Book Part 5: Accepting Your New Reality

In order to take your life back, you must learn to accept what it isn’t anymore and build from the ground up.

This takes a team around you. Besides yourself, and you need to be all in, is your therapist, friends, and family. For me, God is also on the list.

Going inpatient is sometimes best. It gives you a different perspective and helps align your mind. What it doesn’t do is take the pain away. I still have it associated to the loss of 5 in-law family members. Only time can slowly erode that.

If you choose to go the inpatient route, make sure outpatient sessions are as much as 3 times a week when you get home. Everyday life is full of painful reminders…very similar to the death of a loved one, since it is a death in many ways.

Everyone has a different set of coping skills. One of mine is writing, so all my therapists suggested I use this forum. Some may not like it, but just as the end of my marriage was his choice, this is mine.

Once you start the process, you’ll begin to see all the things and people you cherished and had left on the sidelines. Embrace them and they will embrace you.

Focus on your overall health and what you want your new life to include. For me, it was family, friends, children, church, financial independence, and my own home. Next decide what resources you need to make it happen. It only took me 9 months to put the resources in place and begin to build, but for most it will take longer.

I had a huge motivating factor of facing the safety net my dad left having been pissed away on him and having to move in with my nephew in my dad’s home. I swore when I moved out after high school I would never move back.

I immersed myself in my support circle and looked furiously for a full-time job. 15 interviews later, I found the one. The whole time, I have been going to therapy.

When you do go to couseling, be as honest as possible. Anything less is short changing yourself.

There is no shame in that, by the way. At one point, all of us has a life situation that merits therapy, it’s the decision to go that spurs the recovery. Oh, you can tamp down your problem, but it will rear its ugly head at some point. Then life will spiral downward.

I can’t stress enough how many lives could be saved by therapy and talking with those you love.

Once you decide what your new reality will be, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get dirty. Remember, this is your fight for survival.


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