Rebooting My Brain Post Divorce

Waterfall in Central Park

Divorce creates weird surprises.

It took me several years to make a move, and when I did, I was the one who filed.  Great.  I stepped up.  I made the decision.

Friends of mine who knew my story thought I would be dancing in the streets.  Instead I was dripping in tears, and given that I almost never allowed myself to cry, this came as quite a shock.  It was like Niagara Falls had entered my living room…water running all over, at the most inconvenient times.

Then something else strange happened.  I had been a busy, active, social person.  Well, I went from a life of 180 miles an hour down to about 30.

Working very part time, I was out about 3 hours per day.  The rest? I became like a hermit.  I couldn’t do anything else.  It was like my feet didn’t want to take me out of the house, or rather, my soul didn’t.  I had no choice, but to listen.  So I did.

And I got lucky. A phone call away was my friend, Carrie, a recovered alcoholic (like my dad).  She had done AA, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, therapy. Don’t worry.   I can break her anonymity.  She’s currently dead.

She did more spiritual work than a guru in India, and she was better than one (trust me, I later tested that out).  She was irreverent, hilarious, and blunt.  She was going through a divorce too, but since it was her third, she’d had more experience…also many more spiritual tools.

We’d talk on the phone every day and do alternate pep talks.  Then Friday nights, for a big night out, we would go to Barnes and Noble, and cry over tea.  Of course, we would always wind up laughing at our crying, and after that cathartic dripping, she would thrust a spiritual book in my hand and say, “Read it.  It’s a good one.”

Since I was consuming them like a chocoholic, I would obey, and they were genius.  They were a lifeline in the hermitage (my house).  Then I would journal everything…the pain, the sadness, the anger.  I would beat up a few pillows or three, then I would just open the book and read whatever page showed up.

It was mind-boggling how spot on that page would be.  Between the books, the writing, and Carrie, insights would show up…big stuff, like the nature of forgiveness. Then, I’d talk to God like I talked to Carrie, which was sometimes pretty funny.

So here’s what the books did, and Carrie, and all our talks, and the journaling, and the quiet time.  It took me a long time to step truly back into the world, I mean full time.  And here is why.  My soul wanted time to reboot my brain.

I had been raised in negativity.  There was lots of judgment and criticism in my family, and then in my marriage.  Now, with my new independence, it was like my brain and soul wanted to free itself.  Carrie had become a master (or mistress) of the positive.  She lived it, breathed it.  And the books became my other teachers, so many good ones.  A standout was Louise Hay.  Carrie pushed that book on me.

I finally got it.  Affirmations shift the brain.  I doubted it, but it helped to shift from fear mode.  Therefore, I was sometimes affirming every other minute!  Then the books suggested to see the perfection in the old story and create a new one.  Really?  There was perfection in that lonely mess?  Yes.  It took awhile, but it became my practice and guess what?  Miracles showed up, and my life began to wonderfully change.  And that was just the beginning…


  • Your soul may be leading you in a new direction.  Allow it.
  • Listen quietly and look.   New kindred spiritual friends may show up.
  • Say the affirmations, and if you don’t believe them…fake it ’til you
    make it!




bio2Karen Fitzgerald is a personal development coach and entrepreneur whose mission is to help guide top performing creative women make big changes in their life.  She is also a sought after public speaker, writer and performer and has written for the Huffington Post and has spoken at The Hay House.

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