I am not certain I even know the answer to the question posed in the title. I’d be lying if I said I expected being divorced would be such difficult adjustment. Because I had been so unhappy for so long and finally had found a small shred of self-esteem I felt like I had the world by the tail. Of course it was a tail spin. I waited 30 years for my narcissistic sex addicted husband to hit bottom and change. His life consists of a bottomless pit. My life did not.
I hit bottom in April 2015. It took two years to smack into th bottom and I’m still working on climbing back up from the pit of darkness. I think if you get as depressed as I was and still sometimes am, baby steps are the most important rule.
1. Yes you hurt. Yes it’s painful. All you have to do is breathe for one minute, then five minutes and then ten minutes. I have found the smaller the steps the faster I can navigate through the darkness.
2. You are on no one’s recovery time schedule except your own. It might take me another year to completely come out of the darkness. It might take 5 years. It might only take three months. While those who care for you will want you to “get well”, they must understand everyone heals at different rates.
3. Your new life won’t look like your old life but that doesn’t mean it won’t be good. This is one I have trouble accepting. I’m struggling to imagine a future with possibilities. Again I am finding if I begin by seeing small possibilities, my hope is over time I will be able to see big possibilities.
4. You do not control the world which means everything is not your fault. For whatever reason I was the scapegoat in every difficult situation at home, school, even church. I found it easier to accept the blame and keep the waters smooth. I had the false idea I could control the world around me with my choices and actions. I can’t make someone do something no matter how much I want it. I don’t control the world.
5. If you can’t feel sadness, you can’t feel happiness. I thought I was happy but I wasn’t. I just ignored my emotions. We are supposed to have a full range of emotions, not just happy. Take the time to look at this list. Feeling words When we think of emotions we have such a limited vocabulary, happy, sad, angry, jealous etc but if you look at the list there are so many. I have begun to choose 1-3 words from the list each day. I am having to relearn to recognize my emotions.
6. Ask for help. Don’t refuse help. This has been difficult for me. Asking my girls for help. Refusing their offers to come to me and comfort me. Seeing myself as a burden rather than a blessing. I was taught love is conditional but I taught my girls love is unconditional. I am having to learn I can be loved just because I am me.
7. It takes time. And I may be lacking many things but time is one thing I have.