“Mommy cries a lot,” were the first words my two-year-old daughter muttered to my mom as she came in from work. Those four little words changed everything, and put my life into perspective. At this point, my marriage was heading towards divorce and I was hitting rock bottom; I cried constantly, blamed myself for everything that went wrong and felt completely lost within myself. Until those four little words woke me up and made me seek out professional help to see a therapist. Initially, I was very skeptical about seeing a therapist, because what could a therapist do any differently than having coffee with a friend do? I was very adamant that it was going to be a wasted sixty dollars down the drain on a weekly basis, but little did I know it was going to be a life changer.
Being mindful played an essential and key role in my healing process from my marriage. In therapy is where I learned how to apply being mindful in my everyday life. There were moments during my course of my divorce were I felt so consumed by negativity. Divorce was all I thought about and dwelled on. Then when I was introduced to the concept of being mindful, it changed everything and gave me a different perspective on my life, my divorce, and even myself. I allowed myself to feel my emotions whether it be anger or sadness. I did not deny myself those feeling; in fact, I embraced them. I recognized my emotions and feelings and then refocused myself on something positive. For me, that was my daughter. Believe me when I tell you that it did not happen overnight. It took practice, but slowly over time, I was able to look at the positive more than the negative. There are still some days that being mindful is still easier than other days. But stay kind to yourself and keep trying to find the positives in your life and it will become a healthy habit.
Another advantage of therapy is being open with someone that is of a neutral party. During the course of my therapy sessions, I found that someone that is of a neutral party is very beneficial and easier to communicate with rather than someone that already had a predetermined opinion about my relationship with my husband. I noticed that it was challenging to express my true feelings and thoughts with family members without feeling “stupid,” for feeling or thinking the way I did. Having someone to talk to that was a neutral party allows you to fully express yourself without judgment. Therapy will remind you that you are “normal,” for feeling the way you do and that you are human. Sometimes it was nice just to have someone listen without having a response of “you should do this,” or “I told you so,” because when you are at your lowest that is the last thing you want to hear.
During the course of my marriage, I lost myself, between adjusting to being a first-time mother and dealing with a husband that was a closet drug addict. I felt as if I was lost beyond repair. Who was I? What made me tick as a person? For months my answer to that was “I don’t know who I am.” Beyond just attending therapy for my divorce, therapy has helped me find myself again and bring back my self-confidence over time. Even to this day I am still searching and rediscovering myself. Some days I still find it challenging, but my weekly therapy sessions help with accepting who I am. I am grateful that I am no longer feeling depleted as a person, I am more whole that I have been in years. Therapy is what got me through some of the darkest days of my life and slowly brought me back to life.
A Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson once said “you cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or perish,” and I chose to fight it. Last year I was fighting one of the hardest battles that I have ever fought. My entire life was crumbling around me and there was not anything I could do to stop it. Therapy saved me in more ways than one. The day I chose to attend my first therapy session is the day I started to gain my life back. So, if you find yourself contemplating the idea of therapy, I highly recommend you taking this first step to getting your life back. It might not be easy, but it will so be worth it. At the end of the tunnel, there is light waiting for you to rediscover it. You just have to take the plunge to find it.
Sarah Chavis has lived from the happiest of times to the most challenging of times. In 2014 she gave birth to her daughter (the high) and buy 2017 she was divorcing her husband (the low). Divorce wasn’t something that she wanted to happen, but she had to do it for both her daughter and herself. Sarah chronicles her experiences and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly at her blog – http://itsabellalife.org.