It seems like every week when I go to my Divorce Care group, I go in thinking, "This isn't going to help me." Then I realize, I am going through that very thing, and just didn't know it, or I'm about to go through it. I've learned that it is absolutely necessary to go through each and every one of the stages after divorce. They may not happen in any particular order, but they are all part of the healing process.
Being that I am a psychology major, I think to myself that I can handle this on my own. I think of these "stages" as weaknesses and try to avoid going there. Last week's session was on Facing My Depression. "I'm not depressed," I thought. When I think of depression, I think of the stereotypes like isolating yourself, feelings of hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, feeling worthless, sadness, etc. But there is so much more to depression. I discovered that although I may not have those particular traits, I am depressed. I do feel a profound sense of sadness at times. I have been crying a lot. I've had a lot of trouble sleeping, which has gotten better now. I feel like I don't have energy to function a lot of the time. I'm very sleepy and can't concentrate. And I may even be harboring some anger and bitterness at times. It comes and goes.
After going through this chapter, I realized that I've been living under a cloud. My mind sees hope for my future, but my body won't allow me to function properly. Someone explained it to me this way: In the first 7 months after discovery, my body was in survival mode. There were so many questions about my future and my adrenalin kept me going. People around raved about how strong I was. But now that all has settled down, my body is resting. Now is the time it needs to heal from the shock of the changes in my life.
By looking at scripture, I found that even Jesus got depressed. Matthew 26:36-39 states that Jesus felt sorrowful and troubled and was overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death, knowing he would have to go to the cross. That showed me that being depressed is OK. Hey, if Jesus can do it, so can I. I've been praying that God will lift this cloud from me and let in His light. I realize that God is allowing all of this so that I may one day be able to help someone else. How can I possibly understand what someone is going through without going through it myself?
Sadly, I don't like feeling so dethatched from the world. My memory fails. I have no energy. I'm very distracted. My thoughts don't come out into complete thoughts in conversation. It makes me not want to be around people, because they might judge me not knowing what I'm going through. Most people just don't understand. People often tell me to just get over it, or they expect that I am fine and can move on, but I just can't.....not yet.
Sometimes people have asked me for favors. They don't understand that I don't need one more thing to worry about right now. I have trouble functioning with the little I have going on right in my own life. I've always tried to help others when they are in a trial. I've always been very concerned about people. But right now, God has told me to step back and take care of myself. For once, this is Jessica's time.
I find that hearing someone talk about their problems drains me. I'm usually such a good listener and am genuinely concerned. But now, I find myself tuning people out when they go on too long about something, anything. I have difficulty concentrating on what people are saying. My mind wonders. I become exhausted. It’s frustrating to me, embarrassing, even.
In conclusion, this is all so new to me. I'm very thankful that I have Divorce Care to help explain these episodes and to know that it is all part of the process. What I am going through is completely normal and will pass. I've learned that I just need to give it time and focus on healing. God is teaching me and offering me the strength to get through this. He has something amazing in store for my life, and I can’t wait to get started on it. But for now, I must be still and wait upon the Lord.