I was on track. I wanted to be a stay at home mom and raise my four young children and I was doing that. My plan was to go back to work when they were all in school. To make some extra money I started a day care in my home and it was going well. The schedule was hectic, but I was able to be with my four kids everyday and make some money. It was a win win.
When my kids were 1, 3, 5, and 10 I found myself calling around to find someone who could watch the kids while I went to visit a divorce lawyer. No one would help at first, but I kept plugging away. It was an aha moment. Ahh you have four small children and are preparing to raise them alone. This is going to be difficult. I met with the lawyer and he prepared the papers. We went to our divorce class and parted ways. We made arrangements for how he would see the kids, he moved out, and I was faced with a future I did not expect. My life was going to be much different.
How to move forward?
There is no step by step process that will work for everyone, but there are a few tips that can help. Realize that at first, and maybe for a long time, you will operate in a state of shock. It’s okay. When life changes suddenly we are in shock. So the first rule is to KEEP GOING! I know it sounds simplistic and silly, but we have to get up everyday, make the best decisions we can for moving forward, and then do them. We are in a survival mode and that mode will do a lot to help us move forward.
Breathe, realize you don’t have all the answers, or very few. Go through the motions. Do the dishes, laundry, clean, and cry if you have to. Just keep doing and moving. Stopping at this point could be detrimental to you and everyone involved.
Surround yourself with a good support network. It it vital to minimize drama. This means stay off social media, don’t spend time reading FB posts and pages, stay off Instagram, forget Snap Chat, and minimize texting. A good support network will include people and resources that can steer you into the future, provide you with honest feedback, and good information. A good support group does not help you get back at people, take you to the local bar, or help you find out what the people involved are doing. This is hard we need people who can help us move forward while we are in a lot of pain and shock and do so being honest about our progress towards rebuilding our life.
Let the experience redefine you. Experiences can redefine our lives if we let them. Even very difficult ones can shape us into the men and women we are meant to be. Let the experience change you. Let it teach and develop you and set new goals for your life. One of the first things I did after visiting the divorce lawyer was to enroll in college. I needed a way provide for my kids and going back to school would equip me with what I needed to get a good job and raise my children. I let the experience change me. It was excruciating, but well worth it. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I stayed who I was before that experience.
Webmd recommends the following steps when treating someone in shock:
- Lay them down. (help them rest so you assess the situation).
- Begin CPR if they are not breathing. (get them going again).
- Treat obvious injuries (broken heart, depression, anxiety, whatever the major issues are as a result of the life crisis).
- Keep warm and comfortable (makes sense, also means to reassure the person, helping them stay calm).
- Follow up (key to recovery, we need care, and we need someone to follow up to see if we are okay).
Life has a habit of derailing us and provides many obstacles to keep us from moving forward in our lives. At the beginning of a life crisis we need to concentrate on survival. As time goes on we can begin to rebuild, but this may be difficult at first. When my husband said he was leaving me my entire life changed forever. We got back together and worked things out, but I will never be the same. Further problems and trials in my life have continued to change, develop, and teach me. I am thankful for that. It’s a hard way to learn, but it’s worth it.
Keep moving. Keep doing stuff around the house, pick up a book and read even if you can’t comprehend the words, call a good friend, take a walk, and keep doing the everyday things in your life. To capture the moment and learn from it write it down, sing about it, draw it, sculpt it, paint it, dance it out, jump, hike it, kayak it, or create in some fashion that let’s you express deep and powerful emotion.
I picked up a college book, I read, I wrote, and I began my new life. I did that everyday in my state of shock, but I kept doing it. One day I found myself on the other side of the crisis, and was better for it because I kept moving forward. I cried a lot in those days, but I was busy while I cried. I didn’t sit and let it overcome me. Keep moving and before you know it this will pass and you will emerge stronger and with an amazing life that you never knew was possible. You can do this.