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Breakdown or Breakthrough

by Melissa Yinger 2 years ago in divorce

A Self Start Guide to Crisis

Photo by Malik Earnest on Unsplash

Hey there. How you doing? If this is your first time, welcome. If you happen to be here for another trip, welcome. I want to say how brave I think you are. It's an amazing journey and it's going to require your utmost dedication. You have to be able to keep going when it seems like nothing has ever hurt this much or that you might be dying. Your old self will die off. You will inevitably try and keep it on life support for as long as possible because that's human. I hope that you have a funny internal voice for this. You are going through some heavy stuff, but you can survive it. And I'm going to give you a road map that I designed when I was going through my crisis.

  • Step 1: Love yourself. Your hair, your eyes, your face, your physical self. Stop focusing on the negative. Look for the positive. Always look for the positive. If you do not believe it, how can anyone else believe it?
  • Step 2: This is a biggie so buckle up, buttercup. Be honest with yourself. Why have you made those choices? What brought you to this precipice? Think about that and have an answer in your mind. What brought you to the ledge? How did you truly get here?
  • Step 3: Do you blame someone else? You absolutely certain about that? Short of any abuse, emotional, mental, or physical, your decisions and actions brought you here. Even if abuse was present, only so much of your actions can be forgiven from that. At some point you have to stand and stop being a victim.
  • Step 4: Be completely objective. Look at the situation not just from your eyes but also those involved. Was there hurt or anger or guilt or happiness that drove the moment? Think back and relish it but also look at the other side. What other motives were at play? How does it make you feel when you bring up those memories?
  • Step 5: Start all over. Dig deeper into your understanding until you know objectively what happened, or at least can see another perspective. Look for moments that led to the event and see if you had changed something if the outcome would have been different. You, of course, cannot actually change anything, but recognizing different behavior would bear a different outcome is how you learn and grow.
  • Step 6: Practice this over and over. This will make you absolutely raw from emotions and it will hurt and it will feel wonderful. Let it all in and process it. Truly give consideration to how you got this far. If you have never dealt with your emotions before, seeking a therapist can be a great start. Alternatively, there are lots of online support groups for crises and I encourage looking up and reaching out to specific counselors based on what you're going through.
  • Step 7: Be proud. Be proud of your mistakes and the things that were wrong. Make amends if you can and if you can't mend a relationship, let it go. If you have taken this advice, then you are changing and sometimes a constant reminder of what we were is unhelpful and unhealthy. I can tell you that it will all feel like nothing has changed until it finally just clicks for you. A day will come that you will notice the weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
  • Step 8: Think big, start small. Did you make it out of bed this morning? Heck yea! Good job and I am proud of you. Did you shower and get dressed in clean clothes? No? Give yourself a pass today but make it a priority tomorrow. Give yourself goals and dreams and start working toward them. And always be mindful of your responsibilities as well. Keep going even if it's baby steps.
  • Step 9: Never stagnate. Make a deliberate and conscious effort to never go back forever. You will have days where it's hard and IF you are honestly trying then accept that and roll with the punches. Learning grace and forgiveness for yourself is paramount. Be brave enough to own your life and make the decisions for you.
  • Step 10: Make new connections. And I'm not talking about banging someone new to get over someone else. Never do that. Do not get intimate with anyone until you have yourself and your life worked out. Find friends or colleagues that can be supportive. MeetUp is a great way to find people with like interests and will give you a break from the monotony of the everyday.
  • Step 11: Be unapologetically you. Do not be afraid to be the loud one or the one that dances in traffic or the one that cries during Disney movies. Find yourself and there is nothing you can't accomplish. Define yourself, by your own terms. Stay away from things that have been a constant in your life and try something new. Push the boundaries of your comfort zone, when you are confident in yourself that you are ready.
  • Step 12: Be patient. There will be people in your life that doubt your change. People that know eventually you will mess up again or that you will always be the same. Let them think that. Let that have no bearing on what you want to accomplish and delight in your growth. Focus on yourself and what you want in life.

If at any point in this, you stumble just get up and start again. This is what helped me get to acceptance of my divorce; I hope that it will help someone else, too. Every day is filled with new possibilities and new people to meet and new experiences if you are open to them. Just be and see what happens.


Melissa Yinger

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