This post has all the real feels! It’s time to talk about the ‘D’ word – divorce. Any of my closest friends and family can tell you that I have always been able to hide my emotions under many layers of thick skin. Actually, one of my best friends recently told me that the only time she has seen me cry is when I was drunk. Okay. Not my proudest moment, but I hope this gives you a visual. I used to suck at sharing my emotions and feelings.
But – there is always a but! Divorce has brought me to a place today that allows me to probably share more than I should. I mean, I am writing it all out now for anyone and everyone to read.
- My hope is if you are going through divorce right now – you found a place to feel normal.
- If you have a friend going through this – you can offer help and know how to support them.
- If you don’t believe in divorce – you will be sensitive and understanding to those of us who unfortunately have.
Believe me, I didn’t walk down that aisle in my beautiful wedding dress thinking, “can’t wait until all of this is over!”
Seek Professional Help
I know, I know. Only crazy people see a therapist, right? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Sane people, stay sane because they see a therapist. Before, during, after or all three – I recommend you to reach out for professional therapy or counseling. You will quickly learn that those around you have so much to say and during that time all you need is someone to listen. Someone who you can share your deepest, darkest secrets with and know that they are safe.
You’re Not in High School Anymore
As most of you know, I grew up in a small town. A very, very small town. One of my biggest concerns about divorce was being judged by those around me. Let me repeat that. My biggest concern was being judged. Not leaving my relationship, not moving back in with my parents, not the financial burdens. My heart and mind were already prepared for those. My best friend’s mom brought me to a reality – I wasn’t in high school anymore. I wasn’t walking into an auditorium filled with people ready to judge me. No one was yelling my secrets down the hall. I was an adult making a decision. Did people judge me? I am sure of it. Did they bring it to my attention? Hell no.
Find the Best Roommates
When I mean roommates, I’m talking about parents. The last thing I wanted to do after living on my own and having my own house was to be back in my middle school room. I actually tried everything to live anywhere but home. Let me tell you, it was for my own good – emotionally, mentally and physically. My mom instantly looked forward to helping me gain a few pounds with her home cooked meals. Moving back in with my parents created an entirely new relationship for us. It provided me with the support that I could have never received from anyone else. Hold back the tears – I will never forget my mom telling me, “you can always come back home.” Go back home. Eat dinner with your parents. Drag them out for a night on the town. Enjoy the extra time you get to spend with them in a completely different part of your life. Moving back home wasn’t easy but it was exactly what I needed.
Remember when a friend had a bad break up and all the girls would totally take her side and hate boys for the next 2 seconds? Girl, things haven’t changed one bit. I can’t tell you how thankful I was and still am to have best friends who stood by my side (without any questions) and supported me every step of this journey. Including, a special day planned just the three of us when everything became official. When I needed a laugh – they were the first ones to make a joke. When I needed to feel bad for myself -they gave me 10 reasons why that was okay. And most important when I needed to vent – they listened, took my side, brought me back to reality and gave me advice to move forward. I spilled more out to these girls over the last two years than the 15 + years we have been friends.
Don’t Pretend to Be Busy, Be Busy
A good friend told me this when I was struggling with loneliness. When you’re married you always have someone to make plans with. Divorce brings a cold, dark reality to that. People are busy, friends have settled down and you don’t really know what to do. I was waiting around for someone to ask me to be involved in their plans instead of coming up with my own. Let me be real here. I was holding off on making plans because a guy might ask me out. Are you kidding me?! This is the time of your life to get dinner by yourself, go out with your best friends or stay in and binge Netflix (without the chill). Make plans. Call your friends. Catch up with grandma. Don’t wait around for anyone else.
Roll with the Waves
I want to end this where I started. Some of the best advice I received was from my therapist. She warned me that after the divorce, I would go through all sorts of emotions. Like floating in the ocean with waves coming in, she told me to let the emotions come over me, recognize them, but to let them go. After divorce I felt this emotion of missing what I had. It wasn’t that I missed my ex but rather the life I was living. Some of my friends had changed, my house was gone and I had to start my life over. I knew it was okay to feel this way and soon enough these feelings would pass and they did. It’s okay to feel these emotions but don’t let them drown you.
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Life is full of challenges and it’s things like divorce that we are never prepared for. The choices you make after your divorce will pave the path of your future. There might be u-turns, driving the wrong way down a one way street and maybe even an accident or two. Don’t let ‘divorced’ become your title. Beat the crap out of it and show yourself how much stronger and better of a person you have become because of it.
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Life is too short to be anything but happy.