Life Does Go On

Posted: July 18, 2011 in Intro
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An excerpt (with a few revisions-hint: just the dates and present tense;) from my previous column in Connecticut:

 

Life Does Go On

 

 

When my divorce was final five years ago I was relieved that the legal-war was over and the worst was behind me. My future was on the horizon and I was ready to move on to brighter days. 

An experience I don’t like to remember and something I never want to repeat, I can attest that divorce is not the easy way out, like some might think.

You can liken divorce to a crisis. When it happens, those involved may experience trauma, pain, and distress. Divorce can leave someone feeling very overwhelmed and confused.

While it may seem like an emergency, you can’t just dial 911 for help. 

Can you imagine the call? 

Operator: “911, what is your emergency?” 

Your reply; “Help! I just got divorced!” 

Operator’s response: “Excuse me!?”

 

You may get help, but I assure you, it’s not the kind you want.

 I was the one who initiated my divorce, and I was confident about my decision, (as much as I am about it today) but I was not immune to the pain and confusion. 

Post-divorce-anxiety is not just limited to the one being served the papers. 

My life had ended too, and the life-and-future–as-I-knew-it-for-the-past-eleven-years was over and I too needed to rebuild. 

It was evident, about three months post-divorce, when I found myself sitting in my kitchen, in shock.

Suddenly my confidence was gone. I feared the future and worried about how I would take care of my three children as a single mom. I wondered how I’d survive when I felt so broken, and since there weren’t any manuals, or rules of protocol for divorce, I was left thinking, ‘Now what?’.

I didn’t have a clue what to do next and didn’t have a plan past ‘getting divorced’. I was definitely in crisis mode.

Fear is strange. A little bit can be healthy; it can make you aware of potential dangers. But, too much of it can paralyze you. 

For a short time I was the latter.

I was afraid to make choices. I wasn’t thinking optimistically and was drowning in self-pity and fear. I let doubt creep in and I thought maybe I wouldn’t be able to make it alone.

It took me a while to realize how counterproductive I was being. It was difficult to accept that recovering and rebuilding from divorce was not going to be simple.

It didn’t take me long to realize that you didn’t just file, sign on the dotted line, and then you were done. The divorce process was going to take a while and it wasn’t always going to be easy. 

There’d be plenty of obstacles to overcome and I just had to stay positive and keep pushing forward.

Divorce takes time, hard work and faith. It takes not just one goal, but several small goals, and ones that motivate you.

Ironically, it wasn’t luck that turned things around for me, it was faith. The moment I decided to believe things were going to get better, was when they ultimately did.

It’s true that not long after my divorce I was scared to death, and had no idea where I was going or how I was going to succeed, but I’m here to tell you that I’m surviving and I couldn’t be happier! 

Thanks to the obstacles following my divorce I’m much stronger and wiser. I’ve become more patient with myself and I’m focused on what’s ahead of me, rather than what’s behind me.

I have three happy, healthy kids and the bond that I have with them is much stronger (mainly because they’re mom is happy now). They’re connecting with me on a deeper level, because I’m better able to connect with myself.

I don’t have a lot of money but I’m rich in spirit. I don’t take my failures as dead ends, I take them as healthy challenges, realizing that sometimes they’re nothing but a detour. 

Daily I aspire to make my dreams come true; and some of which I’ve had since I was eleven years old. I’m back on track and loving life!

At the start of my divorce I would have never been able to say this but; I am so very lucky.

From my marriage, I have loved, have been loved and am blessed with three fantastic children. Because of my divorce, I’ve grown more than I imagined I could, and I have a whole life of new opportunities ahead of me.

Every day is a gift. 

I know that what I do with it is up to me. I enjoy being alive and I have high hopes for the future.

If you are, or will be, dealing with divorce, you can survive it!  Your children can too.  Divorce doesn’t have to be a horrible thing, it’s all in your perspective, attitude and most importantly the actions that follow.

In divorce, just as in any crisis, remember, don’t panic, be positive and don’t give up.

This too shall pass because life does go on.

 

Truly,

Amber

 

 

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