Hurricane Sandy, Divorce, Fear


Natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and man-made ones like divorce cause the same kind of fear and uncertainty. Don’t let fear paralyze you. Keep patiently moving forward minute-by-minute, step by step. By reaching out to others, we help ourselves, too. Let us know how we can help.

“To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.”
 Katherine Paterson, Author of Children’s Books

First of all, we send love and prayers (and whatever help we can) to those suffering from Hurricane Sandy.  The devastation is overwhelming.  My son lives in the East Village in New York.  He and his friends are young and strong and will be alright.  Hopefully, they are finding ways to help firsthand.   This may sound overly dramatic to someone who has not been through midlife divorce, but the pictures of places hit by the storm are  very visual reminders of how most of us feel about our divorce.  In the terrifying darkness of a midlife divorce or a Hurricane Sandy, there are thousands of things that make us anxious and afraid. The future makes our heart thump in our chest. The unknown makes our mouth go dry. Lack of confidence fills us with dread. Destruction and loss everywhere. In the beginning, normal everyday activity is almost impossible. My wasband and I had been divorced for almost a year on the original 9/11.  People from all over the country were calling loved ones comforting and offering support.    That made my sense of despair and fear about my new future even worse.  If you’re in the area of Hurricane Sandy, that may be how you’re feeling, too.

But you know what? We can’t let fear control us or dominate our thinking or rob us of our courage. If we acknowledge and respect our healthy fear (whether from a natural disaster or a man-made one), we can then say “Go away! I’m not going to let you ‘swing me around by the tail’ or paralyze me!” We can choose to move forward in spite of our fear. And listen to this: God, the creator, the all-powerful Ruler of the universe, tells us “Don’t be afraid!” “Fear not!” “Don’t Panic!” He is that infinite strong presence who has promised that he will help us and give us strength and a power greater than our own. Take it! Stand firm on that reality. Nothing in the dark or the future or the present can stand up to the immeasurable power of God which he has promised to give each one of us. In light of that reality, you can say “Go away!” to all of your fears about absolutely everything.

  And then you can get to work cleaning up and rebuilding your life.

“Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.”
   God — Isaiah 41:10 (The Message)

Everyone on this site sends our thoughts and prayers in your direction.  Please let us know you’re okay if you can and what we can do to help.

About the Author:

Suzy developed Midlife Divorce Recovery as a safe refuge for people healing and surviving the overwhelm of divorce. Starting her first RADiCAL support group in 2003 she's been helping women navigate the journey of divorce ever since.

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