How Grief Leads You To Hope

Grief does not change you... It reveals you.
- John Green

Right after my husband left, I was clueless about the direction my life was going to take.
Losing my marriage brought a high degree of uncertainty that I didn't know how to process
at the time. What I didn't know when all this started, is that to recover from a loss one needs
to go through a grieving period. It's grieving period that will help you recover from your pain
and bring you clarity on the choices about your life you should take.

There are may articles that talk about the stages of grief. I always thought it would only
apply to the death of a loved one. I never thought possible that it would work the same way
for divorced people until my marriage was over. I think experienced all of the stages. I
definitely can't pinpoint when one started and when one finished. I do know I went through
all of them and this is what I learned.

When my ex told me he wanted out of the marriage, my first thought was, "this was gonna be
a temporary situation". I started doing everything in my power to hold on to him. I was
trying to fix things that were beyond repair and I didn't want to acknowledge that. I learned
that denial looks a lot like hope. I was hoping that my reality was not the one I was experiencing. I was dreaming with my eyes open to avoid having to deal with the chaos that a divorce involves. I kept believing everything would change for the better, when the only truth was the marriage was over. I realized now that the longer you stay in denial, the longer you will take to move forward with your life.

As I moved in and out of denial, my emotions turned to anger. Not only was my marriage over, my husband left me for another woman. I was angry because the other woman was 12 years younger than me. I was outraged because I couldn't do anything to fix my marriage. I discovered that my anger would only hurt me and those closest to me. My anger was like a poison. When I saw the extent of the damage that my anger could cause, I realized that I needed to let it go. My anger showed me how my reactions to my circumstances could poison every aspect of my life and every relationship I had. I learned how to discover what was truly important. When I was able to see that the love for my family was bigger than the bitterness I was carrying, I learned how to let go of my anger. Letting go of my anger brought me the peace of mind I needed to focus on the aspects of my life and the people who were most important.

This is the stage when I was able to start asking "what if" about my life. What if I got healthier, what if I went back to school and what if I did all those things I always wanted to do. This prompted me to start doing all kinds of positive things in my life. The downside of it, I was not doing any of them for me. I did it just to show my ex what he was missing. It was only after I reached a personal record on a half marathon that I realized: "anything I do to improve my life should come from my desire of being a better version of myself". That realization showed me that in the end what I do to improve myself should come from self love and not from the desire to impress someone else.

I was depressed and I didn't even noticed. The reason? I associated depression with tears and sad faces. I experienced depression more like a huge numbness. It was like I was living my life on "autopilot mode". I put on this facade of strength, almost like nothing was affecting me. At some point I got tired of faking being calm and collected at all times. It didn't allow me to get better, I was getting accustomed to feel numbed, and act accordingly. Pretending to be okay was crippling my ability to see the good things among all the bad. I had to recognize that behind of this numbness, I was just sad. Only when I was able to realize I was depressed, I was able to work on myself to get better. In the end we can't heal what we don't know we have.

Acceptance may sound a lot like losing, it sounds like giving up. In reality is nothing like it. Accepting my marriage was over, opened a new horizon for me full of hope. It gave me a new chance to create the life I had no idea I wanted. Never did I think that going through all the pain, the anger, the despair, would lead to what I am building today.

Grieving could be overwhelming, and the worst part of it, it can't be avoided. One thing I can say is that going through the process will give you a brand new hope in life. In order to get there, I had to learn how to be honest with myself. I learned that to look at myself and recognize my feelings and my reactions. I learned that the one person that has the power to make changes in my life is me. I realized that sometimes in order to win we have to be willing to let go of what we are holding on to. In the end, going through divorce wasn't the end of it all, it was more like the beginning of it all.

Thru my divorce I discovered I am a teacher, a writer and a loving mother.  I want my story to inspire you and fill you up with hope so you too can get to the other side of the tunnel.


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