I’ve written a blog over how to survive in the midst of divorce… but son of a nutcracker how in the WORLD do you survive after divorce? There wasn’t enough chocolate in the world to help me with my emotions in the weeks following. I was expecting happiness with a side of sunshine and rainbows… boy was I wrong. It was a whole new flood of emotions. Don’t get me wrong, the rainbow came later, but it took about a month to get there. So can I just prepare you for it? Embrace the suck. This is the fresh start you’ve been waiting for.
Step 1: Time and solitude are your friends for healing
I realized I need more time to myself in order to heal- solitude. That doesn’t mean I was lonely though. Psychology Today defines loneliness as “a negative state marking by a feeling of isolation. Solitude is the state of being alone without being lonely.” The signing of the decree doesn’t heal you overnight. In my solitude, I began to love myself. I made it my goal to mend my broken heart and continue to grow stronger.
Step 2: Redefine who you are
Did you lose who you were in the marriage? In the mess of divorce? Take time to find yourself again. That haircut you’ve always wanted? Get it. I cut a good 5 inches off my hair and felt like a new woman. Well… I felt like who I was before marriage. Also those clothes that you love but they didn’t? Get them out of the closet and wear them. Who do YOU want to be? This is the time to dig in and recreate who you are. I took a good, hard look in the mirror to find who I was again. I love time to myself, I love music, and I’m ok being a homebody. I don’t need to be the center of attention. I am weird, and I will embrace it.
Step 3: Define what you want
You know the song “I can see clearly now the rain is gone”? This is where the clouds begin to lift. Once you’ve mastered 1 & 2, your life begins at a good place. You’re healing, you know who you are, and now it’s time to write down what you want in life and what you won’t tolerate. For me, dating is still far off… but it’s not too soon to begin to think what I want in my next partner. I get excited for my next relationship. I get excited thinking about sharing a life with someone that’s caring, honest, loving, goofy, and someone that understands me.
Step 4: Readjust your thoughts
The last part of healing is something I’ll be working on the rest of my life. Divorce tends to get the negative self-talk and make it 100 X’s louder than usual. This is where I have to remind myself that I am awesome, I am capable, I am beautiful, and I will continue building my empire. I have the ability to create this life that I desire and continue to raise our son in a peaceful home. I have to talk to myself like I would someone that’s crying in the bathroom. You are not broken; you are not unlovable. You are beautiful and fully capable.
Step 5: Treat with respect
Swallow your pride and let go of differences. Although this one was hard to do, treat your ex the way you’d want to be treated. Getting along doesn’t mean you’re best friends again. It means putting your past behind you and working together to raise the children you had together. It will make it easier not only on you and your ex, but also your children.