During a divorce, people tend to go to a very dark place. Many feel like they are trapped in a horrible nightmare with no end in sight, especially when the person on the other side is constantly launching threats, using the kids as pawns and/or has an attorney that enjoys acting like a bully. But this is really all par for the course, and it is my job to reassure people that there is a light at the end of the tunnel– within 12 to 18 months this is usually over for most, and the key to exiting gracefully is to never let yourself think you are stuck in a black hole.
If you are feeling trapped in a bad situation, try these 3 simple steps:
1. Find a guide– seek out someone that can give you guidance on how to make a change. For example, if you don’t like your job, get insight from others as to what else is out there and what you need to do to make a move. If your finances are out of control, go talk to a money manager and get advice on how to curb spending, establish a budget and maximize your savings. If you are having problems with your personal relationships, go talk to a counselor that can help you gain gain some insight.
2. Make a plan– plot out the steps you need to take to implement the changes you need to be happy. Try to be realistic with your timeframe, and don’t expect overnight success. It may require a lot of perseverance before you can actually see that you are making progress, but no matter what don’t give up hope.
3. Visualize success– if you don’t believe in yourself, you are screwed, end of story. Rid your mind of self-defeating thoughts, that’s the surest path to self-destruction. You have to think positively and have faith that the efforts you are making are not in vain. Getting out of a black hole will only happen if you trust that it is not just possible, but actually probable.
Until you experience a black hole moment, you really haven’t lived and the only way out is to work through it. It’s not an easy journey to go through one, but unfortunately it is the best way to develop depth and gain perspective. It is part of our human experience, and it is often only in the aftermath of these events that we become most humble and grateful for the things that truly matter.
Embrace the mantra that which doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. It takes courage to face your fears, put yourself out there on a daily basis, and work through life’s challenges, but I’m a firm believer in what FDR said– you have nothing to fear but fear itself. 🙂
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.