Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Be afraid, embrace it and figure out worst-case scenarios. Figure out everything you have to fear and then let it go. You have the ability to build a new life, but you must have faith in yourself. I was so scared a few years ago. I had just found out my husband was cheating, I was broke, I had debt and our home was in need of so many repairs.
The worst was the fear of being alone. His family was my family. I spent all holidays with them. I was alone, so very alone. I was not a woman who would live with such a deceitful, dishonest man so I filed for divorce right way. This was truly the smartest thing I could have done. It was the first step in recovering me despite the fear I faced. I thought I would fail without him.
I am writing one for all of you starting out with your divorce.
I wanted to read about success stories when I first went realized my life as a wife ended. I was so very afraid. I was suicidal to some degree, heart-broken, beaten down and I had to make so many decisions. I felt like I should let the kids go because I was a broken, sobbing woman for 80% of my days. I struggled, I was scared, I was sad, and I was depressed. I tried anti-depressants and nothing was a quick fix.
Several years have passed since I thought I lost a wonderful man. I thought I lost a family man, a man who had been married to me for so many years. I couldn't see anything through the grief. I made it through a day, then another. I couldn't sleep enough to deal with the pain. I struggled at work.
My kids deserved better. Their dad abandoned them and became a stranger overnight. I was falling apart before their eyes. I knew I had to figure things out. I picked a small project to work on around the house. I had to research; had to YouTube things and I had no money. I made financial plans. I kept my job. I made it through the first awful holidays. The pain was unrelenting. The fear devoured my days. I knew I was going to end up bankrupt. I knew I was going to lose the home & all the animals that counted on me each day. I knew I wouldn't be able to replace the furnace that was on its last legs. The dryer was in bad shape. The landscaping was a mess. Weeds had taken over, wood rot all over the trim. Paint was peeling. So many things I had no idea how to fix.
Today, I no longer live in fear.
I am not afraid of being alone. I am not afraid of anything, except maybe getting cancer or my kids getting hurt. My fears are manageable. Things have worked out in ways I never imagined. The thing that saved me financially came with an unexpected knock on the door. I have replaced the carpet, painting, having a handy man fix all the things I couldn't begin to repair. My house is a happy place now. My kids don't have to watch me sit and cry. There are negatives, and there are positives. Such is life. I am proud of myself today.
I am proud of the person I found deep inside me.
That person had forgotten I am extremely capable, hard-working and I never quit. I faltered, I fell, I struggled but I am stronger than ever. I love the word resilience because I had none when I divorced. I will never look at the negatives again. I will look at the positives to figure out how to live my life.
I realize that I am proud of every decision I made during the worst days of my life when I found the ex was cheating. It was so difficult but ultimately I made decisions that benefited the kids or the animals I took care of. My value was zero. I didn't want our home because it needed so much work but I knew the ex would never take care of it. I also stayed to keep my child in the same school.
The ex was fine with walking away from everything. He didn't value our life, knew the property needed so much work and he was selfish. It turns out the property is quite valuable and I have managed to figure out how to take care of things. I cannot tell you how much I have learned about mowing, lawn care, repairs and getting estimates to fix things.
The first step in recovering from divorce is to take control of your life.
Stop accommodating your ex, and start enforcing boundaries for yourself regardless of what everyone thinks you should do "for the kids". Take care of you first; the rest will probably fall into place later. Please, know your value. Figure it out. Love yourself. Be proud of your existing strengths and develop new ones. You may have "lost" the life you once had but you have a great opportunity to build a new one. It isn't easy, the pain does lessen but probably never completely goes away and you can be happy again.
I hope you all get outside to enjoy the spring weather. I never dreamed I could be happy as a middle aged single woman. I never imagined I could accomplish things on my own and live a better life. I did not know how less I had to be while married. I no longer have someone telling me reasons I can't accomplish things and it is amazing what I get done simply because I know I can. Everyone's situation is different but you have to figure out how to move forward and leave the toxicity behind you. Success is the best revenge!
(This blog was originally posted by a community member.)