Over the years, my husband and I had been through brief periods of separation which had lead me to believe that he would always come back.
So, when we first separated, my body didn’t really react to the situation. But as the separation turned into steps towards divorce… it did. My skin looked ruddy and would break-out. My heart would pound and my head would ache. Some mornings, I woke up so wound up that I would immediately need to throw up.
It was horrible feeling so physically distressed.
My sleeping and eating patterns became erratic. I was on a “fight or flight” alert 24 hours a day.
I knew that there wasn’t much I could do to stop these physical symptoms of stress. I would have to walk through the pain and walk through my feelings before the stress and the physical symptoms would stop.
I decided that if I had to live with it for now, I would find a way to work with it and keep my health at an optimum during this situation.
I began taking multi-vitamins.
I remembered to drink more water and cut down on caffeinated drinks.
I walked daily and lifted weights.
I worked on eating healthy foods and even if it seemed too difficult to eat a whole meal, I would take the time to eat a healthy snack.
I soothed my distressed mind by journaling, praying, keeping gratitude lists, and spending time with family and friends.
I still suffered from the physical symptoms of stress but, my efforts to care for myself kept the intensity level of the symptoms to a minimum.
Learning what we can and cannot change can help us through a trying situation.
I could not change how my body would react to the stress of my divorce, but I could change my role. I could take care of myself to the best of my ability and know, that in time, the symptoms would pass.
“Dear God, help me to put myself first today. Help me to take care of my health and my mental well-being. I will be of no service to my family, my friends, and my community until I choose to take care of myself.”