The worst thing about divorce...wait a second, can I even say that? Because divorce really sucks and I'm not sure if there is one "worst thing" about it. Let me rephrase. One of the many pitfalls of divorce is that it weakens you to such a state of frailty, you question everything about yourself. Just because a relationship has failed, doesn't mean you are a failure.
Yes, you heard me. You are NOT a failure.
Feeling inadequate can creep into everything you do. You start sentences in your head with "What if…"
- “What if I can't live on my own?”
- “What if I can't ever find love again?”
- “What if I ruin my children's lives?”
Or, if you're really feeling badly, you'll start the, "I'm so stupid" sentences.
- "Oh great, I'm so stupid I forgot I had that meeting today and totally missed it."
- "I'm so stupid I don't even know how to fix this sink by myself."
- "I'm so stupid I don't even know how to attract the right guy anymore."
We all have a healthy, instinctive voice that protects us from bad things. But this negative voice can be on overdrive because you are feeling so hurt or beaten up by your divorce, you may not even know how powerful it really is.
So I want you to try something. It sounds weird, but just go with it. Grab that handy journal of yours and start purging every negative thought you have about yourself. Leave space in between each written thought — you may want to do this on your computer. Write down everything you fear and then talk back at it. You heard me — talk back at it as if that's the dumbest idea you've ever heard. Here's an example using the above statements:
1. "What if I can't live on my own?"
How silly of you, Lindsey, to think of such things. Of course you can live on your own! You are smart and capable, and you lived on your own in college and did just fine. In fact, this is so exciting! You can start things new. And guess what, now that you are alone, you can clean your room whenever you want, leave the dishes in the sink (enter ex-husband’s pet peeve about you here).
2. "What if I can't ever find love again?"
Lindsey, do you know how lovable you are? Look at all the people who love you. You are fabulous at (insert amazing things about you) and you make the most awesome blueberry pancakes. There's an amazing man just waiting to love you… be patient!
See how fun this is? You get to be your own best friend and you will be AMAZED by this awesome, powerful voice that is just waiting to talk to you. By purging your negative thoughts and talking back at them, you are training your brain to think differently. This, my friends, is how you heal.
So take this time to go tell that negative voice to take a hike. You are a beautiful rock star. Yes. That’s you.
More divorce coach advice on YourTango: