Why do I feel so down? Am I depressed?
It was 7:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning when I heard a knock at the door. I slowly walked to the front door and opened it to a guy in blue jeans and a Broncos sweat-shirt. He asked if I was Mike. I said yes and was handed an envelope filled with papers. It was another Summons to Appear. I threw it on the floor, walked back to the bedroom and fell into bed. After being served divorce papers a second time, I completely lost my appetite for life. In fact, I didn’t eat for a couple of days. I didn’t want to talk to anybody and I didn’t answer my phone. My world was crashing in on me.
I was depressed and I realized it. I knew how to help others who were going through separation and divorce and wondered if I could help myself. Depression is usually triggered by a loss of some kind. Many remember the loss of a first love in their youth and agonize over how painful it was. The loss of a child, parent or grandparent can stir grievous memories. Many struggle with the loss of a beloved pet. Yet depression is a part of the healing process. We may not like hearing that but we will all go through it at some point in our lives. One thing I’ve learned is that one cannot put a timeline on the healing process. For some folks, recovering from a divorce may take years. For others, it may only take a few weeks to feel they are ready to move on. Just as we are unique individuals, we also recover in our own unique ways.
A serious concern I have for some people going through divorce are those who entertain thoughts of suicide. If you’re in this group, then please seek help immediately from your doctor, counselor or trusted friend. There are resources available for those going trying times.
Now that we recognize that at some point during the divorce we will experience pain and sorrow, let’s look at how to deal with the depression that may follow. I had to take a long, hard look at my losses and define what they were. There are many losses in a divorce. What are yours? As I previously mentioned, the loss of a friend, a lover, trust, protection, family, feelings and comfort could all be on your list. I realized my healing process began once I accepted my losses. It wasn’t easy, but I was ready to move on. I knew that one of the major obstacles was going to be the reality of what I was going through. It happened and I needed to accept it.
So what could I do to advance the healing process? I knew I had to take care of myself. No one else was going to do that! It was up to me! I immediately began an exercise program, eating healthy and getting restful sleep. Those were the first things on my list. I planned each day around improving my overall heath. I went to the gym at 5:00 a.m. each day and worked out for an hour. After my time at the gym, I made sure I ate a healthy breakfast then planned my lunch and dinner. I tried to be in bed by 9:30 p.m. each evening. I knew I needed uninterrupted rest so I turned off my phone. I followed this plan Sunday through Thursday and then relaxed my regime over the weekend. The changes that happened were amazing. I soon starting feeling mentally and physically strong and felt so much more at peace with my situation.
Once I began to feel healthy I was then ready to make a game plan. I spent an hour every day working on my immediate needs, including my career, consulting with my attorney and a 1 month, 2 month, 3 month, 6 month and 1 year plan. All the while, I realized I was gaining the self-confidence I had once enjoyed. Even though the depression I was fighting seemed to be fighting to leave, I knew I was doing the things that gave me strength and allowed me to see light at the end of the tunnel.
The next step was finding someone I could trust as my accountability partner. This had to be someone that would call me out when I made mistakes and would stop my negative and pessimistic thinking patterns. When I had a bad or negative thought, my accountability partner had permission to remind me of the U-turn I needed to make and helped me focus on the positive. He reminded me that my future was bright and I had bountiful blessings just around the corner. I decided that I would stop my negative thinking and avoid people who robbed me of energy. I knew I needed to be with people who had a positive outlook on life, who got things done, and were mentally and physically healthy. That’s what I did, and trust me, my outlook on life changed dramatically.
Helping people who were experiencing the same struggles I experienced gave my healing process momentum. I shared ideas for dealing with separation and divorce and was available anytime someone needed to talk. Staying busy was cathartic for me. It took my mind off my problems. These are a few tips on dealing with depression and they work! Try one or two and see how they can help you too!
In this series, I will help you examine the process of getting divorced. We’ll take a close look at what to expect and will share critical information you need to know. If you or your spouse is considering divorce, prior to making that final, life-changing decision, please call me. I can help you prepare for your divorce.
Are you experiencing a difficult time in your marriage and need help? Is your spouse avoiding talking with you about the problems in your marriage? Are you struggling with the execution and planning of your divorce? Would you like to learn communication tools that are helpful when talking with your spouse about repairing your marriage? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I can help you. Give me a call today!
Many of you have expressed an interest in talking with me about how to save your marriage, or how to end it. Having gone through the pain myself, I’d be glad to help. Click here to receive a free 30-minute appointment, I’m making my calendar available for you to schedule a free no obligation 30 minute appointment to see if divorce coaching or divorce counseling can help you. so I can help walk you through the process, step-by-step, whatever option you choose.
It won’t just go away by itself. Let me help you resolve one of the most painful times in your life, so you can start moving forward again. Make that your first step right now.
You can go to Mike’s blog and comment on today’s article at http://www.applicablecoaching.com/blog/
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