Those of you who read my personal blog, Mommy Wants Vodka, know that I'm in a bit of a rough patch: I'm going through a divorce. No one who gets married sets out with the intention of getting divorced one day, and we were no exception.
I won't go into the nitty-gritty of it all, but suffice to say it's been really hard on me. I'm lucky enough to have perspective to know what (in part) it's going to take to get through this. So I want to share with you some tips I've learned for coping with divorce.
1) Develop a support system that's all your own. Many of us who have been married awhile lost our single-days network, which means we have mutual friends.
2) Mutual friends will take sides during a divorce, so be prepared to lose people you'd always thought you could count on. It's going to hurt. Don't let anyone tell you different.
3) Recognize - and understand - that it's okay to have a mixture of feelings, sometimes at the same time. With hurt, you may have anger, confusion, and shame for being unable to "work things out."
4) Take care of yourself. When we're stressed about an impending divorce, it's hard to remember to do things as simple as brushing our teeth. Those minor victories can make a gigantic difference in our outlook.
5) Any way you look at it, divorce is a loss. It's the loss of a future together, the loss of a support system you thought you had, and the loss of a person you once loved.
6) As such, it will take time to grieve. There is no timetable for grief. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
7) Anyone who has become a toxic friend to you during your divorce should be cut out of your life.
8) Don't let others pressure you into getting back out there to date until you're ready.
9) Similarly, do not allow others to heap judgment on you when you do decide to date again. It's your choice.
10) Remember that while there are many downsides to divorce, it's also a way of starting your life from scratch - a life lived on YOUR terms.
11) You may want to isolate yourself - the world can seem like a very scary place once you realize that the foundation of everything has been broken. Don't give in to that temptation. Your best bet is to be around people.
12) Talk to a therapist trained in marital problems and divorce. He or she may be able to offer you practical advice about how to cope with your changing life.
13) Keep the end goal in sight: to move on with your life. And while it may seem you're sitting in a dark hole of despair, you will emerge from it a smarter, stronger, and more capable person.
14) Begin and follow a daily routine. Divorce can disrupt nearly every facet of your life - which is why a routine can bring you comfort even while you're at your worst.
15) Some days will be better than others. In time, you'll realize you have fewer "bad days" and more "good days."
Any other advice for someone going through a divorce?
Image via frankh/Flickr