When you are starting over in your mind, you are literally recreating yourself but you cannot do this from a broken self. You need to first focus on knowledge and learning all you can about what broke you then what makes you who you are. This is the first step and this was the first step I took when the Narcissist left me and our children.
This much was true: I was broken and lost. I was literally heart-broken for I loved this person with all my heart and being. I fought to keep my marriage together. Yes; the marriage itself and for my children and then because I didn't want to go on to be a single mother like my own. The very thought of raising two children on my own.....while it was something at one point that I felt was better than what I had, it was also a stigma that I wanted to stay far away from.
Nonetheless, when the inevitable occurred, I was not prepared and immediately went into survival mode. It's this that I want to try to keep others from having to experience because when you are lost and forgotten; just struggling to pay your bills and keep a roof over your head and the head of your precious and innocent children....if you don't possess inner strength and an entrepreneurial background )or desire) you will stay in this ever hopeless cycle of never having enough and struggling to the next day, new man and no healing. Before too long, you feel trapped and depression sets in.
My emotions were a roller coaster and I allowed myself to experience every phase to it's fullest for I knew that if I carried that pain with me, it would consume me and take over.
When I was sad, I cried.
When I was mad, I screamed into a pillow. I threw pineapples. Literally.
When I was stir crazy, I went for a drive.
When I needed money, I worked my butt off.
When I was lonely, I would engross myself into church or Meetup Meets - just to get out of the house.
I lived every moment to the fullest. I drank coffee. I ate chocolate. All the while raising two young children.
STEP ONE - Talking
Recognize and admit that my life is unmanageable by myself and for me personally.....that meant joining www.celebraterecovery.com for no online course alone was going to help me and I was wise enough to admit this in the beginning. Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered 12-step program that offers group education, testimony, prayer and worship in addition to small group therapy. There are a wide range of classes offered from Emotional Abuse to Sexual Addiction to Life Issues, Co-Dependency and even Alcohol/Drug Dependency. My relationship with Jesus Christ is going to be first from here on out and having the support of others, offline and in person, for accountability purposes and also for Talking It Out is a necessity. CR is a free program and is open to anyone who needs support.
STEP TWO - Tears
Get into a regular habit of meditation, Bible reading/studying and exercise. I cannot stress this enough. These three things alone can speed up the process. I meditate before going to sleep; the mornings are reserved for getting kids up and ready for school and any parent knows that this takes 100% of our focus. I read the Bible weekly and to stay on top of my business endeavors I read a new book every week. Exercise is simply smart no matter your age. I joined a wonderful fitness club this May and I start my workouts by stretching, then cardio for 45 minutes followed by spinning and then free weights. It's a full 2-hours and it's done right after I drop off my kids to school; so roughly 8:15am - 10:15am. Please keep in mind that when you are meditating and you suddenly burst into tears.....this is a good thing. You are letting-go-of-all-the-pain that you've been holding. Let it go, sweetheart. Let it go.
STEP THREE - Time
I believe in the power of journalism and I have notes on my cellphone to notes in journals and notebooks. Combined, I have a book. I make lists too. Grocery lists, things I need to do. Bills I need to pay. Goals, website notes and a lot of this and that. I keep a journal for everything because for me, I need and want to get it out so I am done with it and this is a step you will need to take as well. And all this writing.....comes time. You need to give yourself time and patience to fully heal just as I did. The experts say, for every year you were in a toxic relationship, you need 6 months to heal. Well, I was raised with a Narcissist mother and then married to a Narcissist. I've definitely put my time in and during this time I did NOT jump into another relationship. *This is crucial. I stayed single and I focused on God, myself and my children. There was no other way in rebuilding me.
STEP FOUR - Diet & Exercise
In 2015, I experienced the worse kind of pain that came out of nowhere and as quickly as it took hold of my life was as quickly as it left and hasn't returned since 2018. It was *extreme* and sharp joint and muscle pain. It would completely immobilize me. I would lay in bed for weeks at a time in agonizing pain which eventually led to what I believe was depression; not diagnosed. I don't know what caused it but I have an idea and that idea is along the lines of STRESS. 2015 was one heck of a year for me and my children. It was the year that my son was having a hard time staying in school; any school for that matter and just because I was now divorced didn't mean that the pain and struggle was over. September 1st, my children and I became officially homeless. A few months later we did move into a beautiful home only to have to move 6 months later, yet again, when the house sold. During this time, on November 1st in court I was held "at-fault" for my abusive marriage. The judge said that I had "abandoned my husband" when, in fact, I was escaping his abuse to spend time in the loving arms of family. I lost alimony in a blink of an eye; supposed to receive it for 6 months and only received it for 2 months. So much for having any sort of financial support. My ex refused to pay for health insurance and it was struggle to get him to pay court ordered child support.
All of this forced me to work an insane amount of hours. I sat down and wrote it all out - my business, what I needed to do in order to get back on track financially; the costs associated with going back to school; the cost of childcare and every budget revolving around caring for my children. I was stressed out. I feared being homeless again more than anything so we lived on a very tight budget.
I wasn't working out much during this time and I *knew* that a lot of what I was experiencing was simply due to me trying to "do it all." So, I joined a fitness club and really focused in on my diet. I grew up eating well and have always chosen organic over not but now I was focused on more of a plant-based diet. Less coffee, more green tea. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs thankfully so no worry there. Less cost too if you think about it.
Joining a fitness club was crucial to my healing and these days if I can't make it to the club, then I make it a point to walk 2x/day (typically with my Labrador these days) for a total of about 1 hour. If you don't know, owning a Lab means you are speed waking every time you go out. It's a win-win.
I focus on drinking about a half gallon of purified water each day too. This also helps and I take Juglans Regia every since day; 3-months on and then cycle off for 2 weeks and then back on for 3 months. This has increased my focus, mental clarity, balance blood sugar levels and heck, I've even lost weight. I highly recommend it and in fact, since I believe in the therapeutic qualities of it so much I even sell it. You can get your hands on it here.