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A few months ago, I experienced one of the most traumatic experiences in my life. And I’ve been through.some.stuff. Let me tell you. As someone who’s experienced about every type of abuse imaginable, this betrayal has been the most difficult to recover from. Picking yourself up when you’ve been knocked down is one of the most difficult things to do because oftentimes, you feel an all sorts of emotions (from sadness to anger to numbness and everything in between). I hope to encourage others by sharing my experience and how I’m picking myself up amidst the rubble.
This post contains affiliate links. I am so thankful for your support as it allows me to share my experiences and help others. You can read my full disclosure here.
My husband and I just returned from a long weekend getaway to upstate New York. We had originally planned to go to Sandals in Jamaica, where we were married, but we had a massive detour and change of plans a few months ago when our marital problems came to a head.
We originally moved to Illinois to be closer to his family but quickly learned that we were pretty much on our own out here. His parents each live about 35 minutes away from us, and they haven’t been as eager to be as involved with our three kids as we had hoped. Aaron got a new job, and it was a dream job. For someone without a college degree to work his way up to an Education Specialist, training agents at a major insurance company, this was a major accomplishment. But this career had one downside. He would have to travel extensively.
He had been traveling for work for the past three years, and to give you some perspective, the first year he started this new career, he stayed in hotels for a total of 190 nights. After three years of #singlemomlife and many other compounding problems, my worst fears happened. I was devastated, shocked, and all of the emotions listed in paragraph one. I was contemplating divorce, and I even wrote about how to prepare yourself financially for divorce. I was basically experiencing all of the stages of grief and these were the consequences:
1. I Stopped Taking Care of Myself
I used to go to the gym nearly every day, and I would enter my macros and calories into MyFitnessPal religiously. I ate ground turkey and treated myself with a spoonful of guacamole and a sugar-free jello cup. As a former kool-aid drinking, Shakeology-pushing, annoying Beachbody coach, I was pretty decent at taking care of my body (without ridiculously expensive Shakeology). At the time all of this went down, I was looking pretty damn good (if I do say so for myself), and I was proud of my body. As soon as our problems came to the surface, I stopped caring. I stopped caring about what I ate, how I looked, and how often I worked out. I would drive to the gym to sit in the parking lot behind it so that no one would see me trying to talk myself into actually opening the car door and going inside.
I’m currently listening to “Girl, Wash your Face” by Rachel Hollis, and I highly recommend either picking up a copy or listening on Audible. I prefer audiobook form simply because it’s so much easier to get it in while I’m getting ready or driving in the car or even cooking dinner. It takes almost no effort to listen to a book. You can grab 2 free audiobooks at Audible by using my special link. No coupon codes necessary!
One of my favorite excerpts from the book is below: Click to pin it to your Inspiration Board!
2. I Stopped Creating Content
I was on a roll with the blog, having reached 10,000 page views my fourth month as a new blogger and growing my Pinterest to over 240,000 views per month! Then, when the shit hit the fan, I wrote a couple of posts here and there and promptly bowed out of the public eye. I.was.humiliated. And I felt that I had nothing to say that would be positive and uplifting and good. So I just took a break from blogging. But (cue Slim Shady) “Guess who’s back? Back again!” I refuse to be a victim of my circumstances any longer! I struggled with how to word this post and share with the world the pain that I’ve been experiencing and why I’ve been absent for several months. I’m not sure if it was out of fear of judgment, fear of rejection, or just the fact that maybe people wouldn’t even care. But the truth is, picking yourself back up means being vulnerable enough to push through your discomfort without worrying about all the what ifs.
3. I Became a Scatterbrained Hot Mess
I’m the type of person who obsesses over the details. I budget every single time we have money, and I grocery shop based on meal plans for the week. If one area of my life is out of whack, every area of my life begins to slip. I noticed I’d lose myself in thought while praying and having to apologize to God for not focusing on Him. I forgot to pay my garbage bill and didn’t realize it until one week when the garbage man skipped over my house. I had an honest conversation with my husband and said, “I need help. I can’t do it all on my own anymore.” So as we are picking up the pieces of our marriage, one by one, I’m learning to give myself some grace and ask for help.
How I am Picking Myself Up
1. We Sought Out Marriage Counseling
I have been able to forgive my husband for his part in all of this. But we are working on building a stronger foundation and learning more about each other’s enneagram personality types. We found a phenomenal Christian marriage counselor, Roberta, who has helped as we figure out what we want individually and as a couple. I know there are probably a few readers out there rolling their eyes at the fact that we’re working through things, but the truth is this. I’ve been married and divorced once before, and I don’t ever want to experience divorce again. We aren’t staying together for the kids. We’re staying together and fighting for our marriage for us.
2. I’m Choosing Joy
How many times as a wife and mother have you put yourself last? How many times have you given up the things that you enjoy to please others? What would happen if, for once, you chose something that brings YOU joy? What if you asked your husband to help out with the kids so that you could finally join the church choir? What if you finally went ziplining, after years and years of begging someone to go ziplining with you? We planned this getaway to New York so that I could finally realize my dream of ziplining through the Adirondacks. Aaron is afraid of heights, but I asked him to trust me and do something that scares him a little. He wasn’t as thrilled as I was, but he did it! And it was the most peaceful experience ever! The view of Lake George over the bright foliage was breathtaking! I can’t wait for my next excursion!
Choose the things that make you happy! You deserve it!
3. I’m Leaning on my Faith
I’ll admit. I’m the furthest thing from a Biblical scholar. I have my favorite books and verses, but as far as knowing the Bible, front to back, I have some work to do. But what I do have is a personal relationship with Christ. I know and trust and believe in His love for all of us. I know that He has amazing plans for me, and I trust that all will work out in my life. Only by the grace of God have I been able to forgive and work toward a better relationship with my husband, with as much (or more) effort on his part. As a couple, we have decided to really put God first in our marriage and in our family. I know that this is what we’ve needed all along, and I am praying for our hearts to mend and change.
Picking Yourself Up > Being Miserable
We don’t choose what happens to us. It sucks when you’re dealing with difficult circumstances, but if you allow yourself to drown your sorrows in wine every night, let yourself go, and throw all of your goals out the window, you’re setting yourself up for a pretty major meltdown. Instead, give yourself some grace and allow yourself some time to heal, and as Rachel says, “Girl, Wash Your Face.” Pick yourself back up, little by little, and get to work. This life is a gift, and it’s yours to live to the fullest!
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.