I wrote about my marriage and divorce journey in my first book “It’s My Life and I Live Here: One Woman’s Story“. I lost many things, and I left the marital home with a bitter, broken heart and a two-year old. Over the years I found ways to heal from the pain of betrayal and disappointment. Here are some of what I did to continue my journey to healing.
1. I made a conscious decision to LIVE. At first it was a difficult decision because I loved my ex and I did not want to be a single mother. But as time went by, I was determined to keep my son alive and minimized the effects of single parenting as much as I was able.
2. I decided to find out who I was. Because I tend to give a lot of myself away in relationships (i.e. friendships, family & romantic connections) I was used to defining myself by what I did for others. After the marriage ended, I felt that it was time to get to know the real me. I spent many weekends reflecting on my life-choices and made conscious decisions to change how I viewed myself or how I conducted myself in relationships.
3. I took control of my circumstances and decisions. I made many poor decisions in my married life because I felt as if I had no choice. As a single woman who was now in charge of every decision, I wanted to make choices that were more reflective of my beliefs and of where I wanted my life to go. Financial choices were high on my list of items to change. I am still working on that aspect, and it has been a worthwhile effort.
4. I began to enjoy being single. I now look forward to child-free weekends to explore new adventures with friends or alone. I spend at least 3 weekends/weeks traveling every year to network and experience new things. In 2013 I vacationed on my island home of Jamaica alone for the first time. It was so much fun!
5. I started doing some of the things I used to do. I have begun cooking again, something I used to do plenty of during my marriage. I stopped cooking for years because it brought back many painful memories. There are still some dishes I have not cooked again since then, but I am much closer to where I used to be in that regard.
6. I experimented with change. My experiments with change are mainly surrounding how I wear my hair, and now I’m dabbling in fashion a bit. I believe that when I have a look that I desire, I will feel more confident as a single woman.
My single years have given me plenty of opportunities for reflection, correction, experimenting, and chances to laugh and cry more freely. I share my heart openly in social settings more than I ever did in the past. I am not afraid to be me anymore.
Love is my theme for living, and I look forward to the day when I will be able to reflect on these single years as a time when I learned to love and appreciate the new me.