My definition of courage is to feel the fear and do it anyway.

Through recovery regardless if it’s divorce or addiction; I see women continuously performing courageous acts. These are actions they take that move them forward and they need to be acknowledged and celebrated.

So, what would be a courageous act?

To effectively recover, you need to change your view on life or aspects of your life. Face it, if life is not joyful it is a reflection of what is going on around you and how you deal with it. Either the circumstances need to change or you do. My experience is that both need changing.

Actions that assist in the change are courageous because you are making a conscious decision to do something different. For most of us, that is facing a fear that we have. That fear may be I'm not strong enough emotionally, I don't know what to do or I don't feel I deserve to feel differently.

When I began my journey of recovering from alcoholism, I had no idea how full of fear I was. All I knew is that I was in a lot of emotional pain and didn’t want to continue living the life I was living. I was willing to make changes in my life. I came to the awareness that I didn't know where my life needed to head; but I did know is that where I was at was miserable.

One of the first fears I had to start facing was having the difficult conversations with my now Ex that I knew I needed to do in regards to our marriage. It was tough since I didn’t have the alcohol to fall back on as my coping mechanism.

My Ex intimated me and he knew it. To me, he was like that BIG dog that was on the other side of that chain link fence barking furiously with his teeth barred. At some level, I realized he was all bark and no bite; but I can remember the day when I made the decision to stand-up for myself. I patiently waiting until all the barking was done and proceeded to talk in a calm (and shaky!) voice. I will never forget the look of awe in his expression as he was thinking; she has never stood up to me before.

I felt so empowered after our conversation; because I knew I took a huge step forward in my recovery. I can also tell you that wasn't the last time I had to listen to the barking since it was the way my Ex had learned to communicate to me. But, I can tell you the barking didn't seem as loud or as intense to my ears since my fear started easing. And it continued to get better over time. Today, my Ex and I can have normal conversations.

This laid out the foundation for me to be able to express my wants and desires in different aspects of my life and also to start addressing other fears in my life.

Today, I love listening to stories of the women I work with as they learn to identify the fears in their life and move beyond them. They are courageous!

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson has been a single divorced mother for 9 years. She has a teenage daughter. Debbi is also a recovered alcoholic for 9 years who’s marriage didn’t survive her getting sober.

Newly sober and divorced she struggled with reclaiming her life and writes about her experiences in her blogs. Through her own mistakes, she shares her experience, strength and hope for the bright future which today she now enjoys.

She is intimately familiar with the struggles of single parents endure whether it’s answering our children’s questions about divorce, spending holidays alone or finding love again. She also tackles topics such as dealing with ex-spouse, setting boundaries and steps to reclaiming You!

Debbi is widely published including being regularly featured in Huffington Post.