I did suffer in silence most of the time. Sad but true. I would go about my morning routine with a smile on my face for all to see, preparing the coffee and breakfast, making sure everyone else was taken care of — then, I would get myself ready and leave for work.
I’d put on my mask that showed everyone that “I’m okay” and I’d go through my workday supporting my staff and management team, troubleshooting client issues, mentoring and coaching others and making sure everyone was doing well. I’d come home from work and again make sure everyone had what they needed from me.
It’s just what I did. It’s how I was taught to be. No one knew that I didn’t feel like smiling. No one guessed that I didn’t feel like being the one taking care of everything. Who was taking care of me?
The Overwhelming Feelings
Sometimes it would pile up on me and, at the most inopportune time, I would break down in tears not even knowing why. Someone might have said something that caused me to feel defensive or they may have simply asked, “Are you okay?”
It would not take much when I was at my breaking point to push me right over the edge. And sometimes the tears just—would—not—stop.
Anyone looking from the outside in would think I had it made. An adoring husband, or so it seemed … a great job working for a company that appreciated and rewarded me, which was mostly true … a loving family, but there were tensions that no one knew about … great friends, but I always felt I had to choose. My husband over my family or my family over my friends or my friends over my husband.
Why couldn’t I have them all? Why couldn’t this be easier?
I felt so alone. I thought no one could possibly understand what I’m feeling. What was I feeling? Empty. Like the laughter was gone—there wasn’t even much to smile about. I felt overwhelmed. Like today was a repeat of yesterday and tomorrow had no promise to be different.
I felt like there had to be more—but what? I was afraid to venture beyond my routines for fear that things would change forever. Hmmm. And, so they did. I was about to move into one of those life transitions, big time!
“If I knew then what I know now…” how many times have we said THAT to ourselves?
I kept thinking, I wish I had someone to help me navigate through the chaos. I wish I had someone to be my sounding board—someone with whom I could test out my ideas and explore my options. I wish I had someone who would listen and help me to realize that I’m not alone. I wish I had someone to help me create a plan to move out of my funk and celebrate with me when I did something that worked.
A dear friend and mentor heard my pleas. He suggested I find a coach, counselor or therapist to help me fulfill those wishes. I resisted at first. I should be able to do this on my own. I’m smart. I’m creative. I’ve always been able to think things through.
As women, we often feel that we must do it all on our own or we are labeled inept, unable to handle the pressure, fragile or just not up to the task. We handle A LOT. And we deserve to get the credit for being so strong—even though we suffer in silence. We deserve respect for all the things we do—even though we may struggle under the weight of it all.
No Shame in Asking for Help
I learned that there is no shame in reaching out. Feeling vulnerable is part of the process of living through a life transition. After struggling through a divorce, several major career changes, a couple of significant relocations that turned me on my ear, the loss of too many loved ones and facing a retirement decision well before I was ready to do so, I know how hard these life transitions can be. We don’t have to do this alone when there are others who have walked this path and learned to thrive.
I learned that their tried and true approaches and support empowered me to take back my power, become the Leading Lady of my own life and start to thrive.
This journey of mine led me to “pay it forward.” I started coaching and mentoring within my corporate career, and when that was done I was faced with a new question: “What should I do next?” My intuition guided me to help other women face their own life transitions—especially divorce—with courage, grace, and ease.
I’ve learned that if you venture boldly, start from where you are today and take a leap of faith that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, your deepest wishes can be fulfilled. You just need a safe place to allow your vision to unfold and a savvy guide to lead the way, like I had, with a promise that you can achieve your goals if you focus, believe and allow the best things to happen.
From my “bold” heart to yours …
P.S. If you’d like to explore these possibilities for yourself, it would be an honor to be your guide. Please feel free to apply for a complimentary Discovery Session and let’s explore them together. You don’t have to do this divorce stuff alone!
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