Are you divorced and feeling down?
You have been beaten down. The wind has been knocked out of your sails. It’s hard to get through each day without a heavy heart. Oftentimes, you feel hopeful that tomorrow you’ll feel better but you never do.
The one good thing about being put through the wringer is that there is nothing left to squeeze out.
What to Do if You’re Divorced and Feeling Down
Here’s a question: are you waiting for someone or something to come along and save you from the way you live now?
If this pretty much describes you, it’s time to look up, get out, and dust it off. What will you dust off?
For starters, shaking off some of the anger, pain, shame, fear, confusion, rage, sadness, and humiliation that is weighing you down from your divorce. You can start with a tiny dusting off. Loosen up the top layer by beginning to work through the emotions that are right on the surface. Then, you can go deeper and recover and heal from the inside out.
How Do You Start?
Begin by changing your perspective. You may be thinking that if your finances, health, career, relationships, or environment take a turn for the better, it will get you to move forward and rebuild your life.
Yes, if any of those areas of your life improve right now, you will feel better for a while. It will be short-lived, because you still have your limiting beliefs. There is still the self-talk that “triggers” you to want to wallow around and stay stuck where you are.
Notice Mental Chatter and Point Of View
Learn to observe your self-talk and examine your beliefs. Just becoming aware of your self-talk is a great start. What you believe to be true is your belief pattern — your perspective. You can be a 5’8” and weight 125 lbs. and believe that you are FAT. It is your perspective coming from deep within your subconscious mind.
Try this exercise to help you learn how to change your perspective:
Find a quiet place, sit down, and close your eyes. In relation to your divorce experience. allow yourself to think of a person, event, situation, challenge, thought, or idea that causes you a lot of anxiety and stress. Write it down in a few words.
For example, Miranda wrote, “My husband was unfaithful”.
She was stuck in the resentment phase after divorce. Miranda was angry and full of rage that her husband, Steve, had been unfaithful. Long after the divorce was over, she was stuck playing the victim. It became a vicious cycle. In her mind, she felt that she was justified when telling her story to anyone who would listen.
She felt validated that she could use the “pity card” to give her an excuse not to dust off some of the surface anger and humiliation that she feels.
Describe What Plays in Your Mind Causing This Anxiety and Stress
Explain it in great detail. Miranda describes her thoughts in a very abbreviated version. (You will get her drift without the written word.)
Here’s what she wrote:
“I always stay at the office and work late on Wednesday evenings. We have a dinner meeting. That one particular evening, everyone in the office was able to leave early because the vice president, who leads the meeting, went home sick.
My weekly mastermind group was canceled. Generally, I would call my husband if something like this happens but for some reason it slipped my mind to do so.
I was almost home. As I turned onto my street, I caught a glimpse of my husband walking through the door of a neighbor’s house. She lives two doors down on the left. This neighbor just happens to be a young widow who lost her husband a year ago.
Steve came home a few hours later. It was exactly an hour before I would usually arrive home from work on that evening of the week. I confronted him. He admitted that he was having an affair for the past six months. The rage I felt was out of control. I went on a rampage and told everyone who would listen my story. I had the story down pat and told it over and over again.”
Examine what you wrote very closely. Analyze it for hidden meaning you may not have thought about before. What does your self-talk say when you think about that experience? Write that down. Think about some of the limiting beliefs you have about the situation. Look for deeper meaning.
Miranda wrote this:
“Feeling so hurt and in a lot of pain. I am devastated that my ex-husband cheated on me. It has become obvious that reliving and retelling that same story over and over wasn’t serving any beneficial purpose to help me heal and recover. I discovered I felt better in the moment but it didn’t last for long. Playing the victim kept me “stuck” in the past in the same old story. I thought talking about it was helping me. The more I could rage about him, the less responsibility I had to take. As a result, there was no constructive purpose to it other than validating me in the moment. How was that helping me move forward?”
Rewrite the Experience Focusing on Channeling Your Energy and Behavior Into Something Positive
Miranda shared this:
“Every time a situation comes up where I have the opportunity to play the victim and tell my story, I have a choice to make a better decision coming from my higher self. When the opportunity comes up to play the victim, I immediately channel the thought and the self-talk to something purposeful, beneficial to me. Pausing for a moment and gaining control over my emotions empowers me. I tell my new story of what I am now doing to recover and heal instead of reliving the past.
I signed up for a workshop featuring Bob Proctor called the Paradigm Shift. It feels good to be with like-minded people. For the first time in a long time, I feel a little control over my life. The layers of dust are starting to fall away. I can steer my life in any direction I want”.
Create some action steps to achieve the goal of changing the unproductive, negative thought or behavior. Write them down and tape them where you will see them often.
Here are some action steps Miranda uses to move her forward:
- Learn to become aware of the “triggering thought or situation” that usually precipitates my playing the victim.
- Practice replacing a negative thought with a positive one.
- Write down the ways staying in victim mode has taken away some of my power and control.
- Do some research and develop a list of strategies that could help me overcome specific reasons for staying “stuck” in victim mode.
- Implement strategies into my life and write down each time I have a WIN!
Getting up and dusting yourself off when you’re divorced and feeling down is not easy and takes a lot of inner strength. The reward in doing so helps you recover and heal from the inside out much more quickly. You begin to leave some of the past in the dust as you step into your power and begin to rebuild your life on your own terms.