In the beginning of any tragedy the first step is the hardest. It means you must except the fact that you someday want to feel better. I totally get it, easier said than done. The one thing that is a challenge is having hope. I’m telling you it is so important. Hope is the first step because it will pull you through anything.
When I was around twenty years old, I went through my first divorce. I left a drug addicted “man.” At my breaking point I endured abuse both mentally and physically. One day he came at me, and my infant daughter put her hand out to protect me. I was weak and my baby girl was strong. I could not raise her thinking a man abusing his wife was normal. So, with the last strength I had I left, I convinced myself life had to be better. It was hard and there were times I wanted to end it. My hope became my daughter. While my friends partied, I was a young mother raising a little girl and going through a horrific divorce. I accepted that this hardship had to pass. I chose to have hope and fight every step of the way. I was so broken. Here I was caring for my child while working multiple jobs. I had such bad anxiety. I was miserable. I stayed strong on the outside and decided to go back to school on top of it all. To make ends meet for both of us I had to work long hours. One day after having an anxiety attack at college, I got a call from my daughter’s daycare that said I needed to come get her because she would not stop crying. I had hit a wall. I needed change. I decided it was time to focus more on hope. I quit one of my jobs, put college on hold and decided it was time focus our little family on finding more hope.
I didn’t know what our next step was going to be, but I knew I needed to put hope on the forefront. I started by writing HOPE on a post-it and stuck it to my bathroom mirror. Then I wrote HOPE on another post-it and put it on my nightstand. I wrote HOPE a third time and stuck it above my kitchen sink. I wrote HOPE a fourth time a few days later another post-it and stuck it to my mirror on my sun-visor in my car. These locations were where I needed a reminder of hope. I placed these small reminders in the places I normally broke down. I needed to be reminded of HOPE everywhere. Later, I even wrapped my debit card with a post-it with the word HOPE on it so every time. This was important because I often had no idea how I was going to make more money.
Hope began to floor me. The more I clung to that word, the more I felt it. It was a slow process but eventually my belief started matching my actions. Then I started living as I had more hope. When my hope increased, I began to cry (less). I became more driven. I believed and I had hope, even more than that I began to have hope that I would survive and that I would make it. It was slow and at times so painful, I would take my hope minute by minute and day by day. I began looking at my life differently. I changed my words to change my outlook. Instead of saying my crappy apartment I started saying was my starter home. I referred to my scars (the stretch marks and the c-section wound) from childbirth negatively. I was so ashamed of them, and I hated them. I switched my dialog to something positive and called them my battle wounds. I stopped being down on myself on everything. I replaced my negative words with words of hope. Slowly but surely, I believed them. If you say something encouraging enough you will convince yourself.
Hope began to rise in me and just like phoenix I began to rise. My shattered dreams became the birth of the new me. I knew my shattered dreams and scars would make me stronger in my new future.
Here’s to your new future and the hope that will carry you into it.
You can find this in chapter 4 of my book LIVING YOUR LIFE AS A PHOENIX available on Amazon.