Step Three: Immerse yourself in Scriptures and in uplifting music.
I’m going to be straight with you because authenticity is vital. I had suicidal thoughts during the last months of my crumbling marriage. No one knew about them except Jesus. He saw what I was thinking and the plans I was formulating, and I will praise Him forever for intervening. After He led me to seek help from my doctor, I began to fully immerse myself in scriptures like never before. It was tempting to grasp at anything that would numb my pain whether it be secular music, stupid movies, scrolling for hours on social media, or seeking attention from anyone – anywhere. But I knew that Jesus was the only thing that could heal me. He was the only one that would take this dust and make something brand new.
I had lost all hope, but Jesus restored it. One of the outcomes of that grueling time was what is now my life verse, Psalm 121, “I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
There is one thing I challenged myself with that calmed my agitated mind the first months of my separation – puzzles! My son and I put together no less than eight huge puzzles in that first two years. The act of focusing on finding the minute pieces was uber cathartic for me, perhaps it would be for you too? It’s difficult to believe that here we are in 2020 and puzzles are in crazy short supply! Wow!
Step Four: Talk to a licensed therapist and one or two close friends.
One never knows how many true friends one has until the bottom falls out of everything. Trying to discern who was just curious, who would be an unhealthy confidant, and who would be a healthy confidant was mind-boggling. I didn’t want to burden those around me with the heaviness of what was happening, and I also didn’t want to create animosity towards others when I shared my story.
Have you known a person that figuratively walked around with a rain cloud over their heads soaking everyone close to them with their heartbreaking story? The person who chose to think, talk, eat, and sleep negativity? Did you eventually avoid that person any chance you got? I didn’t want to be that person! I imagine you don’t either. Seek help as soon as you are able.
A professional therapist is a safe place to talk through your trauma. It’s a place that you can rant and rail about the pain and get into the play by play of words and actions. A healthy-trusted confidant is another safe place to talk through areas of personal reflection but only if that confidant will advise you towards healthy habits, reactions, and thoughts. It’s entirely to easy to find people that will join the mob of hate and anger towards others; it’s a bit more difficult to find that friend that will pray with you and point your eyes towards Jesus for the answers. Proverbs 27:17 reminds us of the importance of these healthy friends, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Another encouraging verse is this one located in Ecclesiastes.