For Suzanne, marriage was forever. She had a vision of growing old with her husband and traveling the world after they had raised their kids and retired. Divorce was a concept that she never thought would become a reality, but here it is. On top of feeling hurt and immense sadness, she is uncertain about the future and if she can handle it on her own.
Divorce is an emotional burden you did not choose to bare. Right now you are probably considering this the biggest trial of your life and you want the pain to go away. It will take time and effort, but your wounds can be healed.
In this phase emotions are high. You may be in shock and feel engulfed with a sense of loss. It is important to face your feelings and let yourself grieve. Keep in mind that your pain is real and normal. Having that mindset will help you to move forward.
During this time reach out to family members for support. Engage in self-care by eating healthy and getting enough rest. Go for walks to clear your mind. Self-care is not selfish it is vital to healing. As we care for ourselves, we will be better equipped to handle our emotions when they arise. Also important in this phase is not making any big decisions.
This is where you accept that your divorce is a reality, even though you will still have many ups and downs. This is ok as you are going through something traumatic.
Keep the mind frame that things will continue to improve. As you keep this focus it will continue to direct you down your healing path. It is like working toward that light at the end of the tunnel.
Adapting to your new situation is what occurs in this phase. You are starting to figure things out and see the new vision for your future. Continue to reach out for support and focus on self-care. If children are involved see to their needs.
This phase is about time and patience. Keep busy by rekindling old hobbies or look for new ones. Ann Gold Buscho suggests trying the following tips to help you through your healing process.
“Find three things to be gratefulfor, every day, and write them down. With daily practice, this has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression within a month.
Be sure to exercise; even a 20-minute walk, four times a week will help you feel healthy.
If you have a pet, spend more time with it.
Many people have found that nurturing house plants or a garden is healing.”
Divorce is an emotional roller coaster. With time and support, you can be healed and still have plenty of time to live your best life yet. Let go of harsh feelings and give yourself the opportunity to get to know you again. You can do this!