If our lives are a journey, then this was the place in the journey where everything that once was and that once worked no longer did. Everything fell apart and all that was left and all that I could do was surrender.
My whole world fell apart with one decision. The decision to get divorced. If you have read any of my previous blogs then you know, I was in a very abusive and volatile marriage for ten years. Then one day I could not stand another second of it. I could not smile and act as if everything was okay. I could not shield my kids from the truth anymore. I could not cover for him. It had actually gotten so bad that a few months prior I tried to commit suicide. I could not live life like that anymore. Divorce was my escape, and I was doing it.
The divorce process was ugly, painful, miserable, exciting, depressing, expensive, and so much more. I was divorced the end of July, 2017. Finally. I moved and was starting a new, exciting, better life for me and my kids. Or so I thought.
Just three months later, I was having one of the most difficult times in my life. I cried constantly. I was miserable. I was lonely. I doubted myself and every decision I made. I thought I was not only a horrible mother but also a horrible person. I was not showering. I was drinking too much, smoking pot a lot and having meaningless sex with strangers. Something important ended, and somehow I had to go on. But all I saw was darkness ahead and no path. I was left only with doubt and fear. I had lost my whole life and myself. It was terrifying, lonely and disorienting .
Looking back on this time period I am able to really see and understand better. It was such a complicated time and I did not give myself the time or tools I needed to work through it. During this period I had experienced three serious losses: losing what I now know was my “imaginary” self, losing faith and losing a sense of place and purpose. To succeed at my post-divorce, single mom life I needed to hit rock bottom and surrender to be open to transformation. And I had certainly hit rock bottom (more accurately crashed into it.)
Thank G-d, a therapist I was seeing suggested I check out an intensive outpatient program in town. I needed help and I found help. The program changed my life. It connected me with providers, taught me skills, facilitated my transformation and built relationships with some of my closest friends. The program was my “interim place”. An interim place is the place between what was and what will be. Interim places are critical times for personal and spiritual development. It begins where our power ends, so we enter this phase through our vulnerability and woundedness, not strength. It felt like it would last forever, and the work was so hard. It was filled with lessons, most important for me was to live in the solitude and stillness and to look inward for what I needed.
I had to do the work and make new, harder, better choices. I could no longer work from a place of fear. All actions that originate from a place of fear invariably result over time in maintaining the status quo. I no longer wanted to be afraid, and I no longer could remain hidden from my true self. I slowly began to turn inward. I listened to the wisdom that came when I was quiet in body and mind. Transforming is silent work and is largely invisible to those around us. It is incredibly devalued in our culture. My heart wanted to open to the fullness of all of life’s experiences and to the beauty and also the struggles. In this opening I found fullness of a higher power within, my true essence and the start of new way to live.
I truly don’t recognize who I used to be. My real work at this time was to be present (no obsessing over the past and no future worrying), practice gratefulness and breathe. I had to stop the activity and the busyness of life and to attend to the real matters of life in a different way. After five months I was alive again. Not just alive but better. My story was still my story but I was the author and editor of it now. There were still a lot of challenges and hardships in this new life I was creating, but I knew that they could not break me. I had transformed into this version of myself which I now call the Suburban Goddess Mom.