The First Step is the Hardest…
Disclaimer: This is an incredibly personal blog post about what I went through and very difficult to put out there. So bare with me because I kind of just spilled it all out. I am hoping that this will help other women who are going through the same thing. You are not alone!
I just want to first say thank you to everyone for being so encouraging and supportive on my last post. It was so hard for me to actually get it out there and I was really scared to write about my separation. So, thank for you for being so positive and encouraging.
Now back to reality. I never in a million years thought I would be a single mother. My parents were married for over 30 years and died 9 days apart. I literally have no clue what it is like to see my parents be apart. So to have to accept my new reality was hard!
It took me 10 months to finally take charge of everything in my life and say “Ok, I got this!”
So what did it take to get here? Well, it took months of heartache, chaos, depression, anxiety, fear and denial. It took hitting a rock bottom in depression. This is something that is very hard for me to even write about but after hitting that rock bottom I am realizing how important it is for people to know how bad it got to get to this place of acceptance.
When we first separated I went through a stage of begging and negotiating. I didn’t want my marriage to end. I didn’t want my life to change. I felt pathetic but also my way of fighting to keep my family together. I look back and think, girl, you are better than that! You are stronger than that! But I also think we have to go through that to see what someone else is going to do to keep you or lose you. What someone else is willing to fight for or give up. And this is not to put down my ex husband. He and I are better off apart. We have very different values, interests and ideas of what we want out of life. It is hard to build all of that when two people are so different.
After all that I went into this stage of confidence, I can do this. I had this burst of energy, I was finding myself. I started doing things I used to love to do that I had given up or didn’t have time for. I started enjoying my home as my own more. I felt a sense of freedom.
Then I got depressed. The anniversary of finding out my Mom was going to die was quickly approaching and it hit me harder than it ever has this year. The lack of having family around and my husband was hard. I couldn’t handle it. I was alone and it hurt. I had to find a way to pull myself out of that misery and move on. Thank God for those who truly love me because they were incredible.
I got back to a place of peace and moved forward. Then my world came crashing down again. It was bad. I finally called my sister and cousins and drove back down south for the kids spring break and got the love and nurturing I needed. During that time I got help with the kids and was able to just breath and rest. I didn’t feel like I was constantly “on”. I felt like I could sit and not have to be on edge. I didn’t realize how bad I had felt till I actually was able to have some peace and help with the kids. It felt like this elephant that had been sitting on my chest had sat up and walked away. I was still very depressed but I didn’t feel this all consuming sense of doom.
After a week the kids went back up with their Dad and I was only supposed to stay an extra 4 days to get a break. Well, my cousins put their foot down. I had a panic attack about going back home and they said they wanted me to stay and just rest and go back to a therapist (I had seen one when the separation first happened). I also needed to deal with the severity of my depression. I felt immediate relief when they told me it was ok to stay. Sometimes you need someone to show you that it needs to change for it to get better.
I stayed an extra week from when I dropped off the kids and in that week I could see myself slowly getting back to me but not just back to the me I was when I was married or even before I was married. A me that was stronger and more clear headed on what I wanted out of my life. I have always been a people pleaser and going to my therapist she was so empowering. She said we are going to build you up and get that voice heard. By the second session I had taken a stand and gotten things in order. I went from feeling like I was in free fall with no direction of my future to having a very clear idea of what I needed to do. I also started taking care of myself and realizing no one is going to be upset if I need to take a break or chill out to keep my sanity.
I also was able to spend time with my sister, cousins and closest girlfriends down south and the encouragement and advice they gave me was amazing. There was no judgement, no criticism just pure love and support. They have been so amazing throughout this process. Without them I do not know where I would be right now. And I will tell you this, you will find support in the most unlikely places. So don’t be afraid to be honest about what you are going through.
Now I am back home and I feel refreshed and less anxious. I feel like I am a better Mom than I was a month ago because I am not overwhelmed or stressed by never seeing an end in sight when it comes to having a partner coming home to help with kids. Sure it’s not deal to go days without seeing my kids because they are my world but I also have to take care of myself so I can be a great Mom to them.
If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed to the point where you are not happy with your life please seek help! Whether that is calling family or friends or going to therapy. Just do it!
The first step is the absolute hardest.