And Now…Who am I?

And where do I go from here? What do I do? And how do I do it?

Words from a “suddenly single” woman. Words many “suddenly single” women…and men…have asked themselves. Many times. They’ve asked their friends. Their families. And they have no answers. At least not any answers they want.

For so many “suddenly single” women, it’s a frightening thought. Especially those who’ve been married for many years, and within a matter of a few days, that all changes. And they have no idea what to do; no idea where to start picking up the pieces; no idea what the rest of their life will be like. Or what the next few weeks or months will be like.

Along with being “suddenly single” they’re suddenly scared. And usually unprepared for living on their own.

Whether you were married five years, ten, thirty, or more, it’s still a loss, and it’s still hard. The longer the marriage, the harder it is to re-adjust. And I’m not speaking from a financial standpoint. That’s difficult enough, especially if the spouse left a financial disaster, causing you to have to totally change your entire way of life, from where you’re going to live to how you’re going to earn enough money for you, and your children, to survive.

Caring for your physical needs, though vitally important, is often many times easier though, than caring for and dealing with your psychological needs.

Because in the wee hours of the morning when you can’t sleep, you begin to re-think about everything that’s happened, over and over again. You relive the day he left, trying to think about what you could’ve done differently. Could you have said something that would have changed his mind? Why didn’t you see this coming? What did you do to cause it? How can you change things so he’ll come back? And would it really be better if he did?

What if? Why? How could I have been so wrong? Where do I go from here? How do I put my life back together with no one to help me? How will I ever find someone else and how long will that take? I can’t do this by myself….

So many questions that keep you awake at night, because there are no clear cut answers. Only more questions. The “woulda, shoulda, coulda’s” go on and on until you beat yourself up so much, you’re almost unrecognizable.

You feel embarrassed and think everyone who knows you is embarrassed to be around you, afraid your circumstances will somehow rub off on them. Or you feel you have to explain your current circumstances, sometimes in great detail, to everyone you meet, because otherwise, how will they know what you’ve been through!?

Why do they need to know? Really, why do they? It’s not their business. It’s yours. And telling your story over and over won’t change it. It’s like scratching off a scab that’s formed over a cut; removing the scab opens the wound and the healing process has to start all over again.

Dwelling on the past will also keep you from moving ahead into your future. Because as long as you continue to dwell on the past, you stay stuck in it, and can’t move forward. The cut re-opens over and over, and just can’t completely heal.

You may no longer be part of a couple, but you also cannot continue to be the victim you keep making yourself be! Unless you want to stay in that role. And that’s not the place you want to live.

But before you can completely begin your new life, and live it to the fullest, there’s an important step you have to take. One that’s also difficult, although necessary.

You have to discover who YOU are. What makes YOU happy. You have to be content being with yourself before you can even begin to think about bringing someone else into your life. Being lonely is hard, especially to a “suddenly single” woman. (I know. I’ve been there.) But being desperate to fall back into a relationship for comfort and security doesn’t work either. Until you can honestly say you know who you are; you like bring you; until you are no longer defined by past hurts, you won’t be ready for that new relationship you want so badly.

Because a new relationship doesn’t make you who you are. It doesn’t define you. You have to define yourself. It’s one of the most vital parts of the healing process.

Spend time with yourself. In fact, purposefully make time each day to just be with YOU. Go for a walk. Write a note to yourself in your journal. Sing with the birds outside. Talk to the Lord. Enjoy a private cup of tea or coffee, or a glass of wine. Have a conversation with yourself about your feelings. And be honest. Then pretend you’re a friend listening to that conversation, and give yourself advice from their point of view. And yes, that’s the difficult part!

But to heal and be ready for the next part of your life, it’s vitally necessary. If you’re not happy with yourself, how will you ever make someone else happy?

It’s a new day. Don’t waste another one in the past. Your future is ahead of you, starting right now!!! Don’t miss another day of it.

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