I know I am not the first person to ever get divorced and unfortunately, I won't be the last. Divorce has taught my heart so many things. Things that I didn't know I wanted to learn. Divorce still has a stigma attached to it. My fear when the news first broke was judgement. I was afraid people would think I wasn't trying, or that I was a horrible person, or that I was a bad wife, or damaged. Being under 30 and divorced came with its own challenges. I wasn't quite settled into married life and then I had to figure out how to live on my own, in a different state than my family, for the first time in my life. So many changes occurred in a three year span, but I have to say the hardest adjustment was getting divorced.
I had so many feelings and emotions running through my being. I couldn't decide if I was more sad than angry, or more hurt than sad. I just felt lost. Feeling lost is the worst part. I couldn't decide which direction to go. Every decision I made involved another person, but no longer was he here with me. Every fear, doubt, concern with discussed with another person, but no longer was he available to listen. How does someone bounce back from that? How does one cope? I have a few lessons that you or someone you know may find useful. I am in no way an expert, but I feel as though my experience may benefit someone else who is or has gone through the same thing.
It Does Get EasierI know it can seem like life will be horrible forever, but that isn't so. I dealt with several bouts of depression and there were days I couldn't grasp the thought of ever getting through it. This isn't something I shared on a regular basis with anyone, but now that some time has passed I feel like it would be beneficial for others to know that yes, I was depressed. I had never felt so low, sad, or hopeless in my life. I would cry out to God, call my mom, pray, read the Bible, cry some more. Whatever I had to do, I did it. I had to let the emotions flow so that I could begin to recover and heal. I think there is something about loss that opens up your soul and makes you feel pain in places you didn't know existed. I often find that after these times the heart is stronger and any joy you feel is that much sweeter.
People Will Understand
I had to accept the fact that I wasn't alone in my struggle. So many people had experienced divorce and when they offered their advice or told their story, I listened. I wanted to feel a kinship with these people because it made me feel less alone, less afraid, and more hopeful. They got through it and so can I. So can you!
Being Alone Will Feel Okay
I am not going to lie, at first, it was really hard to live alone. I missed the presence of another. I wanted to cook for two, clean for two, do laundry for two, anything to feel normal. After a while, I embraced living alone and having time to sleep in, relax, do things my own way, establish a comfortable routine, and learn who I was again. Being married gives you another identity and I felt for a while like I wasn't quite myself. The truth is, that's normal when you're first married because your identity is now linked with another person. Once my ex-husband and I were separated, I had to learn who I was again. I have to admit, I kind of like who I am now. I feel like myself - most days.
I cannot tell you how many people asked me when I was going to start dating again (that story for another post). I had to be honest with them and myself and say that I wasn't ready for a relationship. It's been about 8 years since I have "dated" someone. I am a serial monogamist and I will openly admit that (okay, I just did). I was in a long-term relationship before I met my ex-husband and I didn't waste anytime jumping into something with him. I feel as though this is a great time to do all of the things I have wanted to do, but never had the chance. If the time comes, and the right person comes along, I will be open to it, but I don't see that happening for a while anyway.
Make the Move
No one is going to be there to kick you in the pants and tell you when to start living again. You will have to make that decision on your own. For me, it took me several months to really "live". I was just doing my best to get through each and every day and at the time people were graceful enough to allow me to do that. Now that it's been a year, it's time for me to make some decisions in my life. I have a career, family, and my own personal well-being to consider. I can't wait around for life to happen. I have to make it happen for me.
Do you have any advice, or want to chat? Leave a comment or send me an email!
Original Image Heart of Gold