Divorce Self Health Tip #1: Write Your Feelings Down

It's 2 a.m. and you are all alone. Your mate has left, telling you your marriage is over, and you are beside yourself with grief.Your chest feels like it is bursting and you can't sleep because of the thousands of thoughts and fears crowding your head.

Get up and write down your feelings. Set them down on paper! (I found that putting pen to paper felt more tactile and personal than using a computer.)

Here are the thoughts I wrote during my most turbulent times. Few are full sentences. Most are hastily written words.

I feel...

taken for granted
like a burden

I am surrounded by...

married couples
people with children
happy people

I am isolated from....

my husband
my creativity
my former social life

I yearn for ...

my mate
feeling loved
being wanted

I have lost my rudder
I feel isolated
I am refusing invitations
I am reneging on promises

And then I wrote the qualities I liked about myself, such as:

I am a decent loving person
I am talented
I am smart
I am loyal
etc. etc.

I am not saying that writing your thoughts down will give you an instant magic cure and that you will start to sleep better. But over time your need to write every fear down will lessen. As you tackle some seemingly insurmountable problems, the very act of writing down what you plan to do, and what you did and why, will empower you.

The important thing about jotting down your thoughts is that you are creating a dialogue with yourself. The terrified and sad person inside of you begins to communicate with the sane, decent, talented and loving side of you. Try to end your midnight ramblings with positive thoughts. Always allow the good, thinking, sensing person inside of you to have the last say.

I used this technique a lot, and over time it began to work in my favor. I jotted down my fears every day. Then I wrote down the nice things I did for people to counteract all the horrible things I was hearing from Bob during therapy.

I also wrote down my immediate goals and long terms goals; what would make me happy (keeping the house, finding a job with benefits, finding a new mate, becoming financially solvent, etc.); and the steps it would take to achieve those goals. The act of writing down my fears, and then tackling difficult problems by breaking them down into achievable goals turned my negative, self-defeating thoughts into positive action. Plus my daily affirmations gave me strength.

Six and a half years after my divorce I still encounter some of those sheets of paper filled with my grief-stricken thoughts, fears, and tentative plans, and I am amazed how far along I've come.

No comments: