Oh. My. Goodness. Did I have a pity party for myself or what a couple of weeks ago!?! I needed to express my frustration and my anger about my current situation dealing with the Irish Idiot (my husband) and thank goodness my mother is a saint because she got the brunt end of it simply because she happened to call at just the wrong time. She let me have my moment, which was very kind of her, and then afterward I collected myself, apologized, and kept moving.
It’s been three years since I was a single parent and it’s tiring. My daughter has now hit the world record in the number of times a child can say “mom” without taking a breath and I’m convinced that the boys are determined to draw blood from each other this summer. And I’m drained and stressed and emotionally a wreck. So I broke down and had a pity party…a six hour pity party. At roughly the six hour mark, I had had enough and I stopped, took a deep breath, prayed, and decided to keep chugging along at my new life.
That day was kind of a turning point for me for some reason. Every day since, I’ve had moments during the day that could have caused another break down, but I’ve been able to keep it together and not focus on the rough stuff and focus on what I do have. Trust me, it’s not easy at all, but I have to for my sanity and for no other reason.
It’s easy to get sucked into yourself and the situation that is looming over you, especially if you work from home or are a stay at home mom and/or wife. When you see the same four walls every day, you forget that there is life outside of the house but having other distractions that can really help you through the rough stuff.
So today, I’ve decided to preach to you the need to stop the pity party, especially if you have a divorce looming over you, as I do. And this is why…not because what you are going through isn’t tough and horrible, but because there really are things happening in your friends or family’s lives that really are worse. It’s all about perspective.
This week I spent some time with a friend that is dealing with some tough stuff with her son. The school system is failing him and it’s heartbreaking to hear her tell the story because there’s not a lot that she could do, at the time, to help her son. When you’re a parent, the last thing you want is to see your child hurting and you can’t do anything to fix it. After listening to everything that they are dealing with and the lifestyle changes that they are making in order to cure a problem that should never have been there to begin with, I realized that I would rather deal with my Irish Idiot any day than to see any of my three kiddos experience pain that I can’t fix.
Now, let me contradict myself, after telling you to remind yourself that there are people going through worse things than what you are dealing with.
I love my best friend. She’s wise beyond her years. I met her, as a volunteer, at a camp in Maine, Camp Sunshine,(https://www.campsunshine.org/) whose sole mission is to provide an opportunity for children that are experiencing life-threatening illnesses, and their families, with the opportunity to rest and enjoy relaxation and recreation…and just be a kid and have fun without having to explain why they don’t have any hair, or why they are in a wheelchair, or why they can’t shake hands or give hugs to anyone. It’s an incredible experience for the families and even more so for the volunteers.
When you volunteer, you are bound to walk away understanding the value of life, family and a smile. You also are reminded how incredibly great your life is, even when you go home to the rough stuff. Knowing that all three of my kids are happy and healthy, is so much more than what these families can say. And for that I thank my lucky stars.
When I was going through my divorce, my best friend called me one day to tell me that one of the children that she had become close to at camp had just died because of their cancer. When my phone initially rang and I saw her name pop up, I was thankful because I thought I was going to get to unload on her all about what my ex-husband had done that day. Instead, I did my best to console her.
I made the statement that what I was going through did not even compare to the loss of a child…and then she said the most comforting thing that anyone has ever said to me. She told me that it’s ok to feel the way that I felt about my situation…that everyone is handed different things in life and it’s ok to be upset even if you think that it’s small in comparison to the tragedies happening in families, each moment, all across the world. She told me not to be ashamed to be upset for what I’m going through, even though I wanted to diminish my emotional mess after hearing what this family was dealing with.
So in one breath, I’m telling you to feel your pain and in the second, I’m telling you to not throw a pity party and then sit in your pain forever.
I had to feel the pain that my marriage is causing me, deal with it, accept it, and then choose to keep going with life. It’s hard to say that because it sounds like I’m saying it is simple, but trust me, it’s not. I have to force myself to take each step, every single day.
My point, is simply don’t get stuck in step 1: feeling the pain. And I have to remind myself of this every darn time that my husband is in the house and sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not, but each day gets a little better. I do celebrate with a little fist pump when he leaves if I’ve either been successful at not letting him get to me or if he does push my buttons, I celebrate if I’m able to collect myself quickly.
Get out of the house every once in a while. Break your routine so that you have to focus on something new. Have coffee with a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and don’t bring up anything about your issues until you’ve really listened to what their life story is at the moment. It really will help you gain some perspective on your situation.