Divorce: Move From "Surviving" to "Thriving"
Are you feeling overwhelmed by fears of what divorce might mean for you and your kids?
Divorce can be a really scary time – the life that you’ve know is being completely upended and you have a lot to figure out, all while sitting in a pressure cooker filled with raw emotions and endless decisions, facing toward the great “unknown.” Not to mention that everyone around you is telling you what you should (or should not) be doing. Oh, and somehow daily life must carry on.
As if that all weren’t enough, you’re likely also plagued with questions such as:
- How am I going to survive this?
- What’s wrong with me?
- How did I get into this mess?
- Are my kids going to be ok?
- Am I going to be ok?”
- What will other people think?
- How do I know what the “right” answer is?
- Will I be alone forever?
- Will I ever be able to trust again?
It’s enough to make you feel like you want to pull your hair out while you scream or just sit down and start crying – only you’re afraid if you start you may never stop.
When you’re dealing with all of this, likely you’re in survival mode: just trying to make it through the day. In this state, merely putting one foot in front of another can feel like a herculean effort – forget about creating a clear picture or plan for the future, or making sound decisions in your best interest. I know what it’s like to be in this place – I felt completely at the mercy of the whims of the world, and the world seemed to be a very unforgiving place. It was miserable.
There’s a reason that you’re feeling this way:
When you’re in survival mode your stress response is stuck in high gear – vigilantly scanning the environment around you for any perceived threat to your wellbeing. Unfortunately, your stress response isn’t particularly discerning about what qualifies as a threat. Add to this to the fact that in high-stress mode you are primed to be quickly reactive rather than thoughtfully responsive. This combination of factors can make a situation that’s already a mess even messier.
You know if you’re in survival mode if you are:
- Having difficulty prioritizing what to give attention to; everything seems urgent and of equal importance
- Constantly putting off things on your “to do” list – even the things that seem urgent and important
- Consumed by stress – you can’t sleep well, your breathing is erratic, you’re a bundle of nerves
- Having trouble thinking straight
- Finding yourself trying to push your feelings to the side
- Feeling like everything is a burden, even something simple like brushing your teeth.
The problem with survival mode is that living in it for a long time wears you down. It makes life feel like something to be endured, rather than something to be relished. And, it can erode your sense of self.
When I was living in survival mode I looked and felt years older than I was, my body ached all of the time and I caught every little cold that came my way. I was constantly looking outside myself for answers and for reassurance – massage therapists, chiropractors ,acupuncturists, aromatherapists, you name them, I saw them. Ironically, I also did my best to keep everyone and everything else at bay. My life experiences had taught me that “safe” was a vast expanse of empty space encircling me. But, “safe” was also lonely and boring.
Other effects of living in survival mode are:
- Relationships are strained – you put too much dependence on people or keep them at bay; also you may tend to be cranky and defensive, not easy to be around!
- Your health can be compromised – stress left to run rampant can contribute to a host of health problems: a weakened immune system, heart problems, the development of type 2 diabetes, adding on extra pounds (despite your best efforts otherwise), increase systemic inflammation, contribute to insomnia, the list goes on...
- You lose your creative edge and your ability to think clearly, find it harder to see openings and find opportunities, and your productivity at work is seriously compromised.
- You end up feeling like a shell of your former self or a real-life zombie.
The good news is this: it’s entirely possible to get out of survival mode and to move into thriving – even while in the midst of your divorce or navigating its aftermath.
While getting out of survival mode doesn’t happen automatically it is totally possible.
Making the shift from surviving to thriving takes attention, effort, and a willingness to learn new ways of seeing and doing. It’s not always easy but from what I’ve learned through my own experience and through the experience of others though, it’s energy well spent.
People who have walked the path before you – people who have learned how to thrive - have found that they:
- Feel more alive than they ever have
- Develop a refreshing comfort and confidence in their own skin
- Create deeper and more meaningful relationships
- They can trust others because they’ve discovered that they can trust themselves
- Experience life as a great adventure
- Appreciate travel without needing to get away from it
Imagine what would your life would be like if this was you!
Healing from upset takes time. Learning new ways to see, think, and act isn’t easy. Happily, with the right support that time can be condensed and the process can be made easier.
Wellness coaching offers you the support of a non-judgmental ally, whose focus is solely on helping you to live in alignment with yourself while creating a life that fits you to a “T.” When we work together, you can count on me to always see you as healthy, whole, and complete; intelligent, intuitive, and discerning; creative, capable, and resourceful. Through our time together, my goal is for you to see yourself this way too.
Stop surviving and start thriving – let's talk!