For the past few weeks, this topic has been on my mind. It’s been a tough season of life for me. The last couple of years have been really rough. I’ve been lucky to have many highs among some of my lowest lows. I’m lucky to be surrounded by some great people and I was able to land in a great relationship. But I still battle loneliness and feelings of judgment almost every day. Like when Cady Heron in Mean Girls talks about the feeling like everyone was just talking about you when you walk into a room, that’s me.
Going through what I went through and not being able to talk about much of it, instead of having people understand, or at least trying to, they picked sides and judged me harshly. It’s been tough to take. I’ve been abandoned by many. Instead of reaching out to me while I was struggling, I was shunned. I’ve always vowed to be very careful not to judge someone, their season, or even what they may have done and now my conviction is even stronger.
In our society, if your life doesn’t look quite right, it’s easy to feel like the outsider. It’s easy to compare and it’s easy to doubt yourself because ‘something must obviously be wrong with you.’ Being stuck in the comparison or guilt phase, I’ve caught myself saying I’m not doing enough, I’m not enough, I’m not doing it right, etc. I struggled to feel like I fit in anywhere or was worth anything. I struggled with if I was doing enough for my son.
But once I hit rock bottom, I had my true friends hold up a mirror to me and say, “you’re doing great, momma.” I made sure that nothing changed for my little man as I went through my divorce. While I was shunned from some commitments, I put on a brave face, powered through it, and excelled in other areas. And now I’m coming out on the other side, so much stronger than I ever could have imagined I could be.
After all is set and done, I wanted to give a couple steps to help you realize where you are and how to get out of it because I’ve been there. So here are my five steps, my 5 A’s:
- Assess your situation. Why are you feeling sad, stressed, or overwhelmed? Empower yourself to step out of it and evaluate your season of life.
- Approach a trusted person of wisdom. You don’t have all the answers and no one does but allowing yourself the candidness to ask for help from someone who may be wiser than you or who has walked through something similar will be of such help to you and give you power of your situation.
- Apply an attitude of gratitude. I started keeping a gratitude journal. It started with being thankful for the small things, like good food and clean water, and it has expanded and totally changed my outlook on life. I cannot recommend it enough!
- Affirmations! It sounds cheesy but giving yourself affirmations in the mirror each morning will change how you view yourself. So when you start doubting yourself, you can say, “no, I’m a smart, capable, powerful woman!”
- Arise from the ashes. After realizing the cycle you’re in, asking for help and wisdom from trusted people, changing your mindset to gratitude, and building yourself up instead of relying on others to, you can overcome so much. It just starts with realizing where you are and where you want to go. You can do it! Stay determined and be grateful for all you’ve become!