Many, many years ago, I worked with an account person who till this day, I believe is one the best account people I’ve ever worked with. We were young and single at the time and we left for new companies but stayed in touch over the years. She ended up working at an agency with her husband and one day discovered her husband was cheating on her with the administrative assistant they shared. She didn’t immediately ask for the divorce. Just as she was so strategic for our clients, she applied it to her pending divorce and proceeded to gather evidence and talk to every lawyer in the town where she lived. When she had her ducks in a row, she nailed him and he didn’t have a leg to stand on and no where to turn to. I admired her planning, as it was a huge testament to being strategic and unemotional when she probably wanted to kill him. I vowed if I were ever in a similar situation, I would be just like her.
Of course, you know the next thing I’m going to tell you is it happened to me. Five years ago, my daughter ran through the house yelling, “Mommy, mommy, Daddy’s cheating on you and her name is …” I continued with making the sandwiches while heart beat wildly in my chest. Later that night I checked his Blackberry and found it was true. I immediately proceeded to take the steps my co-worker friend had done.
In the middle of the divorce, I lost my job. I’ve never not had a job so needless to say I was panicked. As if that wasn’t enough, my Dad died. Everything had gone very smoothly in my life up until that point so I couldn’t imagine why all of a sudden I had this black cloud over my head.
So I wrote. And I wrote and I wrote. I wrote more when I was the maddest. Or when I was the saddest. I wrote with tears running down my face and I learned that I loved writing even if I wasn’t ever going to be a Hemingway. It was cathartic. I ended up writing a 200-page book that I will never publish, but it helped me get through this black period in my life.
Just about every woman I’ve ever met has a gone through some black cloud period. My advice is even if you never publish a word you should write. Write about what you feel and what you think. Write whatever you feel like writing. Don’t worry about being brilliant, just write.
Writing has the power to heal.
How have you gotten through something and stayed strong? We’d love to hear your story.