By Sandra Beck.
When people hear my story of heroically leaving a cheating husband while my mother dies of cancer with two small babies while building a solid business and creating two popular radio shows, it sounds really glamorous. Even to me and I lived it, but I’m here to tell you the truth. It was pretty ugly.
My husband moved out and he had been living in a spare bedroom for a year, so you would think it wouldn’t be a shock to my system, but it was. I cried every day for 43 straight days. I noted it on my planner because I thought if I hit 45 days I will go in to the doctor and be treated for depression. Just like I know as long as I remember the Battle of Hastings was in 1066 that I haven’t lost my mind. I haven’t figured out a plan for crazy. I figure it’s enough to just wonder if you are crazy to prove that you aren’t.
Day 44 I stopped crying. I didn’t leave my home office except to get my kid from kindergarten. My other one was home and my nanny helped me care for him while I built my business. What once had been a beautiful closet appointed with fine handbags, shoes and expensive garments now stood like a dusty mausoleum to another life and time. My ex-husband, when he left, left everything behind.
I left it alone, like someone does after a death. My new uniform became Yoga Pants and a Black Batman T-shirt. I had about 7 different ones – all black, all with silver gold and yellow. All that symbolized to me the Bat Shield and no one could ever hurt me again. Pathetic. Dramatic. You bet. I did that for months.
One day I was in a hurry to pick up my son. I left my office and darted out of the house nary taking a moment to glance in the mirror. Clearly I violated many traffic laws on the way not glancing in the rear view mirror or the side view mirror. As I approached the elementary school I could see the reflection of a woman walking into the school. Her hair was piled on top of her head jammed with a pencil. The faded Yoga Pants hung off her hips and the Batman shirt clung to her white, flabby arms. I dismissed her as being some weirdo mom half way to homelessness.
One of the moms walking out at the same time I was walking in gave me the strangest look. I took it as the abject humiliation of a woman betrayed when in reality I had somehow in my fatigue, business and over work had drawn all over the side of my face with a pink highlighter. I then came to the awful realization that that woman I dismissed in the reflection was ME! I grabbed my son and scooted out of the school like I had leprosy.
I didn’t go home I headed immediately to TJ Maxx, Ross, Walmart and Target buying at least 6 or 7 large mirrors. I hung them all over my house. It was the opposite of sitting Shiva where you don’t want to see yourself grieve. I needed a big get real wake up call. I need a mirror to reflect back to me just how far I left myself go. It’s hard to live in depression and shame when you have to face yourself on every wall.
I needed to face where I was so I could Bounce back with Style. I won’t say that I always look like a fashion plate when I leave the house, but when I do look half-baked with drippy icing and mold growing on my crusts, I’m gonna know it. The mirrors also kept me from eating myself out of or into depression. It’s hard to hide from yourself, what you are doing to yourself, what you are doing when no one is watching when you have to face yourself in the mirror.
Feng shui and the placement of mirrors might work for moving energy, but hanging those mirrors everywhere got my pale, drained, messy, highlighted and not in a good way being out into public without calling for a straitjacket. Try the mirror trick and see if it helps you like it did help me Bounce with Style.