I still recall the feeling after we separated. Disappointment for my girls, anxiousness, and anticipation to begin the process, yet a weight lifted from my shoulders. I felt free. Not the kind of freedom you may be picturing as a newly single woman. I’m talking about an energy shift in the home and a moment to finally catch my breath and understand my state of mind. Regardless of feeling content, due to many different circumstances, the beginning stage (and honestly still now) is incredibly difficult. I immediately lost weight from stress and not having an appetite. I cried often from the mere fantasy of this mess one day ending and utilized my family and friends every chance I got.
Divorce sucks. There’s no easy way to say it. It’s emotional, time-consuming, unfair, a money pit, and can leave you on a rollercoaster of sentiment. You just have to trust the process and know that everything IS going to be okay. I promise.
Sharing a few thoughts with you about the beginning stages of divorce and what’s helped me cope.
Take the high road.
As difficult as it may be in high-stress divorces, don’t post about the issues of your case on social media, don’t talk negatively about your ex, and don’t say anything you wouldn’t want your kids to one day read on the internet. This doesn’t mean you won’t ever talk about it, but maybe a better time would be when you’re in a healing stage and able to come from a place of experience rather than emotions.
Get out of bed.
The days are difficult and sometimes you just want to crawl into bed and hide from the world. For me personally, my motivation to quickly pull myself up and continue on with the day-to-day was my girls. I knew no one else was going to do it but me. They were counting on me, even if they did not actually say those words. Note: It is OK to show emotions in front of your kids. They need to see that it’s okay to cry and feel. Never feel guilty about showing emotions.
Keep the conversation about your ex neutral.
One of the best pieces of advice I got early on was to talk neutrally about your ex to your kids. Don’t talk too positively (out of character) where they will turn to you one day and wonder why you lied to them about their expectations of said parent and for obvious reasons, don’t talk negatively to your kids.
Share your story or marriage problems with a close friend.
Even if it’s just one person (even a sibling) … let it out! It will feel amazing to free yourself from keeping it inside and you never know, your friend may also feel comfortable sharing his/her struggles as well, resulting in a closer bond. If you have no one to talk to, you can join my Facebook group that I created for newly separated/divorced women.
Knowledge is power.
Due your due diligence and reach out to someone who has either had a divorce or contact a few local lawyers to get information on the process. Even if you don’t go the lawyer route, you can understand what’s ahead of you. If you are both going the lawyer route, talk to a few to vet the best for your case, and note: if you talk to a specific lawyer (or 10) your significant other can’t use that lawyer in your case.
Oh, how I love therapy. Luckily for me, I was already going to therapy on a routine basis in 2021 so when things really hit the fan, I had someone to lean on. Set yourself up for success even if you have to go through a few therapists to find your match.
This is the time to fall back in love with you. Self-care looks different for everyone but for me, it was leaning on poetry, music, meditation, exercise, dinners with girlfriends, audibles, journaling, creating, etc. for me. Eat Clean Phx also helped me get nourishment in my body when I didn’t want to cook for myself.
In the beginning, I drank less alcohol knowing I already had so much going on internally, and utilized CBD. It helped me sleep better and calmed my nerves daily.
I hope this was helpful to you. As always, would love your feedback, or if something worked for you, I’d love to hear it.
Remember…. you are so much stronger than you think. You are enough. This hell will pass. You are destined for true happiness. Everything will be okay.