Tag Archives: surviving divorce

A Beautiful Survivor of Life


Her post captured my attention, not my sight, but my full-bodied attention.  “Sober for 30 days.”  I just had to contact her…(little did I know she would become my newest Angel.)  Her honesty spoke the words that my heart needed to hear, right when I needed it most.

My Angel reminded me that each day is a new start, and to not feel like a tragic failure when a setback comes.  Her personal struggles (through family relationships; her own identity and personality; and with the addictions that have helped her “cope” through it all), inspired me very deeply.  I would like to share some of her survival tidbits, lent to me in my own time of despair:

It is literally one day at a time.  (Sometimes seems like moment by moment)

It gets easier. and you realize how much life is better and easier.

It’s hard, but I believe in myself.

<When you need help with any of life’s problems,> find a good psychiatrist (counselor) and be honest with them and yourself.

Once we’re honest with ourselves our recovery begins.

Then we started talking about our families and growing up.  She grew up with a mother who suffered from mental illness* and told me how hard it was sometimes to cope with – as a family.  During a formative time in my life, her mother was like my second mother and I see some of her qualities in who I am today, even (I could not wait to have a brood of children and dress them all up for Church on Sundays!!!).  I adored her, even when she was “stressed.”  In fact, in my opinion, she made raising four children in the midst of a great deal of physical illness look easy.  For my Angel, her perspective was much different than mine, and after our tear-filled talk, I realized:

 We are ALL beautiful survivors of life.

We often forget to look at the beauty and love and goodness within a person, and instead form perceptions and attitudes that allow us to cope with their behaviors instead…even when it is family or someone very dear to us.  We forget that it is our differences and inequalities that often make us beautiful and unique, and that beneath it all, we are worthy of love and acceptance.  We all survive life in our own ways, no matter what people can find to judge us about (fat, skinny, dumb, nerdy, “red and yellow, black and white,” gay, and so on…)

Be yourself…you are a beautiful survivor of life (and all of the crap it dumps on us!)

*Let me just say this now, I DESPISE the term “mental illness.”  The connotation is horrible, but at this time, I don’t have a better descriptive word (give me a few more semesters in college).  🙂

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“Get good at failing”


Wise advice from a dear friend of mine.  And, no, it doesn’t mean “try” to fail.  It is much simpler and much deeper than that.

Getting good at failing – to me – means accepting that I am human and will make mistakes.  If there are consequences, we need to face them bravely and move on.

My definition of mistakes is VERY broad.  Any mistakes, people, we all make them.  From ignoring the truth of those around you to forgetting to get bread at the store.  Anything that “one” deems is a mistake, in their own perception of life, no matter how trivial it might be (as it probably leads to something much deeper).

Mistakes are an opportunity to see how things could have been done differently.  It is a chance to begin again.  How I deal with my own failures, no matter how big or small, must ultimately be acknowledged, accepted and left behind.  I guess in a poetic way, it would be fighting and defending for my own future.

My nephew’s sweet Halloween smile! So full of joy!

If I just pick my head up and move on, without getting caught up emotionally in the concept of failure..just get up and try again.  Deep inside, I know I am not built of failure or I would not be where I am.  I have survived and will continue to do so.

So, why not just get up and try again when I fall on my butt.  Which reminds me of my sweet baby nephew.  He is such a beautiful boy.  He is now running, but he went through a trial of falling and getting back up.  He did not allow the pure awesomeness of opportunites that walking would lead to.  He just knew he didn’t want to keep crawling for the rest of his life.  It is an innate part of us as humans.

Sometimes it can be that simple.

The outcomes in my life are bound to my much different then they have been.  What do you think?

Pros vs. Cons: Am I failing myself?


Here I sit, weighing a list of Pros vs. Cons in my life overall.  What goals am I still focused on and what really is the big overall picture?

I know one thing…I have become an entirely different person from when this blog first began.  That person truly seems like a character from a movie I once saw.  That is how much transformation through suffering and joy has occurred.  It is astounding to look back just a few years.

Astounding.  Perhaps a bit overwhelming too.  Especially given the trials and tribulations within those few years…and the things we keep bottled in – within those few years.  Wow.

Hey, while you are going through those life epiphanies, throw in Masters Level courses in Pastoral Counseling.  It is like God is puppeteering my classes to help me and change me in so many different ways;  I am so “in awe” of its vastness…how can that not be life changing?

I survived my first year of divorce from 15 years of a good marriage (my anniversary was yesterday – Happy Halloween to you all as well).  And I am successfully providing my son with a home, opportunity, life and love.  (Relationships with BOTH sons are works in progress and continually ongoing in nature.)  I have reached a stable point of financial function which brings relief.

Not only do I have a job, but it is truly a good job.  It is a blessing.

Personally, Spiritually, internally, I am growing exponentially.  It is so hard to explain.  I have had open conversations with people that I would once have just bottled up and ultimately imploded over.  That is exponential…for me.

I have stood up for myself.

I have put down my foot and said, “no” when I needed to.

I have faced some of my own deep-running fears.

Again, exponential in the realm of personal growth…not so much in reality.  I am so emotionally overwhelmed with just BEING MYSELF that I lose track of people and events around me.

This is where the Cons are revealed.  I have to drop one of my classes, which has consequences of unknown proportions right now.

I gained more than my previously confessed 18 pounds.  It is more like 35 and I feel every bit of it (though I am unsure of the true number because I have yet to face the scale).  I don’t have any energy…or motivation.

I cannot seem to get to work on time to save my life…to the point that I need to address it and I don’t know how.  I have tried everything I know, including having sleep testing done.  There are other work related issues being addressed.

It truly seems as though whenever I have the focus and drive to succeed in one goal, I turn around and realize that everything else is falling behind.  Is the failure due to me?  Or is there breakdown in the system or framework?  Am I overthinking things?  Or am I becoming self-aware?

All kinds of other things still need to be addressed….yet I feel like a part of me needs to just chill out and relax (relaxing is MUCH different than hiding).

Recent reveations would reveal that I am infact an emotional eater.  So I no longer wonder, “Why am I sitting here eating a Cinnamon Bagel from Panera?”

I can only sigh.  “Ai, what a day I had today.”   ~Barbra Streisand as Fannie Brice in Funny Lady.  (An ironically symbolic comment.)

Weightless


This is me today.  I am choosing to continue moving forward.  I am continuing to face and let go of my emotional baggage.  It is like having a moment of weightlessness, this whole “touchy feely therapy” stuff.  It seems like the more fears I face, which are very, very difficult, the more weightless I feel.

I have begun having conversations with people to discuss things that I have always been so afraid to just say.  I know it sounds easy, but it is not easy for me.  I may seem social, but when it comes to confrontation, even mild, I tend to shy away and internalize what I want to say or what I feel.  “Stifle yourself,” Archie Bunker would say.  Well, that is one way of dealing with stress.

All that seems to ever get me is so anxious (i.e. emotionally constipated) and overwhelmed at NOT facing the confrontation.

Of course, this new life changing way of thought has played a toll on me.  Evidently, I am an emotional eater (I suppose I have always lived in denial).  It seems like the more of this crap I have faced, the more I have relied on food to comfort me during the process.  However many pounds I have but back on (fluctuates between 10-18 pounds) are haunting me and making me feel like a failure.  I am realizing now the patterns involved in why I am eating, and I believe there is a more to learn.

Point is, this is a good song.  And I need to remember to forgive my own mistakes, and move forward.

The Study of Happiness


The Happy Movie is awesome!

I just watched the most eye-opening documentary – “Happy” – on the study of happiness (aka positive psychology for those who care). There were some amazingly simple and fundamental points made within the nearly two hours of information. Sounds boring, but really, it was awesome.  Just understanding that happiness is something that exists within each of us and that bonds us, is truly compelling.

It kind of reminds me of the simplicity of togetherness that we all seek.  Good movie, check it out!

I know the full movie is available on netflix, and there is a clip of it available below (and no, I am not getting paid to promote it or anything…it just added a new perspective through my journey!)

Film – The Happy Movie | The Happy Movie.

Unreachable


Wow.  I survived.  By the sweet grace of God, I survived Thursday night.  I cannot even begin to explain.

I know that I woke up on Friday morning still grumpy, bags under my eyes, hating life in general.  I felt as if I had survived an exorcism.  I had just faced my life’s issues…my demons, if you will.  All of the parts of me that hide away, as well as how my decisions do effect and have effected my family, everyone around me, and myself.  How I truly feel like I had let everyone down.  Then couple that with a family counseling class that has forced me to look at my family on paper and notice patterns and blah blah blah.

Point is…I came to direct terms with the very real fact: I am broken.  We all are.  We are all victims of the behaviors of others, and we all take turns victimizing one another, whether we know it or not.  It is human nature.  It is inevitable.

God had given me all of these miraculous blessings in my life and I had hurt them all and was not as grateful as I could have been.  I took a lot of true blessings for granted.  I felt such shame and unworthiness.

Then, this song played…

The words spoke everything I was thinking and feeling.  The overwhelming sense of peace began to bring reassurance and comfort, love and protection.  All of my human fears vanished and once again I felt the truest of truth, I felt God within my soul.  I knew we would be okay if I just stayed focused on His guidance.  When I am weak, He will give me strength.

Not only did the blessings continue to pour down on us, but the awareness of God’s great and abundant love became ever so clear again.  I had been missing that sense of fullness and faith.

Yes, Uncle T., I heard your message, Let go and Let God.  It is easier said than done, AND it is necessary.  When you turn your life over to God and allow Him to work through you, He will provide for you.

It is simply amazing.

Broken


ImageAs I sit here, tears are falling down my face.  It seems as though all I have done lately is apologize for not being good enough, quick enough, right enough, smart enough, skinny enough, early enough.  It seems as though I cannot meet any goals or responsibilities or expectations.  I don’t even know if the expectations are my own or not.  All I know is that my head is swimming and I want to go to bed.

But I can’t.

I have to face all of the fears and failures, real or not, but I don’t know how.  I am trying all kinds of methods, but nothing “works fast enough.”

How do I grab all of the pieces of my life and put them together again?  How do I escape the daily dread of letting my family down or letting others down?  Of letting myself down?

I mean, anyone else’s life, and I would have no problem helping them come up with a plan of action and get organized, but when it is my own, I am clueless.  I don’t know where to begin.

How do I successfully mesh together a plan for financial stability and responsibility, for physical health and fitness, for educational growth and future opportunity and security, for successful work habits and development, AND find time to be a good mommy?  I am always letting someone down.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I decided to go back for a Masters degree!  I must have been out of my ever-loving mind to think I could pull it off when I had yet to get in order the current issues of my life.

How do you move past the pain without first having to recognize it for what it is, and either accept it for fix it?  How do I face the hurt about certain situations, knowing there is no immediate solution?  How do I escape the deep sense of longing and loss?.

How do you move past the fear that paralyzes your every move?  Fear of what, you ask?  Just plain fear.  Fear of everything…failure, loss, pain, hurt, unintentionally hurting others, of not being loved, of not loving enough, of being alone, of not being enough.  Fear of actually living life.  Fear of being who I really am.  Fear of judgement.  Fear of being called crazy.  Fear of EVERYTHING!

How do I face the fullness of the consequences for my decisions in life, particularly over the past three years.  No, there is not a lot I would change, but the consequences are killing me!  I know I put myself here, and I know that it is nobody’s fault but my own.  REGARDLESS of how I got here, I am here, and I don’t know how to move forward.

I pray, don’t worry about that.  I do.  And even though I know my God is a kind and loving God, I still feel I don’t deserve the blessings He has graced in my life NOW, what makes me think I am worth more of His mercy and love?  I have messed up everything He has provided.  Over and over.

I am on my knees with tears in my eyes asking for guidance.  God, please fill my brokenness, because I don’t know how…

Spending my Wedding Anniversary in the Convent


This past week, through planning my son’s visitation with his father, I realized that my first wedding anniversary since our divorce was this Saturday.  Yes, it would have been our 15th anniversary. Then it occurred to me where I would be on Saturday…volunteering at work for a Women’s Wellness Retreat in the Convent and I could not have hoped to have been anywhere else. God knew just how to embrace me in the love and lives of others who have lived through divorce as well.

And while we had a VERY amicable divorce, and no issues during the process, I still feel a deep sense of loss.  I don’t want to mislead your train of thought…I am very happy where I am in my life right now.  I still feel that I am working down the path that God is laying out for me, and I know the decisions made leading to the divorce were the “right” ones.  But I still had a sense of loss, and maybe even of guilt, remorse for having hurt him.

Over the entire weekend, God enlightened my life and opened my heart.  He cradled and comforted me, and I am so grateful!