Stop thinking. Easy to say, but so very hard to do.
When going through something like a divorce, we are our own worst enemies. The more we think about our situation, the more we beat ourselves up. And the more we try not to think about it ,the more we think about it.
While in the midst of the nastiest part of my divorce, I was unable to think straight, to have rational thoughts, to make any sense of the pit I had been thrown into. The more I thought about it, the more I tried to figure out how I could have stopped it, how was I to blame, what kind of horrible person I was, and on, and on, until I was spiraling out of control, crying and depressed. This happened every day, all day, all night. If I could keep myself busy, then I couldn’t think about it. When my kids were with me, I focused solely on them, doing with them and for them everything I could. When they went to their dad’s, things got really bad.
I would read what I call self help books looking for a way to survive. I went out with friends every time I was asked. It didn’t matter that I didn’t want to go, or didn’t want to go there or do that; I had to go to survive. I relied on friends to keep me busy, and thank God I have some great friends! I even volunteered at a friend’s office almost 40 hours a week for a year (yes, volunteered for free!) I kept my mind occupied!
But then there were those times when I had no volunteer work to do, no kids around, and no friends available. The toughest of times. I prayed A LOT. I cried even more. I begged God to help me survive, to get me out of this desperate place I was in, to make it all go away. No, God did not reach down from Heaven and pluck me from my own hell, but he stood by me while I learned to stop crying, to stand up and to take that first step on the new path, my new path.
I had to learn some coping skills I did not previously have. I had never needed them as far as I could remember. Mindless TV worked wonders. When I finally found a show that worked for me, I bought every season on DVD.. I would even go to sleep while it was on. It gave my mind something specific to focus on so it wouldn’t wander to my real life drama.
I had to learn how to not give value to things said by people of little to no value in my life, by people who were just out to hurt me. The exercise my parenting coordinator did with me that I spoke of previously taught me to block out those hateful messages. I just shared with a friend walking in my old steps that when the ex starts spewing negativity and hatefulness, all I hear is Charlie Brown’s teachers voice. Do you remember that voice? If not, Google it; if nothing else you will get a laugh.
I no longer hear what I don’t need to hear…
Photo Credit: Cody Wiley Photography