Crossing the threshold. Calling in the doulas.

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I don’t want to tell you about the rage I felt this morning, how I feel so close to the bone these days that sometimes I’m just a little nub of a thing. I don’t want to talk about the electric current of fear that shoots through my body at 3 a.m. each morning and how I have to talk myself down to sleep again. I don’t want to talk about how being a grown-up feels really hard right now and I wonder if I’m up to the task.

This season of grief looks like that these days – moments of touching into despair and feeling how unsettled and afraid I feel about creating my new life.

Last week I was hiking by myself and the tears started to burn my eyes. I began to cry, then sob. And when others passed me on the trail I would try to hold it together til they went by.

I thought of my friend SARK who, in the wake of losing her beloved partner this year, has been “grieving deeply and living wildly” and I remembered her advice from a conversation we had a few weeks ago. I called her in a mess of tears + she encouraged me to go there completely, to feel it fully, even exaggerate it. She said: 

“The fear is that the grief will swallow you up, that you’ll stay there forever. But the truth is, if you let yourself feel it fully, you’ll get bored at some point and think – Okay, now let’s go have a sandwich.

And so I was in and out of those feelings all day long – letting myself feel the layers of fear. Feeling  untethered in the world. Feeling like I’m not strong enough for any of it.

And then it passed.

I’ve been likening the process of divorce at times to childbirth – except that I’m giving birth to a new self, a new life.

And this season feels like the transition period in labor. For childbirth, transition is the storm before the calm. (Believe it or not, the pushing phase is considered the calm) It’s the moment when it’s so painful and difficult you lose all hope. It’s the moment when you feel like you’re sure you’re not strong enough, you’re not made for this, and you find yourself shouting “Just take this baby out of me! I can’t do it!” Or “Just give me the drugs!” Or even thinking that this whole having-a-baby thing was a really bad idea. 

It’s the moment when you need the most support and encouragement because (excuse my French) you are fucking exhausted. And the thought of doing it for even one more minute sounds impossible.

But you can’t go back now. It’s all in forward motion and his baby is coming out.

Somehow.

Transition can go on for hours, and feel like a freaking eternity. There are doulas, and nurses, and partners to help, but ultimately it’s your work.

Have you ever been in a season like this?

I could use your encouragement right now. Calling in my metaphorical doulas!

You know who you are.

 

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ME >

76 Comments

  1. Anna

    Hi Andrea, I know we’ve never met in person, but I do want to offer some encouragement… I hear you, see you, feel you, and I commend you for calling in your doulas! This season sucks and you are exhausted, but there is a way through, and you will arrive. Sending you all kinds of love and light as you do the work. xo

    Reply
  2. Jane

    I’m not so much a doula as the woman grunting through the wall. All I can offer is that each minute we keep going makes us closer to the time we are in less pain… In the time it’s taken to read this to write this, we are further through.

    Reply
  3. Indi

    good gawd. YES! i’m there too. feels like effin’ forever that i’ve been in this phase. so OVER it. but it’s good too, right?
    *rolls eyes*

    sometimes “not doing” is good for this phase, right? not forcing anything, breathing in the moment, letting it be… all that. but ya know? i’m SO over that too!

    what feels like a better nonplan? have some FUN! go do something that just makes you so friggin’ happy, that has nothing to do with anything else. love yourself up in that moment. and when you have the energy, go do it again.

    (obviously some deep inner voice pulled that out of unknown recess, going to follow my own advice) *grin*

    thanks for being so honestly you, and reaching out, letting me and others know it’s okay to reach out! xoxo

    Reply
  4. debbie in alaska

    You’ve got this. You are brave, even if you feel like you’re not. And you’ve got an army of women standing behind you — who believe in you. Who know this is a phase of life — and that no matter how dark, there is light on the other side. ANd life is leading you there. And you WILL get there. You won’t be lost to the darkness. You’ve got this.

    Reply
  5. Robin

    Remember Glennon Melton at Momastary – We Can Do Hard Things and Love Wins. Sorry to hear that things are so hard for you but maybe this means a huge breakthrough (baby) is just ahead?? Sending Love and Light

    Reply
  6. Britt Bravo

    Oh Andrea ~ I’m so sorry you in so much pain. If it helps at all, you are not alone. I know so many people, myself included, who are going through incredibly hard times right now. Where it seems like life will never get better.

    I was very moved by Barack Obama’s speech last night. Everything he has gone through, all of the resistance and racism he has experienced, and yet he still holds a vision of a bright future. This part resonated with me:

    “It’s the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost. Do not quit.”

    As does this Dalai Lama quote:

    “NEVER GIVE UP
    No matter what is going on
    Never give up
    Develop the heart
    Too much energy in your country
    Is spent developing the mind
    Instead of the heart
    Be compassionate
    Not just to your friends
    But to everyone
    Be compassionate
    Work for peace
    In your heart and in the world
    Work for peace
    And I say again
    Never give up
    No matter what is going on around you
    Never give up”

    love,
    Britt

    Reply
  7. carol cuatt

    Hi, Andrea. I feel for you and thank you for sharing. I know you know you are not alone, but just to remind you, I remember feeling panic too when I got divorced. Grief feels like a balloon to me that has an infinite amount of air in it, and it doesn’t come out all at once, but we find some relief by letting it out it in increments.

    Something happened recently after I suffered losses I never felt before: I was grateful to feel the pain and to not go through all the tricks to avoid it (having tried so many of them in the past) or to put on false cheeriness and repeat comforting stories or slogans to myself. This is by no means saying accepting the pain is easy nor does it take away the feeling of wanting to lay down on the sidewalk and sob. It might even be harder, I don’t know. I wrote a poem after those experiences I am sharing here with you along with sending much love to you and your dear heart.

    letting in to let go

    another hole of hurt
    welcome
    get as deep and wide as you need
    and make yourself at home
    there are more rooms here than i need
    you can come out
    and join in festivities if you like
    and i’ll come visit you, too
    stay as long as you need
    i couldn’t host a more honored guest

    Reply
  8. Jen

    Thank you for this rawness. I am with you. I have no words of wisdom except to keep doing what you are doing–cry, panic, soothe, hike, call friends, eat whatever you want and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    You are not alone. This is my journey too. I am in this darkness. 10 months…still moving through the 1st without him by my side.

    You got this. And when you don’t. Others will step in to lift you up.

    Reply
  9. Tanis

    Andrea, Superhero Andrea. You’ve got this. You really really do. I don’t know how I know that since we’ve yet to actually met, but it seems like sometimes I just know things (and they turn out to be true). And this, is one of those times.

    You can do it, because you are doing it. You are, you’re already doing it, everything you need to do to get through. Just keep going.

    Big Love to you, your light is so bright, and it’s going to shine richer and deeper.
    xo Tanis

    Reply
  10. laurie

    Darling, I love the courage it must have taken to sob your eyes out along a public trail – the courage of just going there and giving the baby what she needed. That’s powerful and rich and it’s not easy. Much easier to be all light and snappy. Much harder to feel like we’re being pulled into the dark depths. I love you. I’m with you. You aren’t alone. xxxxx

    Reply
  11. Tiffanie

    Love to you Andrea!!! Thank you for expressing what most feel too scared to express. I have confidence in you and confidence in your process. That the time to go have a sandwich WILL happen. I honor your courage to go there, and report back for all the rest of us. You’re doing good work.

    Reply
  12. nina

    Love you. I know this is tough. I am at this moment in this same place, with no turning back that is so, so scary (after spending more than half my life with someone, yes I’m with you on this). You are not alone. Lifting you up — I know you’ve got this. xo

    Reply
  13. Jean McVay

    Dear Andrea: Just having the guts to share your deepest feelings is such a comfort to others. I clearly remember the anguish I went through. Only one woman said to me: congratulations; I was taken aback. Later I understood what she was saying. I had taken a huge, brave step. Another woman told me; don’t worry, take as long as it takes you to get to another place. Of all the people who spoke to me; these are the ones I remember the most.

    Reply
  14. Sam

    We don’t know each other, but I love reading your blog posts. Why? Because they are authentic and real. I am presently writing a memoir, which means I am going through tons of old journals. It is difficult to relive the pain in those journals as I was moving through one lesson or another. But there was hope there too – because I am distant from those lessons now. They are learned and incorporated, leaving me free for new adventures and learning. This phase will also pass for you and you will be amazed how much you have expanded yourself because of it. Sending you big hugs!

    Reply
  15. jen d

    So, I’ve been following your blog for what? 15 years? 17? Is that possible? We’ve met a few times, exchanged hugs, driven around Portland together, had a quick photo session, etc… And I will tell you that one thing that has always struck me about you is your ability to create and manifest magic in your life. I also have admired over all this time, your curiosity and willingness to go through the dark to get to light.
    Andrea, you are a special kind of light. You are love. You are art. You are magic.
    I can’t wait to see what the next chapter of your amazing life looks like!

    Reply
  16. Patricia

    Dear Andrea, If we were in the same room I would walk across to you and embrace you in my arms, rocking back and forth and remind you to breathe. We have “known” each other for years and I have watched in awe as you have worked your way through monumental challenges with grace and courage. You have never hidden the pain; rather you have shared it. That generous gift has helped me move through my challenges. Take heart; know that you have created a community of strong, big-hearted, courageous women. We are the measure of your authenticity and your deserving of love. You will survive and – dare I suggest – thrive. Reaching out is a big brave step. With love.

    Reply
  17. Cheryl

    Dear Andrea, thank you for the courage you show in posting your pain. There are 1000 things I could say, but I simply say, yes. Yes, I’ve been there, done it, bought the T-shirt, and so more importantly I’m better for it. Your several steps up on many others and that you’re following the wise advice of sitting still in your grief. Don’t run from the pain, But instead let it scald you, gut you, and subsequently let it mold you into a new, whole and complete version of yourself. I look forward to your beautiful words as you emerge on the other side of this grief, casting off your chains and wearing your scars like glorious tattoos. Here if you need me, Cheryl in Kentucky

    Reply
  18. georgy

    Beautiful Wonder! It’s always so good to hear from You – any time at all – any reason that causes you to Reach Up – and Connect to YourSelf. Yes, a New Version of You is transitioning in . . emerging . . . like a butterfly. If it seems like work, okay, if it seems like dancing until your muscles ache and sweat runs – okay – However it “seems” – the Truth is – YOU – Unique – Marvelous – Completely Yourself – Your SELF – connected securely to Your Source – You are in Process . . . love & love

    Reply
  19. Lori

    BIG LOVE! You got this and there are a whole slew of people holding you.

    Reply
  20. K

    I’m in that place now, I don’t know yet how it gets better but I am optimistic. You’re not alone.

    Reply
  21. Karin

    Hi Andrea,
    I have been going through my second divorce the last two years and you are so right. I have been comparing it to giving birth as well. Not just the giving birth to a new life, a new horizon but also the way the pain manifests itself. It comes in waves and it feels like you’re drowning when you’re in the middle of it. But just like in childbirth there is always an end to the wave. There is always a moment the pain lessens and you can come up for air. I can tell you from where I am right now that it is so worth it to go through the pain. It is the only path to get to the other side. And although I don’t know you, just the fact that you are able to share your feelings, to give words to them shows me you have the courage to to go through it.

    Reply
  22. Miriam

    Hi Andrea, you know me, you’re generous enough, connected enough, to always respond to my emails. I love your sense of connection with people you’ve never met. It deomstrates your capacity even in the darkest moments to recognize the deeper truth–we are not alone. Practically, spiritually or metaphysically, we are not alone. All it takes is this recognition and allowing ourselves to call forth support as you have so bravely done here–in the most visible way possible. I’m in awe of your capacity for transparency.

    I have had this fear, once I open Pandora’s box, she’ll never go back inside and finally, finally I have discovered that never ever do I want her back in that box of pretend, that the life of a woman, the life of the deep resonant feminine within us, somehow means we stand alone in our wild multi-tasking mastery, getup underneath everyone and anyone, our children, our siblings, our world, starving children, children thrown I dumpsters, we hold all of this for the planet because that’s the size of our container–only we forget too often that the container is also there, first there, to serve ourselves. To turn to ourselves and embrace the deep power within us that we often only witness under the current of pain, that connects us with the intelligence of life and reminds us that we are not actually alone from whatever angle we look.

    As you experience and share your journey, the world heals as this too has been brought forth from somewhere far beyond the depths of your life.

    What I have discovered as I make the intelligence of life my partner, as I choose to fully co-create my life, I also get to choose the doses of pain that I feel I can tolerate at any one time and maintain a modicum of sanity and support for myself, for my child, for others who participate in life with me.

    I say to the universe, I want the clarity, I want to heal and wash away the pain and I want it in small doses that I can manage that don’t completely throw me off my trajectory in life that I also chose.

    You can choose, Andrea, to dive into very deep water you were made for, go all the way down and touch the bottom and come back up within minutes for breath, for perspective, for laughter and for recognition of all that you have not only survived, developed and thrived in–but with a clear view of the woman you have raised yourself to be.

    You can do this! We’re all standing here with our arms around you–take that in and you will laugh at the enormity of it all.

    So much love to you and everyone here.

    Miriam

    Ps. I too approaching a transition and every cell in my body wants to scream and complain and continue the rant of WTF? And then grace happens, which also happens to be my daughter’s name. Grace comes because I choose her, she teaches me compassion, for myself, for my wasband and for all those people who just can’t understand, including me, why this had to go this way. Why couldn’t he, why couldn’t I… Because we choose the full life and sometimes that means, we have to draw a line in the sand and that hurts for those of us who love so deeply.

    Reply
  23. Elizabeth Hunter

    Let the grief burn up everything that is not you. The emergent you.

    Reply
  24. Leslie

    Yeeeeaaaah, and remember the part where the baby comes out and the pain miraculously stops and you’re all like, oh, a baby. That wasn’t so bad. Maybe I’ll have another one. Hmm. That’s where the analogy doesn’t work for me, but it will get soooo much better, and you will be proud of yourself for making it through one of life’s toughest challenges all in one piece and with the scars that say “I am strength and courage” and you’ll actually mean it. Love to you, dear woman. I’m sending all healing thoughts and light to you and yours.

    Reply
  25. KK

    All I can say is whatever you are doing – don’t feel guilty or ashamed. Now, if any, is the time to be shameless – let it all out and don’t let once last lingering emotion hide in some nook or cranny within you. Sob, whimper, bawl, scream, shout, pound your fists, crumple to the floor, be silent, stare at nothing – be a little (well you know) crazy. Because you have to open all the doors, fling wide open the shutters, and let all of that doubt, sadness, anger, disappointment, regret, guilt – out of your system.
    For me, it was more like going into rehab. Your body is reacting ‘chemically’ to the person that you were with, built a relationship, loved at one point…this has to leave your system! Otherwise, it will poison anything in the future.
    Don’t worry so much about the time it will take to get through it…take your friend’s advice – Go all in! Then eventually (sooner than you think) you’ll come to the realization that you really ‘just need a sandwich’. And suddenly, you will want to try all kinds of ‘sandwiches’ and you’ll realize that the one you had for so long wasn’t really your favorite anyway – you just used to the taste 😉
    Good luck, Andrea. (big hug) You got this, girl!

    Reply
  26. Stephanie

    Hi Andrea,

    So sorry you are going through this. The analogy to transition in childbirth is so apt. The grieving will end or at least change and you will be changed, but stronger, as I know you are. Yes, let yourself feel it, move through it. When you are cracked open there is no place to go but forward,through the flames, towards eventual healing. Let it out. Love to you xxoo

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth

    Dear Andrea, I went through a divorce many years ago, and your words have made me remember that awful sadness I felt then. I hadn’t expected the depths of grief and despair, and it took a while for me to process all of the feelings.

    It makes sense why you are feeling so much sadness right now. While you anticipate the birth of your new life, you are also saying goodbye to your old life. It is like a death as you grieve the hopes you had, dreams you shared, life you planned with your husband. You’re saying goodbye to your identity as a wife. That is painful, even as you know it’s right. It makes so much sense why you are feeling the weight of it all. You’re allowed to be there as long as you need to. And I am here – so many amazing women are here! – weeping with you and cheering for you. There is HOPE, and you will feel JOY and lightness again. I want to encourage you that one day soon, you will find that you have come through it. Take care, brave one!

    Reply
  28. Ellie

    I wish you grace and peace as you…

    …grieve and let go of those things, people and hopes that are/have gone away;

    …hold on to those people, rituals and places that bring you safety, warmth and care;

    …wait for the Not Yet, with anxiety and anticipation. I wish you much hope, magic, inspiration, connection and grace in the waiting.

    Reply
  29. Joy

    Sending love to you!

    I agree with allowing yourself to feel it. In my own experience, once I gave myself permission to feel grief, fully, bits of joy and peace and wonder surprised me each day (more so as each day unfolded to the next). I did things like wear glitter eye shadow (even though I don’t wear eye shadow), because I knew I’d be crying in public, so at least after I wiped my tears, I’d have ‘glitter trails’. I’d forget about it, then someone would compliment me later in the day about my sparkly face. I thanked myself for holding space for my feelings, instead of stuffing them; then, if I stuffed them, I thanked myself for noticing and choosing to open in that moment. Little actions of intention make such a huge difference!

    I also tuned into the energy and example of people who have walked this grief path before I and who are currently thriving (in their own way). It makes what I thought not possible for me, seem more possible.

    You have the understanding (and heart), tools, support. It might be painful, but you are also well-equipped to process that pain (which doesn’t make it hurt less, but might make it easier to keep your heart open as you process this).

    Allow the world to love you, like you did hear within your circle by calling in encouragement with this article. Maybe next time you’re hiking and the tears fall, let them and if someone asks you what they are about, simply say I’m grieving. You might receive in extra love and you are also (through your living it) giving us each permission to openly live our grief, too.

    Reply
  30. Rachel Krebs

    May the following poem offer you some support:

    “Wild Geese

    You do not have to be good.
    You do not have to walk on your knees
    For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
    You only have to let the soft animal of your body
    love what it loves.
    Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
    Meanwhile the world goes on.
    Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
    are moving across the landscapes,
    over the prairies and the deep trees,
    the mountains and the rivers.
    Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
    are heading home again.
    Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
    the world offers itself to your imagination,
    calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
    over and over announcing your place
    in the family of things.
    -Mary Oliver”

    Reply
  31. Holly

    So … You are not in the fun part …yet trust me you are going to love being on the other side and rediscovering you. There are definitely lost moments, yet I felt that even being married. The loneliest I’ve ever felt was when I was married. What I love is in the small things- listening to whatever music I want to, when I want to, at whatever time I want to, eating whatever I want to when I want to at whatever time I want to…I have so much joy and love being me,you find my freedom in these moments. Yes, I have lonely days, sad days, I want to quit days… However, since I only have myself to rely on(besides a fantastic group of friends) those days are only small moments… little blips in the journey. you will shine so much brighter than you already do. I guess we’d all better put our sunglasses on because ready or not, you’re about to get very bright.

    Reply
  32. gayla

    Be Brave and let it pass through you. You will be amazed at the person you become after it passes. You will return to some sort of peace and you won’t even see it coming – one day you will just feel it & know. Growth sometimes requires suffering – it doesn’t last forever, it just feels that way. Sharing and asking for help means you have started your journey. — consider yourself hugged!

    Reply
  33. richele

    I have a card for you. send me your address and I’ll put it in the mail.

    ask yourself in your most fragile moments what it is you want most right then. Sometimes going to get a coffee was the thing that saved my life. That and a ton of yoga but I didn’t have kids to navigate through.

    And then at a certain point… I had to say yes to the drugs. I was too far into the hole. I don’t regret it at all I feel like it helped me be more authentically me as sad as it sounds.

    Be a mess, you’re ok. you’ll be ok!

    Reply
  34. Kelly

    Sending you so much love, Andrea. You are an amazing being full of light, love, strength and joy. I’m crying for you, you are so brave!

    Reply
  35. Meghan

    I have nothing wise to share, but I know grief and I know loss and I know what it feels like to come out the other side, so know that I am sending your heart support and love and that I honour you for going through this – I wish you ongoing grace. xox

    Reply
  36. Carolyn

    You can’t see it now, but the time will come when this will not take so much effort, so much brain space. You’ll be able to just slip this into the rotation of things you are doing and not drop a thing. You got this girl, you got this.

    Reply
  37. Andrea Scher

    You all are blowing my mind with your kindness, your compassion and your wisdom. Thank you!!! for the love, the sister/brotherhood, and your words of encouragement.

    I feel the net of love and letting it hold me today.
    xo
    andrea

    Reply
  38. Kelly Barton

    i am in the same season right now. working to allow the grief to be heard and felt. to honor that, knowing that if i do show the fear, the sadness and the grief, the honor it needs. then i will move thru to that sweet horizon. maybe a little settled and with a smile, knowing that regardless, its me. just me. xoxo

    Reply
  39. RayM

    Stay the course. Be yourself. Express youself. Even in the pain there is the Magic and Mystery that it is to be vibrantly or not alive. Feel the energy and don’t necessarily believe those 3 am thoughts – our thoughts are often not true. I glimpsed this and more in one of your corse and now echo them back to you. Sending you much Love.

    Reply
  40. Leanne

    In time new things happening gain more attention and these things become part of the past whether we cling to them or not. A bit like starting with a block of stone and carving off all the bits that are not part of the ongoing ride and weighing you down hiding something much more beautiful. Some of that really hurts and haunts for some time, especially if you are good at numbing your emotions. Over time the better bits remain and the dross is slowly less tangible. You have so much ahead of you. Things you have yet to imagine. Don’t only see the loss see that potential. (Advice for us both here!! Lol :-))

    Reply
  41. Sasha

    You know how fire extinguishers are behind glass and it says smash glass in case of emergency?
    The glass around our hearts (or call it pericardium)
    Has to get smashed to smithereens. You know how glow sticks don’t glow until we break them and then the chemicals combine so it can shine?
    We promised ourselves before we incarnated that we wanted the whole enchilada…we wanted our nectar, our medicine to be called forth, from the deepest cavern of our being. But we Didn’t schedule this to happen until the exact, perfect moment. Your moment is now Mama.
    All these women have got you too!

    Reply
  42. Elisa Mikiten

    Anam Thubten said something funny one day. “Don’t worry, nothing works out.” i can’t really explain why this makes me laugh, but on the off chance that it lightens your heart, too, there it is.

    Reply
  43. Morgan

    My heart feels full for you, especially full because I am riding the waves of grief alongside you in my own life. While I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone else, it’s a relief to know that I am not alone and neither are you. Do you know this poem by Michael Leunig? “Let it out, Let it go, Let it all unravel, Let it free. And it will be. A path on which to travel”. Big hugs

    Reply
  44. gigi

    You Got This! I remember discovering your Superhero Designs (your great jewelry and then your blog) when I was going thru a hard time. You totally got this! Sending you peace and love!

    Reply
  45. Marva McClean

    You are part of the Circle of Life. This too is a season that will pass on.Look for the magnificent lesson and wonderful gift that you may reap from it even within the despair. Somehow, I believe that that is already taking place.

    Reply
  46. marilee pittman

    Andrea, you are a remarkable woman. I want you to know that you have my love and support. You know exactly what you need to do. Hug yourself. Lean into your grief. Believe you will come out the other side of this loss. You will be changed. You will be more real, more honest and stronger. Your experience will be mined to help others. With love. Keep the focus on your role as mother. Your children are experiencing your grief as well. Find simple happiness in the every day occurrences. They are the gems of life.

    Reply
  47. Sharron

    Andrea, I am so sorry that you’re hurting right now. When my relationship ended, I found it hard to believe that I would ever feel happy again and it took waaay too long to feel better. But I did, not all the time but slowly, more and more often, I would realize that I was happy. My survival handbooks were “Coming Apart” and “10 Things To Do When Your Life Comes Apart”, both by Daphne Rose Kingma. I read and reread them.
    Above all, be kind to yourself. Keep taking those walks in nature, get a massage, lots of bubble baths, if that’s your thing. Writing has always been therapeutic for me, as it seems to be for you. When I reached the other side, I had a big bonfire and burnt all the journals from that dark time. Love and support coming your way xoxo

    Reply
  48. Maureen

    Oh sweetheart. This is part of the tsunami. Even as the way isn’t clear and your sensitive self is scared, tired, enraged, bewildered, you are doing great … going step by step by step. Know that you aren’t alone. xo

    Reply
  49. Suzette

    I found your blog years and years ago during a frustrating, albeit transformational, time of my own. I printed out the blog post (which quoted Anne Lamott, Carolyn Myss and someone who worked for the Dalai Lama)that caught my eye, and refer back to it constantly.

    Since your post was so helpful to me, I’m drawing your attention back to it during these difficult times:

    https://www.andreascher.com/journal/archives/000346.html

    Reply
  50. barbara

    Hi Andrea, this is a difficult period for me too and…..we can only do one thing: celebrate our life, celebrate the best of our life every day, celebrate our sacred life moment after moment, we can do it and not give up…never.
    I’m with you!
    Barbara

    Reply
  51. Bridget

    I love your post because I can so relate. I am not only feeling all that but also physically feeling it and can not get over the fact that my body aches and I have physical issues along with emotional. How does one over come all that is my thoughts. I love not only your post but all the support that has giving you the foundation to move forward. Know you are not alone. xxoo

    Reply
  52. Tonia Jenny

    Andrea, every feeling you’re having is justified. It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s exhausting, it’s incredibly sad, it’s exhilarating, it hold promise and it’s cleansing. I’ve not had the experience this time around birthing an actual baby, but as someone who has rebirthed herself, I want to hold you hand and tell you every single moment is worth it and what’s to come is so beautiful. You are beautiful and powerful. xoxo

    Reply
  53. Trish

    Andrea,

    Many moons ago I too traveled this road and when you share children it is altogether another circuitous path.

    You are simulataneously lovely and luminous in sharing your vulnerabilities. You will get through this chapter with all its dips into darkness and despair. This afternoon of gloom will eventually break and you will feel the warmth of the sunshine within your spirit again. I think it was MLK that stated ‘only light can drive out the darkness’ We are all here in your online community holding up our virtual flashlights, iphones, candles and lighters to support you through this treacherous path of feeling fragile and full of fear. Just remember fear is an ancronym for False Evidence Appearing Real. You my dear, sweet soul are real. Real in being empowered in your authenticity, strong in your intuitive wisdom and kind in your every day efforts. We, your fans, friends and online community will carry you emotionally when you need a respite from the internal storms, listen without judgment and nurture you with all the endless love and comfort your being needs. We are your caretakers in comfort. When it sometimes ‘feels’ too much as SARK stated just take a moment and sit in the grief and grind of rage — it will pass and you will reach the other side by feeling the feelings fully. What you do not resist will not persist. These feelings like rage, anger, bitterness are full of ego and when provided the space to be expressed they will disipate because you have been given the adequate amount of time and attention and not one moment more. They will not survive when treated with care and braver for feelng them fully in the first place. I was fortunate to have met you at Squam a few years ago and we shared a lovely conversation in person as we have done several times on line. Sending you so much love and light…just remember we are here to support you.

    Trish

    Reply
  54. Lene Hedegaard

    Don’t worry
    about losing.
    If it’s right,
    it will happen.
    The main thing
    is not to hurry.
    Nothing good
    gets away. -John Steinbeck

    Much love to you in this transition ❤️

    Reply
  55. Patty

    Crying heals. Divorce sucks. I’ve been there too. You have to remember that divorce is a death that holds its own grieving process. It WILL get better! Life does not end with divorce. It’s a rebirth. You’ll find yourself again, the self you loved and have missed. Hang in there – it’s all uphill from here!

    Reply
  56. Ken Jensen

    Hi Andrea!

    I can totally relate. 14 years ago, I transitioned off of meds and into holistic health care to eventually defeat bipolar disorder, as well as a handful of addictions. The “period of change” lasted a solid two years and was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I lived in constant agony, despair and terror as I gutted out the change.

    I simply refused to quit, never truly knowing if I was even correct in choosing the new path I was on. I only knew I couldn’t go back, as it had proven to be not only useless but harmful as well.

    That experience taught me that I can survive anything, as long as I have the guts to face it head-on. Like your friend said to do. Let it hit you full force until it bores you. Then you’re free.

    We are all tougher than we know.

    I feel you’re someone who has it in them to pull this off. Because as bad as you feel, others still need you and you’ve already risen to that call. You might even pull this off more for them than yourself. Regardless, you, and we, all win in the end for your efforts. Good luck!

    Reply
  57. CoraD

    Love and light.

    A hand in the dark. A shoulder to rest upon. A donut just because. Facing the abyss with your coolest shades on. Carrying a box of bandages because this work is messy and hurtful but not life ending.

    You got this. You are where you need to be. This too will pass.

    Love and light.

    Reply
  58. CoraD

    P.S. Tuesday night, in the pit of OCD-induced anxiety, frustration and fear, I found a path out. I realized I no longer had to feel irritated or frantic or overwhelmed. That I could choose other feelings, look from a different perspective, just remain calm. I can observe, reflect and act, in that order.

    Reply
  59. Johanna

    I don´t know what to say except I am exactly at that spot. Separated but yet not fully divorced for there never seem to be time for that final paperwork. And exhausted, beyond exhausted. And feeling selfish for needing to rest. And feeling frustrated for needing to rest for there simply is so much to do and so much I want to do. Knowing, knowing that I don’t want to go back. But not knowing how to do this all by myself. There is a way through – There has to be. It gives me comfort to read your post, knowing I am not alone on this bumpy road. All my love to you!

    Reply
  60. Nicole

    I have been reading your blog from the very beginning and have followed you, been comforted by you and have loved and cheered you on through every messy step. You are not your fear or your sadness or any other visiting emotion. They will come and go. At your core, you are a strong, smart, beautiful, gifted, and loving woman who is moving forward with her life and always doing the best she can for herself and her kids. You don’t need to do or be anything more than you already are. sending you a hug!

    Reply
  61. Barbara

    Dear Andrea, You are already a bright and shining light in this world. I know the pain that comes from divorce can be excruciating at times. But the beautiful soul that will come forth after this will be such a delight to see. Until then, I’m holding you in my heart.

    Reply
  62. Kathleen Harrigan

    Oh Dearheart- brave brave alive Andrea! How can any of us escape the grief of change? I know I have tried so hard to swallow my grief of losing my beloved, father,my best friend, and most recently my fabulous funny mother…but trying to push it down only made it come up even more violently in strange ways smelling like really stinky cheese…and I had no place to just let “it be…” your post is refreshing…because for years I have been trying to let the grief just come out and be…and I realized it really isn’t smelly when you just let it come out naturally…lol…it is almost quite beautiful and cathartic~ I am now in the middle of watching my young adult children flounder…and I have no control…I am grieving what “control” I thought I had– and like you- wake up at 3 a.m. in the morning not knowing what to do or how to guide or help them…I feel not good enough or strong enough to weather any of it….and it is only others like yourself– those willing to break open their “smelly cheese” stories…to let out their fears and their truths …to be REAL in a world that sometimes makes us feel “not good enough” that I feel accompanied, alive and not so “wrong or bad–or alone…” Thank you and big hugs to you during this time in your life…HUGZZZZZ

    Reply
  63. Macy Harjot Matarazzo

    Thank you for sharing so fully. Grief is an emotion I have been dancing with recently after my husband and I learned he has cancer. Waves of fear and grief come over me and I feel like my brain is being electrocuted. It is inescapable and paralyzing. sobbing. shock. sobbing. neutral. hopeful. sobbing again. It is something that ebbs and flows in its own rhythm. I honor you for sharing and demonstrating the power of asking for help. Most recently I have been visited by bats flying around outside of our deck…when I googled bat medicine it talked about experiencing a shamanic death…shedding an identity. rebirth. I was inspired and felt supported by this so sharing my bat medicine with you…YOUR new self is emerging. coming out of the phone booth with an even shinier leotard and extra fierce cape…and you WILL come out. AND the whole time…all of us, your fans, will be still be here celebrating you.

    Reply
  64. Nina

    What a glorious doula you are. Birthing yourself and even this group of loving spirits to buoy you through the fuck fuck fuck moments. As someone above said, “you only have to let the soft s I am of your body live what it loves.” But what about when you don’t yet know what your body needs/wants/craves? Those are the edge of the cliff moments.
    Thank you as always for your bold and true authenticity.
    I am in the process of what I’m calling my “midlife renewel.” It is glorious and totally sucks shit. It also feels like a long labor where I am terrified of what lies on the other side. It involves renegotiating my marriage and figuring out how to live big and boldly instead of fitting myself in to smaller spaces. Terrifying and panic inducing and desperate and sucking for the breath and adventures that feed my spirit. Good luck brave and wise woman. The universe and the divine are holding you. “We are all just walking each other home”

    Reply
  65. Heather

    Dear Andrea,

    1. Thank you for showing me, all of us, your mess. Seeing other people’s messes swells me with relief and makes me feel so much more human. I owe you.

    2. Thank you for reaching out for help. It encourages the rest of us to do the same, and we all need the encouragement.

    When I am feeling wrung out with fear, I remember this glorious piece of street art I saw 2 years ago. http://tinyurl.com/h5o6ja2
    It reads: You are your ancestors’ wildest dream.

    It reminds me that every single person in my lineage would burst with joy and pride from seeing me live. They wouldn’t give two shits about the petty details I worry other people are judging me for, or more likely, that I’m judging myself for.

    They would care whether I’m showing up for this precious life. And they would be so proud in the moments where I am having my ass operatically kicked, because they already know I survive this and they know this pain is part of the package.

    Even when I can’t find perspective for myself, I try to remember that I am my ancestors’ wildest dream because it lets me off the hook and lets someone else hold perspective for me, while I sit here and feel the gritty reality.

    Finally, when you are going the “just feel it” route, in the very worst moments throes, my therapist encourages me to wiggle my toes.

    P.S. Watching a little Lady Dynamite might help you laugh when you are thirsty for a rest between bouts. I highly recommend comedy recuperation breaks.

    Or ignore all of this and just know I’m sorry this is so shitty and I care that you’re struggling.

    Reply
  66. Barbara

    Transitioning at 75. Now one year into a life I never expected to have, I am so happy that finally, finally, two years ago I took the steps to get me here. I wasn’t as brave as you when I had kids at home. Still it wasn’t easy. Your classes helped me define myself once again as well as Awakening Joy which you recommended and of course 73 years of experiencing changes in my life. Reaching out always works for me. I hope you are lifted by all the comments here and know beneath the tears and panic, you are strong and you will push through even though it hurts so much. You are loved and appreciated.

    Reply
  67. Brenda Finne

    Andrea…do these words help?

    The trick, it seems, is to be able to hold both things very close-the gratitude and the misery-and then, with a semblance of faith, let them fly.
    -Elizabeth Aquino

    I’m not sure what I can add, but as it’s been said…
    love is love is love is love..there are many wonderful people that truly care for you.

    Reply
  68. Merlin

    Have you ever known someone whose baby/child swallowed their jewelry? A friend’s diamond pendant was swallowed.

    She got it back. She had to shift through her kid’s shit for days to get it.

    I hang onto this story to remind myself that even in piles of stinking shit a miracle can be found.

    Whatever shit you are in, believe that somewhere you will find that sparkler.

    Reply
  69. Merlin

    …”sift through shit”…, if you want to correct that for me

    Reply
  70. Barbara Lane

    Oh my Darling I so relate albeit for different reasons. While I feel increased joy and excitement around my retirement and an International move, too I feel increased stress and grief as I say adios to so many parts of me here. A moment-to-moment roller coaster that’s picking up speed. With frequent regularity I’m terrified I’ve set it in motion, yet all the while I never take my eye off the moment when the wildness of the ride will come to a gentle stop, I’ll throw back the bar, and step out exhilarated by what I’ve just done and where I’ve landed.

    Too, I understand that each place on the wheel is necessary. The place of “DUNNO”: The place where I dunno exactly how I’ll do it. After wallowing for some time in the frustration of dunno, I start to figure it out. I do that by facing different directions (imagining my life played out such and such) and seeing how my middle feels. I know when I’ve fine-tuned the compass and it’s a direct line Due North (to how I want my life to manifest). Then I move from dunno to KNOW. This place is super-productive, almost hyper, sometimes a bit manic. Because once I KNOW I’m obsessed by the HOW. More than that, the WHEN takes off like a shot and its galloping never slows. The collective time spent in these places spits me out into THE WAY. And when I’m riding the rapids of THE WAY – when HOW & WHEN have joined forces – I strap on, darlin’. I know it’s gonna be bumpy as hell at first, but then it’s gonna be smoooooooooth as glass. I gotta be prepared to slide right in, land on my feet, and walk away like a Boss. Yes. From here out it simply unfurls. The dots take on a life of their own and keep connecting, the energy builds, and before I know it I spend more time in my head there than I do here – to the thought I wonder how people here can even see me since I’m so there. And then….”all of a sudden” I AM THERE.

    I believe it true for both of us that every day while en route there we deeply ache saying our goodbyes to times and places. This is the most profound leaving we’ve ever done – it’s greatly affecting us emotionally. Having said that, the emotion of it has no bearing on the plans. Too, this move will be the most profound arriving we’ve ever done. Fascinating times in life. Gracias a Dios I’m forever grateful. All part of the whole. A new life is calling us to come understand things about ourselves that we wouldn’t otherwise. As we heed that calling it is trusting that as we free-fall the Universe will not let us go Splat!

    So yes, we are right now in the re-birth canal and some of it is painful and stressful and utterly heartbreaking. We’re reinventing ourselves pretty much from the ground up. It’s rebirth at its finest. A birth we get to choose. We’re the Creator. Oh my. How awesome is that? That we get to create an opportunity to compile everything good we know, we’ve done, we’ve ever learned, into BEing– and we’re privileged to choose where and how (!) – and begin again. Be someone totally new who encompasses everything we already are and then some, recast in a new movie. Oh my. Oh my! Is that getting to live a prayer or what?

    Knowing all that, and admitting I’m having a hard time, it helped me to read this, and hope it helps you too:

    All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy;
    for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves;
    we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

    Namaste

    Reply
  71. moyra

    you got this. you can do it. you are strong enough. xxx namaste xxx

    Reply
  72. Katie

    I have- and you will come out of this more whole and ok.
    My therapist would tell me “you have to feel to heal” – no truer words ever spoken. So you are doing the hard important work of feeling. There would be days I would literally get by hour to hour- going to the bathroom to take deep breaths and tell myself I could get through the next hour and cry when I got in my car at the end of the work day. You can do this!

    Reply
  73. Jennifer Chapin

    Hey there Andrea, I’m back to checking your blog after a few years away from it – I followed it for the first many, many years, and I am so sorry to see you going through this! One thing I do applaud you for (that I have a very hard time doing myself) is letting people know you’re going through a tough time so that we can reach out to you and show you support in whatever way we can and in whatever way you need! Life is hard, and what’s harder is thinking that you can’t or shouldn’t reach out for help and support. Many thoughts and much love going out to you.

    Reply
  74. Mira

    Andrea, Wrapping you in love and in being-ness, as in just experiencing and being in the moment. Thank you for your honesty, your rawness, for sharing your process. I had all sorts of stuff to write, but sometimes, just a good old, “oh honey,” might suffice. Oh….. honey. I hear you.

    Reply
  75. Stephanie

    Hello Ms. Andrea,

    I remember the weekend my ex husband left, my son and I pulled a couple of angel cards, Celebration and Laughter. I hadn’t realized at the time how toxic the relationship was and how much I yearned for those two aspects of my life to come back to me. It’s been three years since that time. I don’t know what led to this moment but do know that you are being restored to who you truly are. There are wonderful times ahead of you, new things to learn, new places to go, and new people to meet. It truly is a blessing in disguise.

    I send you light, love and extra dose of courage as you follow your journey. God bless,

    Stephanie

    Reply

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