Don’t let your fears paralyze you and take simple steps to start living your life again.
When I got divorced, I was consumed with fear. I was terrified of just about everything. And when I say everything, I mean everything!
I was afraid that if I got “fat” that I’d be alone for the rest of my life. So, I ate very little and exercised a lot. The end result was that I became anorexic.
I was afraid I’d lose my job. And if I lost my job, I’d lose my home. And if I lost my home, I’d be forced to live on the streets. And if I had to live on the streets, I’d get sick and die a horrible death – alone.
I was afraid that anytime I had to travel by airplane that the plane would crash. Yup, whether the trip was for work or pleasure (especially if it was for pleasure) I was sure God would punish me for getting divorced by a fiery plane crash.
I was afraid to drive because I kept having these fleeting thoughts of just pulling out in front of the next big truck that drove by. And if I did that then I wouldn’t have to worry about my fears anymore.
Of course with all of these fears, I was afraid of being alone with my thoughts. They were so absolutely terrifying.
And the worst part was that as long as I was afraid of being alone with my thoughts my life was a nightmare. But I sure didn’t realize that then.
Back then I kept busy, but not productive. I was living my life on the surface and I felt lucky just to get through a day.
I hope you’ve been able to read through this abbreviated list of my fears and see the harmful state my mind was in. But then again, maybe you can identify with one or two of my fears.
The thing is it’s really natural for us to slip into the fears when we’re hoping to heal from divorce because our lives are changing so dramatically. So we wonder if we can survive all the changes. But staying in the fear doesn’t help at all.
The only way to heal from divorce is to face your fears and move forward despite them.
Moving forward doesn’t have to mean that you’re doing huge things to move forward. Moving forward also happens when you consistently do little things like I did.
For instance, to help me learn how to eat nutritious meals again, I started eating things that were quick and easy and not necessarily nutritious. This got me into the habit of eating again. Once I was regularly feeding myself, I starting paying more attention to what I was consuming.
To help me realize that I wasn’t going to lose my job, I talked with my boss about what was going on with my personal life and how it might impact my performance. He was incredibly understanding and even suggested that his son could come over and mow my lawn for me.
To help me become more comfortable driving, I focused on getting to my destination and why it was important that I got there. And the more I did this the less frequently the thoughts about pulling out into traffic occurred until they disappeared.
None of the thoughts or actions I took were difficult. They were just the easiest thing I could do to help me accept the fear and then move past it in some little way.
As I continued choosing the easiest thing to help me move past one of my fears, an amazing thing happened. I stopped being as petrified of my life. I started to relax. And I even started to have fun again.
Yup, I healed from divorce by purposely thinking different thoughts and doing simple things to face my fears. The result of taking all these simple steps was proving to myself that I was OK even if my life was totally different. And from knowing that I was OK I’ve been able to not only heal from divorce, but create an amazing life.
In case you’re struggling with some fear too, I challenge you to come up with a simple action or new thought you can use to help you begin to step forward into a good life after divorce.
Looking for more support and ideas for getting through your divorce? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Dealing With Grief.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce coach and advisor helping people just like you who are divorced and ready to heal so they can get on with their lives. You can join my anonymous newsletter list for free weekly advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with me directly in my Time Trade calendar.
This article originally appeared at DivorceForce.