What Hashimoto’s taught me about Divorce

I’ve always been a healthy girl. I like being busy and I usually have lots of things on the go. That has always helped me feel alive!  But when Hashimoto’s came into my life I wasn’t expecting it. What Hashimoto’s taught me about divorce was a surprise too, and yet, I know, going forward, it’s going to help me support my clients at an even deeper level.

Waking up feeling panicked. Depressed, but not. Wired in the middle of the night. Perhaps slightly paranoid? Definitely overwhelmed. Feeling incompetent, making “silly mistakes”. Brain fog and melt down.

What?

Is the Divorce Alchemist going through divorce? No.

Remember that the Divorce Alchemist isn’t married.

Not feeling like me

For the longest time, (and I can’t really say when it started), I haven’t been feeling myself. There hasn’t been divorce, a bereavement, and no ‘precipitating incident’. Just a gradual change that was so insidious I barely noticed it. I just thought I was “working too hard” and “not sleeping enough”. I just thought that I needed to “chill out”. So I did. I went to Vietnam.

Vietnam.

Sunshine. Oh, the wonderful sunshine. How my brain and my body just love it to! Rejuvenated, relax and happy, my playful nature returned. After four weeks of just chilling out, I felt alive, ready to return to the world and carry on.

Divorce Coaching is important to me. It makes me happy. Supporting ladies who leave to make much longed for change in their lives – I just love it! Seeing these women blossom into happy confident ladies is a joy for me and yet it felt like I was sliding away. I felt like I was on the inside of soundproof box just talking to myself. I could see other people and yet I couldn’t seem to grasp what they were saying.

Stress can make you feel like that. Perhaps as your relationship is ending, you feel that way too? As the days went on, normal life became too much. I was exhausted but couldn’t rest. My weight ballooned (I’ve never been super slim but this was getting out of hand). Normally sparky  creative and fun, I struggled.

Hashimoto’s

A bit of a meltdown at work made me stop. Living off coffee and sugar just to keep going, one day I just hit the wall and slid Down it like Tom chasing Jerry in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon. Hitting the bottom was actually a relief. I cried and I slept. I slept and I cried. I feel a bit tearful writing this blog. My lovely nutritionist Rebecca Boulton organised a thyroid test. Hashimoto’s disease. It was a shock and a  relief. I could let go of the title “fat lazy bitch” that had been rolling round in my head for months.

“Get a grip” “keep going” “Everyone else is working, you should too”  etc.  I had to let go of all that, look after myself first and get myself back to my happy, competent, bubbly self. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune condition which causes an under active thyroid – it all made sense! B.t.w, if you are struggling with your hormones, I highly recommend checking Rebecca out, she really is amazing – life changing, actually!!

Banishing the bad thoughts

Perhaps you like me, are having bad thoughts about yourself right now because you’re usually a super smart, confident woman who feels in control of her life, yet at the moment, nothing feels further from the truth. You’re tearful, emotional, angry and sad. You can’t sleep, you don’t want to eat; or you’re stuffing your face with ice cream and carbs which is so unlike you!

So what can you do? Well, like me, you have to start putting yourself first. Believe me, if it’s not your thing, it’s going to take some practice! Even though I’m a divorce coach, I didn’t practice what I preach. I’m a bit of a workaholic and I’m obsessed with social media. For me, ‘downtime’ is sitting on the sofa looking at social media and posting as opposed to sitting at my desk to do it! Sometimes, I’d work up to 17 hours a day.

Some days my head would feel like it wasn’t part of me. Sometimes I’d feel like I’d Lost all the things that I knew. I’ve always been a fast learner with a very good memory and sometimes my memory is patchy. I’d be forgetful without meaning to be. Other times, I’d have no idea what people were saying – it was an interesting place in my head for someone who is used to dealing with complex legal issues – not being able to follow a straightforward conversation. 

Wanting it all

For those of us who enjoy our work, and for those of us who juggle work with a  family, we often put pressure on ourselves to keep going. It’s hard even when emotionally we feel stable, grounded and happy. It really is bizarre that we believe we can just keep going when emotionally we are unhappy, feel uncertain and are confused about where we are at. My Hashimoto’s means but until I get control of my autoimmunity, I really have to behave differently. There is no choice. Whilst I have interesting conversations in my head about this, I know also that to get better as quickly as possible, I just need to do this.

It’s likely too that if you begin to put yourself first, you’ll handle your divorce so much better. Taking time out to relax, recharge your batteries and have fun will mean that you were better able to handle the challenging conversations that you and your husband will have over the coming weeks and months.  Remember that the emotions you feel around your divorce are completely normal. Inside, you are still the same confident and competent woman that you have always been. This is but a moment in time which will pass if you let it.  See this time for what it is, it’s purely a time of change and you’re bound to have mixed feelings about it. It’s not saying anything about you as a person, so be kind to yourself.

Be kind To Yourself

Hashimoto’s has taught me a lot about divorce. My clients tell me they feel lost and out of control. They can’t think straight. and their confidence is at an all time low. They’re not really sure who they are anymore. I may not be divorced and lady, I can so relate to you!  So, I thought I’d share how I’m being kind to myself. It may resonate and support you too. Gradually, I’ve let go of my obsession with social media – I’m not on my half as much as I was. I go to bed earlier and sleep more. I cut out gluten and dairy (for my autoimmunity) and I feel better. I’m looking at the ‘rules’ I’ve created for myself that don’t support me – things like, I cant go to sleep until I’ve done ‘x’ or I ‘have’ to be on social media for ‘y’ hours per day. These ‘rules’ I created (you’ll have them too – we all do) give me certainty and structure but this no longer serves me, so they have to be changed. Now, sleep and rest is my priority – its healing and gives me energy. What are you doing that isn’t serving you, and what can you be doing instead? What makes you feel great? When are you going to do it?

You are still you

Sometimes in life, something happens that changes the way you do things. It could be illness, divorce or loss of career. These things don’t necessarily change who you are inside. Facets of your character may alter. Your behaviours may change, but you are still you, as I am still me. I’m still a great Coach. I’m still an expert in Divorce. I just have to manage myself differently. One day soon, you may be a divorced woman. You’ll still be a mother (if you are one), sister (if you have siblings), a daughter and friend to many. You’ll still be kind, funny, clever and intelligent. Always remember that.

I’m Emma The Divorce Alchemist. I support Ladies who Leave to make smart emotional and financial decisions on divorce. If you don’t have your copy yet, you can download The Smart Woman’s Divorce Guide by completing the box below. Please note, by signing up, you will receive a series of 7 emails over 28 days to accompany the Guide. You will also receive an email from me each Wednesday morning UK time with hints, tips and advice. I sometimes promote my coaching packages too – I’m sure you understand that this is my business :). You may unsubscribe at anytime.