(continuing from the previous post.)
I was 50, recently divorced, technically broke, depressed and feeling totally sorry for myself. I was also lost, frustrated, angry and scared. I thought at that point that my life was ruined and it would be only getting worst from there.
I didn't know how I would turn my life around. I actually didn't even want to. My biggest concern was how was I going to pay for the child support every month while not having a descent income. At that time, my business was losing money. It was rock bottom.
I wanted to kill myself quickly and painlessly. And I didn't do it for fear of creating an even worst karma for my next life (in case I got one). Or perhaps waking up in hell.
What saved me was a self-development course I was doing at that time. Instead of drinking my sorrows away, I chose to look inside myself to find out if there was anything to be found out. And I did.
I worked a lot on the whole divorce situation. You understand that a divorce doesn't just happen. It takes a good amount of time and a bunch of decisions to create one. I had already discovered that life doesn't just happen to me. I make all the decisions. And I wanted to understand what lead me to become the "divorced and broke middle aged loser". Otherwise I would keep doing the same.
It was painful to look at it. I cried myself a river! I had done many ugly things during many years. I had lots of regrets and lots of secrets. And this might sound silly, but I had to go all the way back to my baby years and puzzle through my whole life to undo the mess I had become.
I noticed that I hated myself with passion. And the root cause was in my childhood. The way my parents brought me up, the stuff they said to me. Their alcohol and drug abuse. Their ugly divorce. My father trying to kill the whole family, my mother almost dying of an accident while my father's business had gone bankrupt. Many pains, many humiliations. And also my mother constantly telling me not to do like my father, not to be like my father, and telling me how men are so bad.
I grew up depressed without knowing. And the only way to avoid criticism was to pretend to be someone else in order to get approval. Lie to avoid punishment. Lie to avoid criticism. I learned to say what I believed the other person wanted to hear, rather than what I really thought. I was very manipulative.
I was a people pleaser. And what I thought was a winning strategy ended up being the cause of my collapse. I had a created a fake life and I hated it.
I pretended to be happy. And I was blaming everyone for my unhappiness. That is why I travelled so much in my early years. Every job sucked. Every boss was stupid. Every city was bad, every country was bad. I had trouble connecting with people but I was telling myself that I didn't find the right people yet. I had the illusion that by changing the environment, things would finally get magically better.
I met this girl, I kind of liked her, and I decided to settle with her, because I didn't believe I would ever find the perfect one. I was getting old and I didn't want to stay single. That is how I got married. I did everything I was supposed to do. I worked on being a super husband and a super father (I thought). But all that I created was more pretense, more fakeness. And I kept unknowingly being depressed.
I became irritable and I didn't enjoy my life. I blamed my wife, my job, the economy and whatever else for my unhappiness. And I began to avoid being with my family every time I could. I felt bad for doing it, but it was less painful than the constant pretense I lived in when I was at home.
Over time, my wife and I grew appart. And eventually, she told me she didn't love me anymore and that she didn't want to grow old with me. I didn't fight for the marriage. I thought that once it all would be over I would feel better and I could start over (my old pattern of escaping was playing out again).
When the divorce was pronounced and I finally realized what I had done, I felt the worst I ever felt in my life. I realized that I had done to my kids the same that my parents had done to me. I had betrayed everybody. Especially my daughters. And I couldn't forgive myself for it.
And that was exactly what I needed to do if I wanted to turn my life around. Forgive, forget and move on,
I'm extremely grateful for all the support I got from my friends and trainers at the course. I worked really hard. But it paid off. I took responsibility for my mistakes and forgave my ex-wife, my parents and myself for all the mess. I finally allowed myself to move on.
Only then, I was able to feel joy in my heart. I guess for the first time in my life, I was happy to be alive.
And from that moment on, good things came about.