Going through a rough time? Feel like the pain will never end? You may need to combine intentional activities with a lot of time. But please, don’t give up! Too many people give up too soon. Healing really does take time.
Several years ago, a client, I’ll call Cynthia, came to see me after her husband told her that he did not love her anymore and wanted to leave the marriage. He did not waste time and moved out the same day.
Feeling shocked and betrayed, Cynthia made an appointment with my office later that week. For many months, we worked together weekly. We worked on the grief involved with the loss- the denial and feelings of “This really can’t be happening”, the anger, the bargaining “I will be a better person/wife if we can turn this around”, the depression, and the deep feeling of rejection. We worked on all of this. We worked on strengthening Cynthia’s support system, and she attended a divorce group at a local church.
Most weeks it appeared that Cynthia was improving and her mood wasn’t always so depressed. However, Cynthia was impatient and wanted to feel better immediately. I educated Cynthia on the healing process and stressed the word process. Feeling better was not going to be an overnight thing. She would have to put up with a lot of pain for months, maybe even a year or two, but the pain would eventually decrease and she would find joy again.
We worked on gratitude and focusing on the positive things in life rather than the negative. Cynthia slowly began to accept that her marriage was over and put her energy into the good things that she still had in life. She became more active in her community and used “giving back” as a healing technique. Cynthia stopped listening to sad love songs, looking at old pictures that only brought her down, and stopped watching tear jerkers on Netflix. Instead, she consumed inspirational articles and books, attended worship services, and refused to sink down into a well of self-pity. Cynthia recognized that her husband’s decision to end the marriage did not make her unloveable. Cynthia chose to grow.
Intentional actions on Cynthia’s part brought her out of her depression. She could have easily reached into that negative tool box and spiraled down even deeper. But she made a decision to be compassionate with herself and with others. She eventually let go of resentment and was able to move forward in life.
There were times when Cynthia felt hopeless and really couldn’t put into words how much she wanted the pain to end- but I could see it in her eyes and I could feel it in the room. Although it was Cynthia’s intentional actions that brought her through, she couldn’t have done it if she had chosen to give up. Making a decision to tolerate the pain helped her get to the other side. She did not allow her “This is just too hard” feelings get in the way. She was courageous and put up with the intense pain for quite a while before it got better. She embraced, “This, too, shall pass” and refused to give up no matter how much she wanted to at times.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, seek support and don’t give up. Healing takes time. Sometimes lots of time. But once your wounds begin to heal, you will experience joy again.
If you would like to read other stories about people who have overcome challenges in life and learn how to let go of resentment and treat yourself with compassion, click here and check out my book, The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life. It is full of positive tools that will get you moving in a healthy much happier direction.
Always remember, You Are Worth It!
Never Give Up!