Nearly seventeen years ago my world changed. I experienced a pain in my heart that was utterly unbearable. Sometimes I walked around in a daze, going through the motions of my daily routine. I was physically present, although I was mentally, emotionally and spiritually bankrupt.

“How could this have happened to me?”

“I did not deserve this.”

“I was good to him.”

I was getting a divorce after only two years of marriage. Life as I had known it had abruptly come to an end. Soon, I would be faced with the most challenging job I have ever taken on: single parenthood. How was I supposed to raise a child—my child, our child—on my own? I couldn’t do it alone. I needed help.

Self-doubt and hopelessness and low self-esteem corroded my thoughts daily. I cried. A lot. I wondered how I would bounce back from such devastation. After a few months, I was no longer in denial about the state of my marriage, but I was still emotionally and psychologically raw with pain. I always believed that I would never divorce once I got married; believed in staying in it for the long haul; believed that our vows before God meant something. However, the more I experienced unhappiness, the more apparent it was to me that our union was not evenly yoked.

Each day, I wore my game face. I would laugh and smile and try to carry on with life as usual, but people who knew me well saw the glazed, lifeless look in my eyes and they knew that I was deeply affected by the loss of my marriage.

The road to mental, emotional and spiritual recovery from divorce was not easy. I fought constant negative self-talk that said I was unlovable; that no one else would love me because I was damaged goods; that I wasn’t interesting enough or accomplished enough. I just wasn’t enough. Period.

However, I am a fighter. Throughout the tumultuous episodes of married life, I always felt a flicker of hope that things could be better for me, that I could have the life—and ultimately the marriage—that I desired. God knew my heart, and He would bring sunshine into my life again. With belief in these things, I began to fight for my life. I battled negative self-talk by replacing bad thoughts with good ones; actively pursued and indulged in personal growth and development activities; read books and listened to audio tapes about forgiveness of self and others; surrounded myself with friends and family who cared about my well being and encouraged me and helped me realize my value beyond being a woman with a failed marriage.

But most of all, I prayed. I relinquished my armor of pride and kneeled before the Creator. I asked for a renewed belief in my faith in love and in marriage and to stitch the slits in my heart so that I may heal whole. I prayed for courage and strength to face my fears and insecurities, and to overcome them and let faith be my guide in all things.

In time, I began to feel energized and like my old self again. And ultimately, feelings of confusion, self-pity and despondency withered and faded away into a distant memory. I can remember when I used to feel embarrassed to admit what I considered one of my biggest failures. However, I survived my divorce, and the blessing is that I am a much wiser woman because of that experience.

Author's Bio: 

Cindy Crawford is a freelance writer and an advocate of personal growth and development who delights in self-discovery and helping others realize their personal power. She believes that and everyone has a story to tell. Whether she writes for business or creative initiatives, she approaches projects objectively and authentically,capturing the essence and nuances of her subjects. She created Wicked-Pen, a creative writing blog, to nurture her passion for writing and to share her stories with others.

Cindy is a member of various writing groups and Toastmasters