Stella’s marriage of 27 years is over. She feels like she is going crazy, is terrified and confused. She believes no one understands the pain she feels. She does not know who to talk to or where to turn. What makes it worse is that Stella has been internalizing all of her feelings because her family and friends tell her that she has to help herself first and that people who need support are weak. She trusts no-one, and is struggling to make sense out of being single, since she has been married her whole life. Being a wife is the only life she knows.
Stella’s situation and beliefs are really quite scary. We are social people and need the help and support of others. Many studies have proven that people thrive when they get love and support from other human beings. By internalizing her feelings, Stella is headed for a life full of depression, fear and loneliness. This is not living.
Peace and happiness can seem like an illusion when a person is going through trying times. If you feel like Stella, then know that it really is possible to get through this and to move forward living a happy and meaningful life.
Stella is right when she states that you need to help yourself first, however this does not mean that you cannot get and receive support while you are helping yourself. God provides the means for you to heal and it is up to you to grab a hold of it and utilize it.
Consider the following story:
Jane was caught in a flood and climbed to the balcony on the second floor of her home. A neighbor came by in a raft and told her to climb in and he would take her to safety. Jane replied, “No thank you. I believe that God will save me.”
As the flood waters raised Jane climbed to the roof of her home. A little while later the police came by in a power boat. The police warned her the waters would soon be above her home and pleaded with her to get into the boat and allow them to take her to safety. Jane replied, “No thank you. I believe that God will save me.”
Soon the flood waters were so high that they Jane’s legs and feet were standing in water as she stood on her roof. A helicopter came by and dropped a ladder rope down to her. Jane shook her head and refused to grab a hold of it. She insisted, “I do not need your help because I believe that God will save me.”
Jane drowned in the flood. In heaven she asked God, “Why didn’t you save me?”
God replied, “I sent you a raft, a power boat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?”
Don’t be like Stella or Jane. Accept all of comfort and assistance that is available. You can find help and support that will allow you to heal at a quicker pace. Support might come in the form of a divorce coach, therapist, support group, books, websites, family or friends. Actively seek all solutions to calm the storm you are in.
For the most part society downplays the emotional trauma involved in divorce. This might make you feel as if something is wrong with you for feeling the way you do. You are told to put your chin up and go on with your life. You are told that you are better off without him and that you have a whole life a head of you.
Let me validate each and every feeling that you have. It is ok to feel them. It’s ok to be angry, sad, confused and frightened of an unknown future. You are grieving the death of your marriage. It’s also perfectly acceptable that you still love your ex and that you don’t want to be single. Your feelings are yours and they are all ok. Accepting your feelings is the first step to healing and letting go.
Divorce is a major life transition. Everything around you changes. You are now single, so people may treat you differently, you may be cooking for only one, and it’s strange to have power over the remote control. The trick to finding peace and rediscovering yourself as a single woman is to love yourself as you constantly step out of your comfort zone, until you find your new norm. Change happens slowly, with the love, support and knowledge from others.