. When you hit bottom, and believe me, you will feel the cold floor; there is no where to go but “get up!”.
The following statements will guide you on your way up!
Here are two things that will not happen to you:
1. You will not die.
2. You will not hurt forever.
Here are two things that will happen to you:
1. You will live your life fuller and better.
2. You will take better care of yourself than you ever did before.
You can transform yourself into a strong, confident, successful and happy person. It is already within you and I’m going to help you see and feel it with these 8 empowering behaviors:
1. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be assertive by saying “no” when you want to, and “yes” when it feels right. Maintain healthy boundaries with anyone who comes into your life.
2. Love yourself more and you will have the strength to move mountains. We sometimes deplete and neglect our own emotional and mental needs, leaving us feeling weak and vulnerable. Self-love is a must! Make it a habit of talking to yourself with positive words. Be gentle and compassionate toward yourself, and forgive yourself regularly.
3. Look fear in the face and take a bite out of it. Whenever you feel scared of not being able to deal with something, take a breath, look in the mirror, bite down and say, “I am fearless and I can get through anything that comes my way”.
4. Talk to yourself using positive affirmations morning, noon and night. Write down 5 positive self-statements and say them out loud every day, such as:
I am a beautiful person inside and out
I am intelligent and capable of making good decisions
I give and receive love easily
I have an endless amount of strength within me
My life is filled with an abundance of positivity and joy
5. Listen to yourself. It is better to find the answers from within. Go with your gut feeling. It is usually right on target.
6. Be your own best friend. Treat yourself as someone who you really care about and want to protect.
7. Make feasible life goals and know you will succeed. The first step is to believe in you. The second step is to make it happen.
8. Build healthy support systems. Reach out and ask for help whenever you need it. You receive what you need when you communicate it.
In every life experience, painful or pleasant, there are lessons to be learned, and possibly actions to take. Although divorce is usually a distressing experience, it can be used to transform your life into a blissful existence.