It's been almost 5 years now since my divorce.  It probably was the darkest time in my life other than losing my Nana and watching my Mom and Dad both go through cancer.  But here's the deal, I get emails almost everyday saying "Sue, how did you do it and come out so positive".  "How did you get through the divorce?"  "How can I get through?"  "Can I love again?"  Hopefully these handful of Sue-isms will help guide you through your heartbreak.  I'm not a therapist or a doctor or a love pro, far from it, but these things got me through! 

I remember being distraught, sad, unable to really do a lot except smoke cigarettes and called my friends just to hear how horrible of a person he was.  But, I always had to take care of my daughter.  It wasn't me just going through it..it was her her, too.  She is our love from the marriage we once had.  I had to be strong for her, and her and I were strong for each other.  I had to be strong for my parents because they were going through the divorce, too.  Because it wasn't just about me..the whole family goes through a divorce, almost like a death.  I didn't know how we'd make it through including our dog, T.  She was devastated.  I remember T just laying by the door waiting for him to come home and he never came back.  That broke my heart.

I went through weeks of the hurt, the ugly crying, the stalking (come on I know you've done it, too,) the feeling sad for me and our Abby, now what the hell do we do?  This is what I did!

Get A Therapist!  I did and I still use her.  It's the greatest thing I did and I believe even with a healthy mind and a full heart everyone should have a therapist.  Call me crazy, it works!

You Are Beautiful!  I never stopped saying that to myself.  When your heart is broken, your body, spirit and everything about you is broken...I needed to say, "I'm beautiful".  And no matter what -- I said -- "Hey You, I love you" in the mirror.  Because even if he didn't love me anymore, I had to still love me.  I always believed that.

I Never Hated Men!  I chose not to hate men, there was one man I wasn't a huge fan of at the time, but it's not another man's fault.  I needed to feel something, I needed to know I was going to be OK, I knew these men I met along the way would never work other than just some fun here and there, but they gave something I needed - attention.  Other than just me saying to myself, "You're Beautiful."  If your heart is broken, if you've gone through some really hard times with what you think is "the love of your life", you can't blame other males for his stupidity.  Always believe in love!  I never gave up on that.

I Wrote My Feelings Down!  This is very important, one of my best girlfriends said, "Do it..just do it.  And it worked!  I can look back at what I was feeling and how numb I was and think, "WOW", I love where I am today!  Do it, just do it--you'll see how great it is and especially in a couple years you'll go back and read what you wrote!  It's eye-opening and freeing!

This One Is So Important--I Learned How To Be Alone With Just Me!  I remember the very first time Abby had to go with her Dad for one of his weekends, I was crumbling.  I had no idea what to do by myself.  No matter who leaves you or if you have to leave a relationship for reasons unknown, and no matter how much I loved when a man gave me attention--the only time to know love is to love yourself!  I learned how to be alone.  I love going to a movie alone, I love being alone in my house and some things I found along the way like going to the beach by myself!  I love it!  It's OK to be by myself!  That's the reason I can love again!  And being alone makes me a great Mom..sometimes alone time is just what you need!

Get a lawyer!  It's a reality but not only did my lawyer get through the court and money stuff and everything else in between.  I remember she asked me why I was in an apartment and I thought, what else can I do?  She told me to buy a house.  No way, is she crazy?  Nope she was right!  It was the greatest thing I did!  It's all mine and I painted my house yellow!

There will always be that divorcey court stuff that Abby's Dad and I will have to go through but the number one thing we learned through it all is to parent right.  If we don't get along it has nothing to do with our daughter.  It took me a while to learn this, but the forgiveness that I could find somewhere in my heart for him--has brought me to this beautiful place I am at now.  Never give up on LOVE -  especially loving yourself!

And remember...You Are Beautiful!