The path of divorce recovery looks different for everyone. There is no right or wrong path but the fact is, there will always need to be some sort of healing in the process of divorce. The important thing to remember through this journey is….Everyone’s Path Looks Different.
Divorce Recovery – Everyone’s Path Looks Different
Hello, I am a woman, probably similar to you, who has been through a crazy transition in life. A transition that I did not expect. A transition that has put me into a stage of Divorce Recovery. Last year, I faced a divorce after 16 years of marriage, a divorce that I did not want, a divorce that turned my family into something I never imagined, a divorce that created stress, turmoil, heartache and rejection.
And like you, I am sure you never saw yourself sitting up at night in an empty house, with a pile of used tissues beside you, eyes burning, feeling that unforgettable trauma response of betrayal as you google every question possible about divorce and what to do next. In that moment, I know you felt it, you felt like I did. Alone, so alone. Replaced and completely broken but with a side of unbelievable hate and anger.
Maybe you can replace me with yourself in the situation mentioned above or maybe your story looks completely different. Your divorce recovery might have began on the couch but with a celebratory glass of champagne with friends and a sense of relief because you are now safe from an abusive or toxic relationship. Or maybe you were the one that initiated a divorce that you felt was over and now you feel relieved and ready to move on.
What I am trying to say here is, every single person has a different path on their divorce recovery and healing. Do not put yourself in other people’s divorce recovery shoes….they will not fit.
Stop Telling People How To Feel
When I shared my story with people, for the most part I was met with great support and love. But sometimes that love was harmful in my recovery, mostly because people were telling me how to feel, what to do next and to “just move on”. Guys…stop doing this! It is not helpful. And for those of you going through the divorce recovery process, it is okay to ignore those suggestions.
No matter what your divorce story is, you will have some sort of divorce recovery and healing to go through – because you are human. There is no timeline for this recovery or journey but it will take time. For me, the pandemic has certainly made my journey a lot harder…lots of time at home by myself, somedays that is needed and other days it is so hard and so secluding.
Somethings I Do In My Bad Moments:
- Cry (yes, it can be therapeutic)
- Call a friend or my mom
- Go for a drive
- Update a space in the house
- Go to therapy
- Dance party!
- Take a nap
- Take a bath
- Go outside
A Grieving Process – Ups & Downs
Before going through a divorce I had never heard of divorce recovery being the same as the Cycle of Grief or Loss. Now, it makes sense. Something has been lost – maybe it is a good loss but it is still a loss. During a divorce you are grieving the partnership you once had, the best friend you married, the family you created and future plans you were looking forward too. Again, no matter who initiated the divorce, the grief will be there. And with every memory, milestone or reminder you will find that grief cycle move. Keep in mind that people who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or even experience all of them.
- Denial and isolation
Now that I am in this recovery I can totally understand why I am going through these stages. And for me, a self-admitted control freak, I struggle daily with most of these stages still.
A Safe Place
I only recently started to publicly talk about this journey but as I have stated before, I hated that feeling of being alone at my worst. I am blessed with amazing friends and family but the fact is, I was searching for someone who was living the same story as me! This is a journey that a lot of people do not talk about, probably because it is so hard to talk about. For me, this space (blog) has always been a therapeutic piece of my life and like a lot of people I found myself searching for blogs, articles and advice on divorce. If my honesty can help just one person feel validated in their feelings and struggles I have done my job.
I hope that as this journey continues for me, I can start sharing more and more resources for those who are going through a divorce. But the bottom line, if you stumbled on this post in your late night google searches, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Give yourself grace through this transition…no matter your story.
My divorce recovery and healing is not complete but I do think I have learned a lot about life and myself over the last 18 months. Even in your hardest moments, keep your transformation in mind. No matter your divorce story, the transformation that this expected or unexpected life change can bring something positive. Seek those positive changes as your move through the difficult months, days, hours, minutes…
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What did you learn as your moved through your divorce recovery?