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I can hardly believe that we are near the end of our 'Hard Things Week'!  I have truly loved every minute of it, and have learned so so much from everyone who has participated.  I hope you have felt the same way too!

Today, you will be reading an entry about navigating through divorce with Katie Dotson.  And boy are you in for a treat!  I first met this lively and vivacious mama at an insanely awesome dance party a couple months ago, and feel like we have been friends way longer than the short time in which we have known each other.  

Whether we have been through it ourselves or know someone who has gone through it, divorce is something that has touched all of our lives in one way or another.  Being such an incredible topic to write about, I am absolutely thankful and elated that Katie was so willing to share her personal struggle with divorce and how she was able to rise above it all.

Here is her story.


Hi all! I'm Katie. I just wanted to tell you a bit about myself. I'm the lucky Mrs. to my wonderful husband, Dustin and we have 2 awesome kidlets, Cooper (7 yrs.) and Molly (14 months). I love my little family so much. When I was little I only wanted to be two things when I grew up, a mom and a singer. Being a mumsy is the most remarkably wonderful blessing! And as for the singer part... I get to sing to my babies, in the car, around the house and at church… Oh and of course in the shower. Just a few other tidbits about me are: I love to dance like a dork, I have a weakness for sweets, I am a complete goofball, and I hate cotton balls. And… I am on a mission! A mission to spread the message of love, happiness, kindness and that EVERY LIFE MATTERS!  You can join me on my mission by visiting my blog Dotson Love or @dotsonlove on Instagram.



With that being said I guess I will jump into my purpose for this post. When the Mumsy gals asked me if I could tell about my story I was very touched and a bit overwhelmed. But I am grateful for the opportunity to share my story.

Divorce. It sucks! Big time! We all know someone who has gone through it or has been affected by it. I remember the morning divorce became a part of my life. It was a Wednesday. Just one week before Christmas. He came home and told me he wasn't happy and it was over. Our marriage was ending. I was numb and, yet felt physically ill. Though things weren't that great between us at the time, I never expected this. How could this be happening? I had been left by the one person who was supposed to love and protect me and our son. My son would now be part of a broken home. Oh, I hated that. I was mad that I was in this position. I was now a single mother with no job, no home, and no idea how my life got to this point or where it was going. I was heartbroken for myself and my baby boy. It was so tough and I very easily could have become very angry and bitter. Well, who am I kidding? I was angry and bitter! But I didn’t want those feelings to consume or define who I was to become.

There are 3 simple, amazing words that can explain why I was able to get better and not bitter.
Love-Happiness-Patience.

LOVE. I can't say exactly when, but at some point early on in my divorce I knew I had to let love lead me. I made the decision that I was going to learn to love myself, my life, and my ex-husband. WHAT? Did I just say love my ex? Yep! I did! Here's the great thing about love... It's not reserved only for those people or moments or things that are perfect. So for me I knew that if I was to get through my struggle of divorce I had to learn to love the man that no longer wanted me. - It wasn't easy! - I could no longer love him the way I had when we were married. I just couldn't. For me, the moment it was certain that our marriage was over, I just stopped seeing him as mine. And instead, I was able to see him as what he was, the father of my little boy. And with time and effort, I was able to find that love for him. If we learn to love those who have hurt us then it is hard for anger and hatred to stay for long. Love is always stronger than hate. And if we can do our best to love ourselves, our life, and those in our life, then we can overcome any struggle.




HAPPINESS. During the first few weeks of my divorce I had a hard time finding much happiness. I did all I could not to cry in front of my baby boy. I didn’t want him to see his mommy sad. I had moved home to my parents and had a hard time finding work. I was so stressed, heartbroken, and exhausted. I never slept. I was afraid that I would never stop hurting. I was just plain unhappy with what my life had become. All I wanted was to be happy again. One night I was complaining to a friend of mine (who was also divorced) and he said something that flipped the switch and made me see light again. He said, "Happiness is more than just a feeling! It's a choice! So if you want to be happy you have to CHOOSE IT!" Wow... When I heard those words it's like something just clicked and I got it! I knew that I had to wake up each day and choose to be happy. If I woke up and dwelt on the things that were crappy and sad in my life then that's all I would get. But if I made the daily effort to seek happiness then each day could be brighter. So that is what I started to do. I searched for happiness throughout each day. Some days weren’t so easy. But on those days I knew that I had to get through it for myself and for my son. He was my saving grace. And after a while it wasn’t such an effort to find my happiness. I began to actually BE happy with my life. Now when I look back I can see all the blessings that I had… but didn't recognize at that time. I read something once that went a little something like this, “Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you have decided to look beyond life’s imperfections.” Choose happiness.

PATIENCE. Being patient seems simple but in reality it is dang hard! Especially when you are needing to be patient with yourself. As I was trying to improve myself and my life I often forgot that I could not and would not make perfect progress overnight. It was just not possible. Some days were awesome. But other days… not so much. I had to learn not to be so hard on myself on the bad days. Progress takes time and effort… and time and effort… and time and effort. It is a never ending process. Patience is a virtue. Work on it. Do your best to remember that progress is progress no matter if it is a giant leap forward or a tiny little scoot. Be patient with yourself and with others. Give yourself time and, “Kid, you’ll move mountains.” –Dr. Seuss

Struggles come in all forms and degrees of difficulty. My struggle with divorce has been extremely hard however, it has been a blessing in disguise. I know it sounds cliché but if I had the chance to go back and change things… I wouldn’t. I would not be who I am today without the struggles I have survived. I am able to love more deeply because I have felt such sorrow. I choose to be happy each day because I know what unhappiness feels like and I never want to be that unhappy again. I do my best each day to be patient with my progress. Life is so crazy awesome! I can’t begin to express my feelings of awe when I look at my life and all the beautiful people in it that God has blessed me with. I love my life.

If we are strong and determined, we will become who we are meant to be. Women, mums, daughters, sisters, friends, strangers. All being our best so that we can help others who may need a little help to be their best. Sharing our stories, not for attention or recognition, but to help each other. - I am so very grateful to Michelle and Natasia for giving me a chance to share a few chapters of my story.


XOXO.
Katie

2 comments

  1. Katie you are AMAZING! I love you tons. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Love this Katie!!! Your story can help so many. Keep sharing! I believe in choosing happiness. It is a choice. And it's ours if we want it!

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