Marriage is hard. Everybody knows it. But do you know what’s even harder? Divorce. Divorce can be ugly, it’s final, and a family is split down the middle. But that’s not the hardest part in my opinion. It’s the after-math. During my own divorce process, time dragged on as I waited to hear back from his lawyers, for the mediation date, and finally the date it became final. When June 13, 2016 came, I was elated. It was over! The light at the end of the tunnel…oh, I was so wrong.
About a week or so later, my elation was long gone. I was scared, depressed, angry, and my self-confidence was as low as it’d ever been. Questions flooded my brain at all hours. Questions like “Who am I?” and “Will anyone want to take me on with this label of ‘Divorced’?” and “How can I trust myself to make the right decisions anymore?” and “How long will I feel like this?” I lost my appetite, I felt like everything I did was wrong, and I could barely stand to watch or listen to anything about love or happy couples.
To answer one of my own questions, these feelings lasted until early 2018. It was hard, but I kept working on myself until I got to the other side. Here are three simple ways to get started:
- THE NEW YOU-Figure out who you were before the marriage. Compare it to who you are now. (Gathering old pictures helps jog memories) And then write down who you want to be in this next chapter. Pick and choose from the other two versions of yourself. Add some new. The slate is clean!
- GET MOVIN’– Your body needs to move in times of personal crisis, even if you don’t feel like you want to. Stress collects in your body, your hips especially, so make sure to stretch afterward. My personal suggestion is to take a yoga class. Start online if you feel more comfortable with that, but eventually I really think you’ll benefit from a yoga community. Yoga is different than other forms of exercise because it works on your body, mind, and spirit. You learn how you react to discomfort (which is really every second right now, let’s be honest), you learn how to breathe into sensations rather than back away, and you have built-in time to meditate and be still. Try it!
- FIND YOUR TRIBE– You probably have really great friends. Lean on them, love on them, and accept the help they offer, even when you feel embarrassed by your situation. However, I strongly encourage you to add to those friends by finding a new tribe of women who might not have known you before your divorce. There’s no right or wrong place to find them, and sometimes it’s as simple as saying “Yes” to something you normally would have said “No” to before. Maybe that’s a yoga class (hint, hint), an Oscar viewing party at someone’s house, or saying hello to someone you’ve seen at the gym or church or your kid’s school for years and never quite engaged. This new tribe will usually see the new you before you do, and they will be integral to your journey to that woman you decided to be in #1 above.
On Facebook? Check out the closed group High Vibe Society For The Divorced Women for support, tips, and love during the process!