I have never been very good at asking for help. But during my long divorce struggle, after stumbling and bumbling around on my own for too long, I thought to myself, “This isn’t working.” Don’t get me wrong. I knew I needed help and I prayed continually for God’s help, and I talked to my parents and brothers and friends, but I didn’t really get involved in a group that specifically was designed for support from and connection with other women who completely understood. They had spent the long, sleepless nights and had the embarrassing out-of-character outbursts, too. They got it.
Here’s something that really had an impact on me and helped me in forming my first RADiCAL group. Geneen Roth, author of When You EAt at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair. Geneen helps people who have a problem with weight, appearance and body image. She is a very effective (and funny) advocate for people who struggle with self-esteem, and her book has a chapter on “Ask for Help. You Can’t Do It Alone.” She encourages people to find support and she once put an ad in the Santa Cruz paper asking for women who wanted to deal with their issues about food but without dieting. Ten women showed up.
I think finding others to share your midlife divorce recovery journey is invaluable. I called women I knew who had recently been divorced, and some of them knew others, so our first fluid group was about eight women. It can be incredible empowering to find others who understand how your heart is hurting and who know the despair you are feeling. But here’s a tip: find women who encourgae you, not just cry with you. “The support of which I am speaking is for you whole being. For everything you want to become. For telling the truth. For being spacious with yourself and with others. Support for your heart’s desires, for what you value most about being alive.”
If you can’t find a group, start your own RADiCAL group. We have every single thing you need to start and facilitate a group in your home or at a community center or at your church.
Here are a few comments from women who have been in a RADiCAL group:
“I walked into this class feeling broken, lost, alone and unloved. I walked out feeling confident, renewed and knowing God has always been present in my life, and He has BIG plans for me!” S.C.
“I benefitted from this gathering of women for the past 10 weeks. It has helped me in my journey toward healing and deepened my faith. My hope is that others will look to your example and extend the same warmth and welcome to a RADiCAL group as well.” CR
“You (your class) has been an amazing resource, … and I will certainly recommend you (RADiCAL) to others walking this road. Thank you.” D.
If you want more information about the RADiCAL support groups, go to www.radicalrecovery.org. I would be glad to speak to your church or community group leaders or I can help you start a group yourself. Just let me know if you’re interested. September is a great time to start a group. I can help you do that. I guarantee, leading a group helps you as it helps anyone. This may be your best next step forward. Call me at 816-941-4911 and if I’m not available, just leave a message and I’ll call you back.
“Everyone who asks, receives; all who seek, f ind; and the door is opened to everyone who knocks.” Luke 2:10
P.S. The radicalrecovery.org site has a listing of some of the groups getting started in the next few months. Add yours to the list!