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Valerie Bertinelli says 'wicked' divorce 'really brought me to my knees': 'I choose to be grateful'

Valerie Bertinelli recently opened up about the importance of having perspective during periods of change. Her comments, made on a recent episode of the Out Comes the Sun podcast, explained that the path to grace is not always linear.

"I'm still giving myself permission … I think some days... it's easier to," said Bertinelli.

The Emmy-Award–winning actress filed for legal separation from her husband of 10 years, Tom Vitale, in 2021. And being intentional about her mental wellness, she said, gave her the perspective to find the good in such a difficult time.

"I think because this divorce has been so wicked, and it's really brought me to my knees, but I think of that as a gift because I get to learn so much about myself through this," she said, adding that the experience allowed her to get in tune with her younger self.

"Yeah, I get to learn so much about my character. I get to learn so much about my healing. I get to talk to my inner child more," she said. "So this wicked part of my life is actually very healing for me."

Accepting that every day won't look perfect has also aided her healing journey, she said.

"I get to choose every day whether I'm thankful and in gratitude, or whether I just want to be bitchy and just scream," she continued. "And I choose to be grateful … and be thankful. Because I also get to learn so much. Yeah, I happened to have a good day today. There are days where I get up, and I'm like, 'yeah, no' … I have to remember that I can't control everything. I can only control my responses to whatever's happening in my life. And that's where equanimity comes in. And that's my favorite word. I want to find peace in all of the craziness. I want to be the peace. And it's a work-in-progress."

Bertinelli also acknowledged how trauma from childhood resurfaced during her first marriage to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Eddie Van Halen.

"I was in a marriage for 24 years, and I was miserable, you know, but I was gonna 'fix' it because I was doing my childhood. I was doing my trauma … I was gonna be the 'fix-it' girl. I'll fix this. He got cancer? I'll fix that. You know? He drinks? I'll fix that. You know, all these things that you do, it's because you haven't healed that inner child," she said.

But doing so, she noted, unlocked a whole new world of self-love.

"I can actually say that I love myself now," she said. "I couldn't have said that 20 years ago."

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