Community Voices: How I started taking life one day at a time


An impromptu bubble show in the park can be a source of joy and wonder. Our blogger says she’s learned to begin appreciating the little things following a big lifestyle change, but it wasn’t easy.

Taking life one day at a time means being thankful for what you have, seeking out support and appreciating the little things.

Last year, I decided to work on my relationships, which included taking a hard look at my marriage.

First, I focused inward and tried to find things I needed to work on to improve my relationship with my husband. I tried encouraging him, and to be thankful for the positive things.

We sought professional and spiritual help. I talked to friends and family. I tried to find peace, clarity and a direction for our lives.

Eventually, though, we realized it wasn’t working. We filed for divorce.

The fallout was hard. I was struggling emotionally and physically, trying to figure out both the practical and the spiritual. What would we do with our stuff? What would happen to my relationships with our mutual friends?

Before long, I found myself losing weight. I developed ulcers because of the stress. I ran through more than a few boxes of tissues.

Ending a relationship is never easy. It’s never clean. There are good memories you suddenly recall, heartwarming conversations you think back on. There is blame, self-doubt.

Sometimes, the transition feels crushing. So, how did I survive?

I realized that I had to deal with this big lifestyle change one day at a time. With each new day, I found support from new friends and old ones. With each new day, I learned to look for the positive.

And with each new day, I felt I could breathe a little easier.

Life after divorce isn’t easy, but it’s getting better. And there are lots of resources out there to help.

Experts say your support network is vital when going through a super-sized change in your life. Sometimes, change that big means redefining yourself: That’s not something that happens overnight, but it comes slowly, with new interests and new routines.

You never think that you’ll have to begin again. But I’ve realized life isn’t so bad here at the starting line.

This piece is part of an occasional series from being808 in which community members share their viewpoints on a health topic of interest. Continue the conversation! Share your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter.

estherEsther Ann Wilhelm is an award-winning artist and poet who teaches others how to use art for healing. She discovered art therapy at Windward Community College. Art helped her cope with childhood trauma and a hit-and-run accident in 2007, that left her in chronic pain. Her work has been featured in galleries in Hawaii and on the Mainland. She also serves on the Honolulu Commission on Culture and the Arts.

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