Dear Dr. Archer,
Looks like we follow each other on Twitter. Cool. I'm Intrigued by your invitation for me to "Tell Me Your Story."
I imagine you need details, but the long and short of it is that I'm a successful producer who has lost his mojo. I ended a 25 year marriage five years ago, and have never recovered.
On an intellectual level, I know I should be able to overcome the procrastination and self-doubt that is stagnating me, but it isn't happening. Thoughts?
Divorce is definitely one of life's major events that can change who you are as a person, whether you like it or not. The circumstances don't matter and it doesn't matter where the fault lies. Divorce is brutal and as stressful as a death in the family.
Forgive yourself and your ex. Yeah, I get it, it’s tough, but for your health and your sanity, it must be done. Life contains many bumps and bruises; you don't need to pile any extra stuff on yourself. I'm thinking after five years, you should be over the trauma, but some take longer than others.
What I've found is, despite it all, the ability to keep your sense of humor intact will do you much good and will carry you far and the ability to laugh at yourself, is priceless.
So you're a big-shot producer, right? Well, instead of focusing on things you can't do, focus on the things you have and do well. Set attainable goals and then achieve them. Creating victories -- be they large or small -- will give you confidence to build on.
Post divorce makes you a new person, and it's up to you to make it a better, more successful person. Consider yourself a work in progress, Tom. That should give you stimulation, because you want the finished product to be a masterpiece.
Take care of yourself, physically as well as mentally. Eat good, healthy meals that are well-balanced. Exercise regularly even if you might not feel like it, because it's important. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day will release the "feel good" chemicals in the brain. Spend time with positive people, and laugh. That alone can change the way you see yourself and the world.
Getting enough sleep is a real challenge for people today. At least six to eight hours a night is ideal. Too much sleep and you're going to feel tired; too little sleep and you're going to feel even more tired, anxious and your brain won't function as well. I realize this is difficult, but just trust me, I'm a doctor.
Remember, Tom, attitude is everything. There are dark days and there are sunny days. The "you against the world" attitude for the divorced person is more like "you against you." Just like you give others a break, give yourself a break, too. Find that bright, optimistic guy that you have within you, because I know he's there.
So, despite it being five years, you still can make this happen. It's all about attitude. Set your sights on what you want to accomplish, and simply work towards that goal. Good luck, and I wish you well, my friend.