October 31

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As you all know, I am on a journey, which started because of heartbreak. In my fifty-seven years, the one part of my life I really did not give any attention to is relationships. It’s true. I was married to a beautiful soul, and we had three amazing children, but I could not figure out the relationship program.

Do not misunderstand me, I really wanted to, and I feel that if I would have prioritized this maybe I would not be a statistic in the divorce world. But this is my journey and my story, and I am not a fan of playing the what-if game (if you have been read my previous blog post The What If Game”). I choose now to experience learning and growth. So heartbreak for me is like nothing else; it is the one emotion that has brought me to my knees.

My journey began when I was forty, divorced, and broke, and had no career (at the time I was a full-time mom) and no clue how to function alone with three kids in the world. Even though I thought I wanted the divorce, I was very heartbroken.

Let’s break that down because it has taken many years for me to figure this out through daily practice. I loved my husband and our family. I loved being a wife and being married. I loved a lot of things to this day about my marriage that I think of often, like little sayings he and I had that only we would understand. For example, we called each other “lover” and we would yell out, “Oh my lover!” when we started a sentence. We would have inside jokes at family functions that only he and I got. We could put a smile on the other’s face with just a look. We were partners for close to fourteen years. Then it was over.

What sat heavy in my heart wasn’t so much the end of that relationship, even though it felt like a grieving process. It was that I now had to do everything on my own. After my divorce I had to find myself again. I didn’t even know what I liked or disliked when people would ask where I wanted to eat—I had no idea. I had no idea how to go to a coffee shop by myself! I had to learn how to live as a divorced woman with three kids. My identity and way of life changed. I was heartbroken for a long period after my divorce. I would cry for no reason, and I would be in emotional pain.

I realize now that my journey started here, in that time of heartbreak, where everything moves differently in your world and you wonder why no one else gets it. In my darkest hour, my emotional and spiritual growth needed to start, but my body and mind were not ready, so I drank more, disconnected more, and isolated more. My world just got darker and darker the more I fought growing. The more I stayed in this heartbreak, the more I thought I could never replace those thoughts and feelings. There were so many emotions in one day that I would be completely exhausted, just worn out wanting the pain to stop. I did not have the company of another to distract me, and so the emotions were right there in front of me nonstop—those gut-wrenching heartbreak emotions.

It takes what it takes to learn and grow, and I can say today that looking back, I look like a completely different person. Thank god. I am a different human only because I have done the heartbreak work.

Heartbreak would suddenly show up a few more times after my divorce in other relationships. Of course, it is everywhere! Then one day I stopped and said, “Enough. I want to learn about relationships, and I want to grow and find a long-lasting love.” In order to do this, I had to be completely alone to figure out what was driving me.

What is funny is the minute I went on this journey, so many people wanted to date me, my phone started ringing off the hook, and my friends wanted to set me up. I said I am in a relationship—with myself, of course, though they did not need to know. But that is what happened, I got into a relationship with myself.

Major growth happens when you are alone with yourself. There were a lot of sleepless nights, panic moments and thoughts, and grief about the past. Heartbreak cannot break your heart; it can just teach you or force you into growth. It can be a beautiful teacher. It has saved me, and it has saved my future relationship.

Heartbreak allowed me to find myself. Be grateful for your heartbreak, give it a big “Thank you.” It showed you that you will love again bigger and better!

Debsxo


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About the author

From her start as a Playboy Centerfold and Covergirl to her life as a Screen Actors’ Guild member and later, achieving the Top 5% in her industry as a member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, Deborah Driggs has had to clear many hurdles in life. While it may seem like Deborah’s success came easy to her, nothing could be further from the truth. Rather, she has had to overcome a number of challenges in life to get to where she is today. What is true - and a part of her character - is her willingness to take risks, maintain a positive attitude, and never take ‘No’ for an answer.

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