Negative self-talk during divorce is the result of a temporary lack of self-esteem that occurs while going through a divorce. I can remember feeling like this weak, exhausted person I didn't even recognize. I lacked self-worth, confidence and self-love. Basically, I forgot about any good qualities I had.
If you're the one who asked for the divorce you dislike yourself and feel guilty. If you're the one who was left you dislike yourself and feel like maybe he/she made the right decision dumping you. It's really really messed up, but very understandable.
When I was newly separated, I found that my girlfriends were true gifts. I cried to them, I ranted and raved about my situation, I whined, I told them my fears, I talked about the past, I expressed hopelessness for the future, at times, and of course, we laughed together, because even in the saddest situations, there is always something that ends up being really funny.
My girlfriends were amazing. They listened. They nodded their heads. They laughed with me. They agreed with me when looking back, I now know they really didn't, they gave me pep talks, they consoled me, they handed me Kleenex and sat there until I was done sobbing, and most of all, they were constantly reminding me of all the positives, including my strengths and good qualities.
They were constantly there, attempting to talk me off the ledge by reminding me that I was a strong, smart, survivor who would not only get through the divorce, but who would flourish and become even more productive. Plus, they told me I would be happy again someday.
The problem is, our girlfriends can't be around us 24/7 to pump us up and stop our negative self-talk. So, my advice to newly separated women coping with divorce is, be your own best friend. Talk to yourself and love yourself like your girlfriends do.
Here are 8 examples of negative self-talk, and the responses your girlfriends would probably offer. So, why not say it to yourself??
I haven't worked in 15 years. I'll never get a job.
Yes you will! You are smart, competent and will find a job that is a great fit for you. You held jobs in the past. You raised children. You are going to get over your technology phobia really quickly because it is a silly fear. You are worth hiring, and have so many wonderful qualities to offer a company.
My husband bailed. He doesn't want me anymore. He is with someone else.
You can't control what your husband chose to do. You can only control what you do from this point moving forward. Your husband needs to figure out his own life and if that means doing that with a girlfriend, it probably hurts, (kills actually) but you will survive it and focus on your own life. You will not feel sorry for yourself. You are strong and beautiful and your new life is just beginning. And guess what? Maybe someday you will realize that you don't want HIM anymore either.
I'm old and out of shape.
Stop whining. You are healthy and as long as you have that, you have endless opportunities. Plus, older means smarter. And, Botox is always an option. Additionally, getting in shape should be your worst problem. Exercise a little discipline, start drinking smoothies and hit the gym. It's not rocket science.
Can I really do this single mother thing?
Of course you can. Independence is scary, but it is also empowering and fosters self-love.
I might be alone forever.
So what? If you are, then that's what was meant to be. Your goal shouldn't be to find another husband, but rather to find a life that you love living. People who do that rarely end up alone (unless they want to.)
Of course you are. Finances, raising kids, being lonely, the divorce process, dating. It's all really scary, but you got this, girl! You're just warming up. As time goes by, you will continue to get stronger and stronger, and someday, you will look back and say, "That was scary, but I got through it."
No one is ever going to love me again.
(Laughter) Oh yes they will. Every newly separated woman says that and they all fall madly in love at some point.
Will I be OK?
You'll be better than OK. Will it be easy? No way. Being OK requires courage, discipline, hard work, making tough decisions, not taking short cuts, and being the best person you can possibly be. And we both know, you know how to do that. Set your standard for higher than OK, because that's what's coming if you're willing to work for it.
Aren't these the kinds of things our girlfriends tell us? It's time to start acting like your own best friend. You deserve it!
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of her blog, Divorced Girl Smiling, and the comedic divorce novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase. She also writes feature stories, along with the weekly dating and relationships column, Love Essentially" for Chicago Tribune Media Group local publications. Pilossoph lives in Chicago. Oh, and she's divorced.