Ebola is continuing to spread through the western countries of Africa, causing widespread devastation. The New York Times reports the virus has already claimed more than 2,600 lives and shows no signs of stopping.
In the United States, we are lucky enough that Ebola is not a real threat to our lives and those of our loved ones. Experts from the World Health Organization report the risk for Ebola showing up in the U.S. is extremely low. Although we are not directly threatened by the destruction that is demolishing West Africa, we are not immune to trauma and distress that can become utterly debilitating.
For many women trauma comes in the form of a shattered family. Divorce can make a woman feel as though she is mourning a death. Women are often left extremely vulnerable both financially and emotionally, and for some women they are left fighting for their children, their assets and their life’s work.
After a woman goes through divorce, she may struggle with establishing a sense of identity. Often women become the caretakers in a marriage, building a life that revolves around their children and spouse. When their family life becomes broken and what they are accustomed to is stripped from them, women feel their identity has been lost. Losing one’s own self can be traumatic and lead to depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
A great part of caring for one’s self and loving one’s self is feeling prepared. For instance, despite the fact that there has never been an Ebola outbreak on American soil, the US still has measures in place that will likely prevent an epidemic from spreading with the same destruction as we are seeing today. We must ask ourselves: do we have a crisis plan?
Being prepared does not just mean becoming financially independent, geographically safe or planning for the demise of a happy marriage. Instead, it means creating a plan that ensures emotional health and independence. Brookhaven Retreat’s Poncho Program analyzes 30 aspects of a woman’s life that can prevent a woman from feeling fulfilled in life.
Like an epidemic, divorce can impact many and show no signs of upcoming relief. The trauma can be long lasting and destroy a woman’s emotional and mental health. By being proactive and addressing co-dependency, a woman can feel confident, empowered and secure in her life, creating lasting joy and wellness.