I had been married for 14-years and I just decided that I wasn’t growing and I got a divorce.

I suddenly had a lot of free time so I started writing. I always wanted to write a mystery novel, I’m a mystery novel fan and so that’s where I went. I got creative and started jotting down notes and putting together short writing periods every day and I started my first novel.

I wrote my first mystery novel and I was going through a really ugly divorce…no one could be adults. Right in the first chapters, I killed someone and if you look at the description it was my ex-husband.

It was hugely cathartic on so many levels. It allowed me to work through not only on day-to-day issues that were frustrating me but as anyone knows who goes through a healing process, a lot of these things that come up for you are things from your childhood that you should have exhaled a long time ago. It was the beginning of a very healing journey.

He felt scorned and out of that was constant attacking. If I’d know then what I know now I would have ignored it.

There were so many times when I wish I had just ignored it all and risen above it but I fought back, things escalated and made it worse.

It grew into this cathartic adventure into this is what I do for a living now.

There was a pattern that I tried to break so many times I realized it wasn’t me who needed to break it.

I never realized how disconnected I was from myself. I would never cry. I was really proud that i never cried about anything. That was one of the things that came up. I had been stuffing my emotions for so long. I think the violence in my books was my way of letting some of that out and thinking about what created that stuffing down for me.

The anger was holding the tears down. Once I had an outlet for some of that anger the tears started flowing.

Dating is just not my thing. It was odd because it had changed so much. When I met my husband there was no online dating.

During my divorce, my father passed away. As I was getting the company up and running my sister passed away. Then I had to take care of my mother and then my mother passed away. It’s only been in the past 3-years I’ve been able to get out there.

I think I thrive on change in some respects. Staying positive and moving forward has not been difficult for me and sometimes I wonder if it’s denial or if it’s just I’ve sort of developed with all that loss that whatever is going to happen is going to happen and if I sit there and dwell on it I won’t move forward.

I have a great outlet. I love hiking and running.

It can change in a minute.

Get up out of bed every single day put something on your notepad or calendar that helps you move forward. Baby steps if you have to but don’t wallow in it. Be grateful for the time you had with those people and move forward because it’s your life now. You can’t get stuck in the past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you go through a bad divorce you always think the worst, but life turns around and happiness can be found by anyone who wants it.

I was married for 20-year and prior to when I was married I had a collection as many of us do. Mine happened to be the passion for dolls, specifically Barbie Dolls. I had them displayed in the home.

Babies came along and I needed that room for my daughters. I needed space and I had no place to put my doll collection. I did the worst thing. I packed it up and I stored it in my garage.

As time went along and the marriage started to fail I began thinking of my future and what I was going to do with this collection. It started weighing heavily on my mind.

I don’t know what happened, but sometime between the time that I picked up 1-2 loads I went back, and the garage was completely empty, and my collection was gone. It was quite shocking because I didn’t expect that.

It’s bringing up those feelings of how could this happen? Why would someone be so cruel? Someone that I was with and loved and had children with and they knew how important these things were to me…what happened?

It was very hurtful. I was sad. I got very angry. It was horrible. When I say I was angry, I also wanted to get revenge. He had a collection himself. I could have very easily taken from that collection. I wanted revenge, but I didn’t ever take it.

I’d had enough of the anger, I’d had enough of the hate, I’d had enough of the arguing. I just let it be.

Still, I feel it now…how could this happen? It was so hurtful.

After you go through these periods almost like grieving…it sounds ridiculous to say that…grieving over material things. I got to this point of, as long as I have my girls and I have the things that they want then I’m going to be okay.

You get to a point where you can’t live in anger and if you want to have a good future you have to start changing your mind.

I don’t want to live an angry life. I wanted to forgive him for it.

I wanted to live a life of clarity and focus.

For a while there I thought the world was coming to an end because my barbies were gone.

I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t need a lot of things. It’s all about where your focus is.

Things matter, but there are so many other ways to make memories.

Protect yourself. Make sure those agreements are in writing. Look and focus on enjoying life with your loved ones. Spend more time with your family Enjoy adventures. Protect yourself and enjoy life without having a bunch of stuff stacked up all around you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I graduated college I was here in the states and I did what I thought was expected of you which was I graduated, I found a job, I met someone, got married, had the kids, had the house, had the cars, the private schools, the vacation and I thought that was what my path was going to be.

I found myself in a place where I had to make a decision. Do I continue this life where I almost felt like a zombie…I had lost myself. It was more of a numbing sensation.

I chose me and my kids. Because becoming single would mean that I would be a better mother and a better person.

I was married for 13-years and I got used to him being there and my kids being there. When I found myself single and I would be home alone, that was very scary at the beginning.

Take time to understand who you are. The person you were before getting married and the person you were while you were married is not the same person after marriage.

The independence part was learning it was okay to just take time for me and learning that when my kids were gone it was okay to sit down and read a book or for me to watch a Hallmark movie and cry or just give myself permission to learn who i was.

I discovered the person that I thought was no longer there. I learned that I did have the determination and the perseverance to make things happen. I learned that if someone told me I couldn’t do it that I was going to prove them wrong. The Latina in me came back out.

My husband was American and a lot of the Latina part of me, the culture part of me was no longer there, and I started to embrace it again.

I learned especially in the first few years that I was in no way in a place to make hard decisions. I was so dependent on what he did and what he thought and what he said that for a while there I made some very bad decisions or poor decisions because I didn’t know any better.

It was just us three and I started to feel stronger and they got to see that side of me that I hadn’t shown them in a while.

My ex-husband and I got along. We didn’t put each other down. We didn’t have the kids pick sides.

I became overly protective, especially my daughter. I coddled her because I felt guilty. That was not necessarily the best thing because I didn’t let her grow up on her own for a bit.

My mom came and stayed with me and helped me with the kids.

It was like we were roommates. We were having a life together but we weren’t together. It was almost like it was a natural thing to happen. I did have some support at church.

Believe me, there were a lot of mistakes along the way, but when I fell down I got up and tried it again.

It was just a matter of stepping back into the person I was.

I probably grabbed onto the things I learned in college life which was just keep moving…focus on what you are doing.

Make sure that whatever decision you make is a decision you can live with and it is a decision that aligns with you. If you decide to stay married you’ve got to give it 100%. You’ve got to do the work to make it work. At one point or another, neither one of us had the energy to give to it.

If you choose to leave, do you have people you trust, people that support you, people that can be that positive influence because it’s not easy?  It’s almost like you need to have a plan so you’re not just stepping into the unknown without any kind of support system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found myself Suddenly Single when my only sibling passed away. My older brother died and I was suddenly an only child.

I stayed home from work that day. I wasn’t feeling good and I had a bad stomach ache. I called in sick because something didn’t feel right and then my mom called me in the early afternoon and she told me that Larry’s dead.

I literally could not comprehend what she was telling me. I thought she was telling me that the bird I had left behind when I got married had died. I couldn’t register it.

And then once I understood what she was saying my stomach literally dropped and I collapsed on the floor. You hear people say the bottom of their world drops out…that was literally what I experienced. It was a complete shock.

We really bonded as adults and it took on a whole new level of our relationship which that’s something I think I’m going to miss more than anything. I didn’t get to see that continue to develop.

We both have a very morbid sense of humor. The funny thing about my brother was, even up to a week before he died, he was able to make jokes about his own death. He was very, you live and then you die.

Music is instrumental for me as far as evoking memory. I’ll hear a song out of nowhere, and it’s like I know he’s there and I know he’s with me and that’s a really beautiful thing because I feel like I can still share a moment with him.

My brother was very outgoing and funny but he was very insecure and I think he was an introvert but he masked that with being outgoing and his sense of humor.

Initially, I think I was in such shock and I had to be strong for my parents. Losing a child is one of the biggest losses anyone can experience so I really wanted to be there for them so I think I suppressed my grief a little bit. I definitely felt it, but I didn’t really open my arms to experiencing that at the moment.

It hits you like a hammer. You forget that they’re not there. I remember for months after he was gone I would have dreams that I had prevented him from what he had done [accidental overdose].

I would wake up excited that I had saved him and then that grief washing over again realizing what had happened. It was really rough.

Physical fitness has always been something for me that helps me cope with that so that was definitely something but eventually just coming to terms with what had happened and not being afraid to engage with those feelings.

My parents definitely took turns dealing with their grief.

I’m ashamed of this now, I was so uncomfortable with my own grief at times and still trying to process that, that their grief made me uncomfortable. I wanted to put a bandaid on it. I was there for them but in a lot of ways, I wasn’t as much there for them as I would have liked because I was grieving too. They had lost a child but I’d lost a sibling.

You’ve got three players in a formerly four-member unit and the three of us are kind of lost at sea floundering lost in our own grief…trying to help each other but also trying to figure out how to stay afloat ourselves.

I have a wonderful relationship with my parents. I think the hard part and being Suddenly Single as far as a child is I know that the responsibility of my parents is squarely on my shoulders and only my shoulders now. I don’t have a sibling to help decide as my parents get older to help support them, not financially necessarily, but emotionally. If something happens to them it’s all on me.

Its been difficult as I get older to realize I don’t have that sibling to share that with.

I’m childless by choice, they always thought Larry will have kids and then when he died they were grieving the not having grandkids thing.

There’s so many dynamics involved when you lose a sibling that I think most people don’t think of right off the bat. You lose your friend. My brother was my original friend as my sibling and when you lose that there’s so many parts of your life that you lose. When you lose your sibling there’s so many parts of your life that you lose.

You lose your friend, you lose the person that you know is always going to rib you and pick on you but if anybody else does it they’ll defend you. They’ll stand up for you. It’s okay if they tease you but nobody else can.

I think any family when you lose a sibling or a member you lose that sparkly little person and all the jokes, and helping mom and dad, and ribbing me on my athletics, and he had names for my husband that I cannot repeat in polite society. It’s like how do you put a name to the things you took for granted because that person is always in your life.

You just want to reach for the phone even 15-years later and ask, what do you think about this?

My brother had flaws, we all do, but he was such a wise intelligent human being and I miss his perspective on every little thing.

Some of the best jokes and memories I have his fingerprint on it. I love that. He’s never really gone then. Every day I remember him and am reminded of him.

You’re reminded what a gift life is and how delicate and fragile it is in the sense that nothing’s guaranteed. I think it brought us closer in that way.

My parents and I have always had a wonderful relationship. We’re a very close-knit family. That’s a blessing, but I think that also made this loss that much more difficult when you lose that. We have such a small family. I don’t have a lot of cousins or relatives. We’re just as close as we ever were but I think we are much more appreciative and we understand.

We never forget to say I love you. We never not give a hug. We just know…we just kind of cling to each other because we know this is what we have.

I used to be very insecure. I used to be a huge worrier. I used to really doubt my worth and interestingly when Larry died it was this shift of wow, life is short and I do not have time to waste. I cannot live my life as a fearful person.

I grabbed life by the horns. I don’t worry about the little things anymore. I am so much more appreciative of everything nowadays. I feel like his death almost gave me a second lease on life because I can now live for the both of us.

I feel his presence. I know he’s there and it was just this dynamic shift in me and in my life. It’s horrible that something like that had to happen, but I feel like if nothing else that’s the gift I can at least take away from this.

It’s really hard when you lose anybody that you love to go, someday this is going to mean something. You don’t think about that in the moment, but it unfurls and it evolves and you grow.

I don’t know that it gets better, but it just gets, and you start to see the light in places that maybe you weren’t seeing it before.

Hold their memory close. Remember the good times, laugh at the hard times, try to see the world through their eyes.

Being able to talk about them, share about them…keeps their memory alive. You’re going to be sad, it’s going to be horrible but don’t forget who they are. As the pain allows, continue to let their memory live on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something happens with people where they grow apart or they have decided this isn’t what they want anymore and they don’t communicate it very well.

My partner and I found out this wasn’t a good fit for us but instead of communicating it was a little dramatic. It was a little Tyler Perry-ish. It was a little much but my kids and I have come out on top of it.

No one expects to be Suddenly SIngle. No one expects to break up and have a divorce.

We had one of those social media-friendly marriages where everyone saw the good stuff but no one really saw the bad stuff. I think people struggle with people they really like speratating because that’s their marriage too and people really felt they deserved an explanation as to why we were splitting up.

It was very dramatic from the public versus private standpoint. Having to create boundaries with people. I found myself instead of taking care of myself I was comforting other people about my situation and I’m like, wait a minute, this is not how you heal.

It was having to block off and create a new community on top of what we were already experiencing.

That group of friends we had from college, we all grew up together but they didn’t understand we had grown apart.

I had to make new friends, I had to make new hobbies, I had to make a new life for myself.

When you are raised in a very Catholic household where people don’t get divorced, they just die and you are a widow, I was a failure to my family.

I had to recreate myself. It wasn’t a full recreation, it was just embracing the side of myself that I didn’t know as a single woman. I got married when I was 23. I had my first kid when I was 20. I did that backward too, that was a Catholic no-no.

My identity was a married person, a mother person. To come out and say this is who I am and this is who I’ve always been is just a breath of fresh air and a weight off my shoulders.

My identity has become this no-nonsense chick who is honest about everything she is doing in her life because that’s not who I was before. I was in an unhappy marriage and I was trying my best to save face in the community effort that didn’t matter.

We are who we are. We don’t have to impress people.

I’m finishing up my book and then started podcasting which completely brought me out of my shell. I never thought I’d be a podcaster. Who would have thought a secretary from Baltimore would come to DC and start podcasting and doing media stuff.

Your identity is often made up of people’s opinions of you.

We have these other people’s opinions of ourselves that we walk in every day and we wear that coat, but that’s not the coat you selected for yourself.

In reality, your day job is just paying for your night dreams and your night hobbies. We have to say this is who I am, let me be myself all the time.

It was very hard to decide that I didn’t want to just be identified as a divorcee. It was very hard not to wallow in self-pity and just cry every day. It was very hard to not call people and whine about what coulda, shoulda, woulda been.

There’s a whole world of opportunity ahead of me.

What do my kids deserve to see me overcome?

I believe God, the universe, whatever you want to call her, is there for you and doesn’t want you to fail.

When we hold onto those hurts it doesn’t help anyone.

Prayer is a form of self-affirmation.

I was my worst critic.

That critical voice inside yourself is really just fear that it is trying to root itself inside your center and it can’t be there.

Going and out and experiencing new things is just so important especially when you’re in a place of self-doubt. When you’re sitting in your self-doubt nothing is going to change. Get outside and get uncomfortable.

I have two boys. The coolest part has been watching them comment on what they see. My youngest will say, you look so happy or I’m so proud of you. It’s eye-opening to watch yourself though your little people’s eyes.

To see that they are adapting and changing and growing with me has been the best part of the process.

As we are growing we are often learning about what we don’t want. I’m trying to learn to date and how to be treated properly.

I’m just so excited to meet new people and meet people where they are.

If a man tells you you’re too much for them that’s not your person.

We just have to be open to opportunities. My gut is always accurate. If I trust my gut more I would be more successful.

Social media is not real. These are images. The picture doesn’t have to be perfect. Let’s be real about our challenges and our situations. You don’t have to share with the whole world, but when that picture starts to fall apart, understand that you’re not a failure. The situation failed but you are not a failure. You always have a chance to be successful and be adventuresome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I left my relationship it was an act of self-love. I found myself in a very toxic situation.

I was in a step-family experience. I was an active step-mom, I don’t have children of my own so I was a childless step-mom. I went into that relationship not understanding family dynamics and things fell apart.

I had reached my breaking point.

when I found myself Suddenly Single it was sudden because within a month I was living in another state and I had to move in with my sister because I didn’t have any money. In the situation I was in, all my finances got turned upside down.

The job I had set up had fallen through by the time I got there. I was in this situation where I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have any credit, I didn’t have a job, my car got a flat tire right as I rolled into town. Everything fell apart all at the same time.

I was heartbroken because I knew what situation had to end, and even though a lot of the toxicity was not coming from my boyfriend, it still had to end.

Part of my recovery is I really had to go into soul searching. I went into learning mode. I guess that is how I deal with situations. I try to understand things better. I was going to the library a lot.

It took years though. It wasn’t an overnight process. I wanted to feel happy again. That was my driving force. Since I knew it was possible, I had this internal driving force to get that for myself again.

I tried and tried and tried all these different things to make it work and I realized these people are not going to change. Nobody else is going to change. That was kind of the ah-ha moment…maybe even an earthquake moment. It hit me so strongly that this situation I was trying so hard to change and I was trying so hard to fix was not going to get fixed. People didn’t want to get fixed.

I had such good intention and I realized the other people in the situation didn’t want to change. So when that hit me at a very deep level. I am losing my sense of self and I am losing my sense of who I am. I’m losing my core values and the things I like about myself. I had no more enjoyment.

It’s about being happy in your core and I lost that.

It was a slow step-by-step process for getting back on my feet.

I no longer had a second income to back me. I no longer had that comfort of those shared expenses, of those shared resources. There’s an upside and downside to that. Because it was only me I could make more sacrifices.

I became very resourceful. I was very careful to only buy what I needed. I was willing to put in the time because I didn’t have the money. It’s that tenacity of always looking forward.

Right now it’s hard but this is temporary because on the other side of this I’m going to have more freedom and help people.

I am a very practical person. I do my best when balancing my emotions and practicality.

The process of that growth was about my healing. How do I not feel resentment?

I wanted to help other people but I needed to help myself first. I needed to figure out what it would take for me to want to be a step-parent again?

I needed to dig deep and really learn about myself in a really deeper way. All the books, they weren’t just self-help books. They gave me a new perspective. Every new book or resource that came into my being was about helping me understand myself better. Why did I choose that relationship?

I very much felt like a victim and I had to overcome that. I had to dig deep into learning about myself.

Remember who you really are in your core. Remember you are not those situations you are in.

When you remember who you really are in your core, that creative part of you…that part of you that is almost magical, your inner child, so to speak, just remember those aspects about you, I think that helps.

Remember who you are from your perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two summers ago I was experiencing a marriage that had turned very violent very quickly.

Finding the courage to exit that space happened in a moment. I was Suddenly Single in about two hours.

As suddenly as I departed I had known for about a year that I was trying to leave. But it’s such a wild space to be in a place where you are emotionally and sometimes physically hammered to the point that you lose a sense of self, a sense of reality, a sense of direction, a sense of communication. You just completely lose yourself in the haze and the chaos.

I had so many friends and family members on the outside saying you’re such a strong woman…I’ve always seen you as this empowered person. How in the world did you get into a space in a relationship where you were so defeated and you were so lost, and you were feeling so broken?

I think my kids are what kept me from being there for 5-years or 10-years.

I fell in love with him. I was head over heels. I thought he was my spiritual partner.

I fell in love with this idea of who my husband was. Looking back I see all the little red flags that I kept excusing because I was so excited about this other stuff.

I was without employment, without my own resource pool, and with a newborn daughter. Finding the energy to address what I was experiencing was completely overwhelming in the beginning and I felt trapped.

I just kept telling the story, this is just stress…this is just stress. Whatever I could do to keep myself safe in that space.

This isn’t going to be her story of love. She isn’t going to see her dad treat a woman this way.

I acknowledge the difficulty when there are children involved, but at the end of the day, it was choosing myself but also their ability to grow and develop and be in love and relationship with another got me to exit.

I felt like I was standing in the middle of a desert and there were windstorms all around me and I didn’t see an end in sight in any direction.

I felt so isolated, I felt so disconnected. I couldn’t even really remember what I could offer the world.

The really interesting thing was how much time it took me to quit caretaking him. My brain was still so oriented towards his healing. It took my brain and my being so long to quit focusing all my attention on him.

What ultimately allowed me to restabilize was receiving in community. I asked for help. I spoke to my disorientation. I spoke to my shame. It was my second marriage and when I entered into it I thought it was my last marriage. No one wants to be divorced twice. I had so much shame around so many aspects of it and I was really frozen when I first exited.

I had to do a lot of speaking with safe people about what was going on. I had a network of safe people who in many ways I had been isolated from in my marriage but that I reached back out to and said I needed to just talk. I don’t really remember who I am, I don’t really remember what my gifts are, I don’t remember how to share myself in the world. There are some basic things like feeding myself right now that are really difficult. I just need to remember who I am.

I allowed help and community to come back in my life and that meant everything.

Here I am. Its been almost two years now. I welcomed a new love into my life about 5-months ago.

The key thing that I’m trying to share is I never let go of my belief in love, I never let go of my belief in better things, I never let go of my belief of my capacity of healing. Opportunities continued to open as I continued to walk towards that path I was always trying to get on.

He was the ultimate climax in a long history of men I had an imbalanced relationship with where I was caretaker and they were the one who stole the show. I chose to let this time be that refiners fire.

I really devoted myself to transitioning out of this life-long behavioral pattern with men in my life.

It’s amazing what has just continued to open up in my life.

There is a beautiful community waiting for you. There is a massive network of humans out there that are willing and able to help people transition through these spaces. Just reach out. There are resources and they are there to help with these very things. Trust that you can make it out and that there is a different way and that the ache will eventually go away.

Reach for the community and make sure you are held because in the beginning you just can’t do it on your own. You just can’t. We get reabsorbed into the vacuum if we try to do it ourselves. Access resources of community support to find your way through and out. There are many people waiting to hold you and walk you through that space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got married when I was not quite yet 22 to someone who was quite a bit older than me.

Once you reach a certain point in life, you end up going downhill a little quicker than a younger person would and so I couldn’t really relate to what he was going to. It was a little strained but I was quite surprised when I found he had passed away.

I didn’t know until 3-months later that it wasn’t really a heart attack it was an accidental overdose. He was taking prescribed pills but unfortunately, he was abusing those. I was very angry about what he had put me through.

I was in kind of a rage and I went to a therapist and he truly changed my life. He made me understand that I could pick someone else that was truly healthy for me.

I was nervous but also kind of excited to find someone that was my age and that we could enjoy doing things together and being a couple.

I treated dating almost as a job. I was going to find someone that would fit with me. There were times when I would go on three dates with three different guys in a week. I met probably 50 gentlemen.

When I met my husband that I’m married to now we just absolutely clicked. My dad was dying at the time. His mom had died of cancer much like what my dad was going through.

It was like we had been together forever.

He jokes that I’m in charge and he likes it that way.

He’s my rock.

I know I can be a bit much at times and he lets it slide off his back. It’s not a big deal to him. If I could clone him I’m sure I could make a lot of money.

I can’t say he’s the perfect guy because there is no perfect guy but he’s the perfect guy for me.

My family loved him off the bat.

I don’t know what I did to deserve him but I’m glad I did it.

When I married my husband I knew he was an alcoholic and I married him to save him and I think it’s because of my low self-esteem. If I couldn’t hang onto an alcoholic, who could I hang onto? I just didn’t know that I could do this well.

Therapy is huge. He put me in the direction of life. He wrote me a blueprint for the rest of my life.

When you step your toe into that dating pool, don’t look back and don’t give up. Be safe of course and find the perfect person for you. Settling is not a good idea. You’ll get through this. It’s tough but it can get a whole lot better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was discontent with the current situation I found myself in. It happened as epiphanies over and over again and finally, I found myself saying that I’m no longer going to be in this marriage.

I was trying to avoid the inevitable. I knew I had to get out of the marriage.

I actually sprained my ankle and that slowed things down for me which really put things in perspective for me in needing to make changes. The hardest change that I decided I had to do was to sell my home.

I started seeing a therapist.

My support system was where I found my strength. People come to me. They see me as the healer. They see me as the counselor. They come to me for advice. I want to be there for everyone else but now it was time for me to be there for me and everyone else to be there for me.

I thought what I was asking from them was too much because I was already overwhelmed with it myself and here they are just graciously coming to help me pack and help me move and to bring me stuff.

You are you and that’s your power and you are going to get through this with all of us. They are my strength. I’m scared and I don’t want to be divorced.

I ended up having to move in with one of my closest and dearest friends.

God really just aligned people who I needed at that time in my life to show me I’m not in this alone. It was a challenge for me to ask for help but I asked the right people who were able to help me. That opened up my eyes because internally I was so afraid.

I honestly thought I was going to have kids with this man and be married forever. Divorce never crossed my mind. Ever.

I thought I could get through anything with that title of marriage. I had to see clearly that yes, I love love, but love alone is not going to carry a marriage.

I felt like I needed to be active within my community. I felt like that was me giving my healing hand the world. I didn’t realize I was so focused on everyone else I was neglecting the most important person and I was trying to avoid some important decisions.

I learned that I have to get rid of the preconceived notions in my mind.

I knew we were not equally yoked, but I prayed that the love I had for that person would show them all the potential that I see in them but it was really more of a control thing that I didn’t realize I had.

I’m pretty much at a place where I believe God is love.

I didn’t feel like I was receiving any of the love languages. I thought I had so much energy and love that I could do it myself. In reality, I’m still a human being. I realized I’m in this marriage alone and that’s not a good feeling.

I know I’m an emotional person and when I’m focused on happiness and peace that’s my coping. I don’t have to face that shadow side. When you’re alone you’ve got to find a way to release that.

The whole experience was me saying I wanted to change, I wanted to be happy, I wanted peace. The whole entire time I thought it was going to change the other person into falling in love with me. I had to really dive into myself and rediscover who I was and figure out what it is I really like.

That word divorced was heavy for so long.

For me to think I was any less of a person because it’s just me was the biggest lesson.

I’m exactly where I need to be and I don’t need to judge myself for what I’m going through because in return God is going to bless me with so much more.

I learned that I wanted to control things a lot more than I should have. I learned that I might not have always been the easiest person because I didn’t feel like I was being appreciated or I didn’t feel like I was being heard. I was dealing with a non-communicator so I stopped communicating my feelings because it was like my feelings didn’t matter.

As I got out of that relationship I realized I have to communicate with everyone around me and I have to tell them how I feel.

They didn’t judge me for one second and they were so proud of me and they were there and they were saying that they would be there with me through the process and they truly were and they still are and I judged myself way too much.

The way you talk to your best friend is the way you need to talk to yourself. It’s inevitable for you to see the change and to see the glow.  All I did was all that energy back into myself.

You’re not alone. You have to trust the process. As hard as it may seem yo are still here. You are still alive. Your purpose has not yet been served. You are here for a divine purpose. You have to be true to who you are.

Ask your angels for signs. Ask God to intervene. When those signs present themselves take action. Stay connected with your loved ones. Do whatever you need to do to stay sane because the outcome is going to be so profound…you are going to be so proud of yourself and your testimony will help others. That’s the part I love the most. For others to see my testimony and think, “Wow, you did it. Maybe I can move forward in this strength and make some changes in my life?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I met my wife freshman year in college. We became friends and started dating. We ended up getting married at the same time we graduated from college and we were together 17-years, married 13 years, and had 3 kids.

I decided to take the boys out to play so she could have a little me time and do her arts and crafts and just get a little time to herself since she was a stay at home mom.

We walked into the house and I was holding my 17-month old and my other two were walking with me, we walked in and found her on the floor.

She was a super healthy person. In shape, did yoga, ate right. Did all the things you’re supposed to do but apparently she had a heart condition that we didn’t know about. She died of sudden arrhythmic death syndrome. She was 35 at the time.

It was very surreal. It’s kind of like what you see in a movie. It’s very much a fog. I couldn’t process what was even happening.

I sat there with her for many hours. They kept asking me to call somebody. I didn’t know who to call.

I didn’t want to leave her because I knew I would never see her again. Finally, my friend said, “your boys need you” and that’s the only thing that got me to leave. On the way home I was thinking how am I going to tell my boys their mom is never coming home, she died?

It’s a very lonely journey in a lot of ways. For the first couple of months, a lot of people reach out to you. Then after about 2-months and they go back to their life and then you’re faced with the reality of your new life.

I don’t know if it makes you stronger to lose a spouse that you consider a soul mate. She always made me feel stronger as a person. I do feel a bit wiser when it comes to life perspectives, some of the bigger questions that we battle within our brains. I’m more resilient for sure.

I was Christian before all this happened. My wife was a big believer in God and so was I. To be honest, I’ve struggled with that a lot since my wife passed away.

I really struggle to find any good reason for my boys to have to grow up without their mom, for me to have to raise them up without my partner next to me. I used to pray a lot. I haven’t really prayed since then.

My boys are doing really good overall. This is going to be a lifelong challenge for them.

When it comes to my boys, I do feel like we have a stronger relationship because of what we’ve all been through, and because of them having to rely solely on me.

I really hope I do find somebody special in my life again. I think love and relationships are the most unique and special things about being human and our existence on this planet and in this life because there’s really nothing else like that.

It can be up and down with grief. It’s not a linear thing. It’s more of an up and down roller coaster. I would really hate to live the rest of my life without that unique and special relationship with somebody.

Rely on your family and friends. I’m not someone who was used to asking for help. Don’t be too prideful. There will be happy days again. When this first happened to me I didn’t think there would ever be happy days again.

It has shown me how precious life is. It has shown me how amazing each and every day is and that it’s a gift and that it’s not to be taken for granted and that those little moments we have with our friends and our family and or kids are truly special because there’s no guarantees of having that again. That’s the collateral beauty I’ve taken away.