Overcoming Insecurities

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I've struggled with insecurities all of my life. From my weight, to my big nose, and my gap teeth, to my general worthiness and loveableness - I've been my biggest critic and always the first one to knock myself back down. With divorce, your ego takes a big hit. Your life is flipped upside down and you're no longer part of a "unit" but operate as a "me". You no longer have your person to have your back or lift you back up when you need it, and if you're having a rough day it's really easy to just spiral down deeper.

My marriage and subsequent divorce, revealed the darkest of sides to all of my insecurities. And now - I'm constantly comparing myself to other mothers, partners my ex dates, the lives my friends are leading, etc. I'm looking around and seeing movement forward and sometimes I just feel so stagnant and unmotivated.

Recently my ex introduced her fiance (yep.) to our children. Seeing a strange woman on my side of the car, driving away with my ex wife and our children in tow really struck me right in the gut. Why was I thrown aside? Will my daughters still love me and see me as mom? It's difficult to not feel replaced even if the "smart" side of me knows better. It's all work that needs to be done.

This past year since my divorce was finalized has been filled with so much growth. Learning to be back on my own, run my own home, be in charge of my own finances and the freeeeeeeedom to make my own decisions. (I don't think partnered people remember how amazing it is to not have to check in with someone on decorating, eating, financial, etc. decisions) Seeing other people outside of me ex - as in actually SEEING another woman as dating potential - allowing my eyes and heart to be re-opened to opportunities in love when for so long it was guarded and hurt. Growth in my career and finally getting to where I have wanted to be in a role I've wanted to be in for so long. Figuring out motherhood as a single mom - as in having no one to tap me out and help when I've been up with the girls all night long, or when we need to run to Target or the grocery store ... figuring out getting us there and what we will need. Reconnecting and building stronger friendships with my friends and creating goals and enjoying life again. 2016 has sucked in so many ways, but has been filled with so much joy and learning opportunities that it's hard to believe.

So with that - I see it. I see it all laid out and understand that I'm stronger that I give myself credit for.  That my children see their mommy and love their mommy (they now tell me!!) regardless of whomever else comes in their life. The fact is that I'm their mom and nothing changes that. So it's all continually a work in progress. In seeing what I'm experiencing and knowing my worth and value isn't always tied to those situations. To recognizing those instances where it doesn't and seeing those times when my value and worth is valid and reinforced. It's a journey. A long long long journey and I'm pretty sure it doesn't even end when I find someone new in my life or get re-married. It's all about me and discovering myself and working on myself to be the best I can be for myself and my daughters.

Finding Your Tribe

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

One of the things I lost for a bit (in addition to myself) was my "people," my tribe if you will. So when I was getting married, then newly married, then pregnant and a new mom - I found myself alone a LOT. To the point where I didn't feel cared about, that the weight of everything was baring down on me and I had no one in my corner to lift me up or listen to the things that hurt my heart.

One thing I learned is essential after divorce, is not only picking the piece of yourself back up but picking up the pieces of relationships lost (friendships,family relationships, etc.) and investing back into those. When your partner in life is no longer and you truly feel alone, and are without "people" you can get trapt into spiraling back into something much deeper.

I've been lucky. My friends have welcomed back into their lives with open arms. They have let me text their eyes out, invade in their lazy Saturday plans, share a laugh, etc. They have let me fill myself back up with their love and I've cherished it so much over the past year and a half. They have let me reconnect with them, to have valuable conversations, to love on my children, and to save me when my heart hurts the most. They have been my biggest cheerleaders, and my sounding boards. They have become part of my tribe.

If you're at the tailend of your marriage, or struggling post separation or divorce - just remember it's not a rush to the alter against your ex. It doesn't matter who finds their "next person" first or fills that void of love/relationship. You need to work on yourself, what you can do to be the best person, friend, parent, family member you can be. You need to find what makes your heart sing (and I promise that it WILL take time ... and be ugly at points). You need to re-invest in lost relationships and really give value to them. Don't just talk your family's ears off regarding your relationship woes or heartbreak (I mean I do still!) but also ask about them, GENUINELY be interested, check in, meet up for drinks - let them help bring you back.

There's a light at the end of the tunnel, I promise you. And although we are always working on ourselves and we're constantly changing and evolving - this is just a funk for you. There is opportunity to turn this boat around and find the dock you belong to be parked at. For awhile at least, until wind kicks up into your sails and sends you on your next journey.