Shock, fear, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration and bitterness are all difficult but common feelings during divorce. Then there’s hopelessness; those times when you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, nothing will ever get better, and things will never change: the times you say to your girlfriends, “I feel helpless.”
For me, helplessness was one of the most difficult things to handle. “I feel hopeless” feels powerless, like you are unable to change the way things are. I remember not even knowing where to begin to make things better because it seemed impossible.
I feel hopeless…
during divorce feels sad. It feels like things will never get easier and better. Life seems bleak, just bad, and every possible scenario to try to change it seems like it would never work. Sound familiar?
I get it. I’ve been there. I remember this one time, my then 5th grade son accidentally spilled my cup of coffee on my 6 month old Mac. It immediately shut down and I knew it was destroyed. I had to run to the Apple store at 10 am when it opened, buy a new computer (which was very stressful financially) and wait for a data transfer which they told me to brace myself for because the hard drive was possibly destroyed and everything could be lost. I had no back up.
Usually a very positive, upbeat glass is half full type of person, that incident caused me to spiral into depression and extreme anxiety. I cried all morning and I just kept thinking about how hard I had been working, how I poured my life into my work, and how things just keep happening to screw it up.
Trying to make enough money to live feels close to impossible for single parents. You work and work and work and work and every day something seems to go wrong.
Last month, the heat broke. That was $700 something. Then my vacuum cleaner. $300. Last week my internet just went down inexplicably. That was an entire day lost of work. Also last week, I had to go have some tests to rule out some really, really bad diseases. So, I basically worked all week, but in the back of my mind always wondering if I was going to be OK health wise.
Thinking of all these things sometimes feels unfair. It can be infuriating. It can be exhausting. It can feel like you want to bang your head against a brick wall. It’s the basis for “I feel hopeless!”
Most people who are newly separated feel hopeless a lot. Every day.
1. I’ll never be able to pay my attorneys fees
2. My kids are going to cry every day for the rest of their lives
3. My ex is going to live happily ever after with his new love of his life and I’m going to be alone
4. I’m never going to get a job like the one I had before I had kids: the one I gave up to be a stay at home mom
5. I’m going to grow old and die alone.
7. I’m going broke
8. I’m going to have to live without my kids every other weekend.
9. No man (or woman) will ever want me
10. How am I supposed to get a full time job when I have young kids? I can’t even afford daycare.
11. I’m old, I need Botox, and I have varicose veins and cellulite
These are the feelings of hopelessness during divorce.
Let me help you change the way you think, which will ultimately turn “I feel hopeless” into hope, inspiration, and ultimately, happiness.
Think about this: Every minute of every day, there are miracles –really good ones—going on. The second you open your eyes in the morning and get out of bed and even with every breath we take, that is a miracle. In other words, a couple things might go wrong every day, but 99.99999999 percent of things GO RIGHT everyday.
We take that for granted. Not because we are bad people, but because there are millions and millions of beautiful miracles happening every second, so how can we possibly appreciate every one of them? We can’t. So we tend to forget (or maybe not realize, is a better way to put it.)
We don’t take time to appreciate the beauty in everything. Maybe some things we do, but again, the beauty is so vast, that we couldn’t possibly absorb it all.
Every time your child smiles, or hugs you, or says, “Thanks, Mom” is a gift. Every time you turn on an appliance that works, that’s a gift. For every step your legs help you walk, a gift. Every time you touch your little boys cheek, or kiss someone you love, a gift. In other words, for every million things that work, one thing breaks or goes wrong. So don’t focus on what broke, or who was mean to you, try to remember all the things that work and all the people you came in contact with that made you smile and you won’t feel so angry.
Thinking this way helps hopelessness in that whether we want them to or not, things ARE going to change. Eventually, you will find your passion and a job that works for you. Eventually, you will meet someone and your spouse (who left you for another man or woman) might break up, and he or she will be alone and you won’t. I’m not saying to hope for that, I’m just saying it’s a possibility. Eventually, you will solve your problems. Unfortunately, new ones will arise.
God, belief in yourself and gratitude will help you through it.
We can’t control most of what happens to us in life. What we CAN control is making good choices, doing the right thing in certain situations, being the best parent and the best person we can be—presenting our best selves to the world—and working as hard as we can to achieve our dreams. All that is within our control, but nothing else is.
In closing, here are the keys to coping with “I feel hopeless:”
1. Realize you can’t control most of what happens in life.
2. Self-love is perhaps the most important thing in being happy.
3. Things are going to change–good and bad. Change is unavoidable.
Hopelessness is frustrating and depressing. BUT, with the right attitude, “I feel hopeless” can transform into dreams you never imagined.