During divorce, the heartache of divorce can cost anything. You may have heard of the stages of grief. Some speak of 5 levels while others refer to 7 levels. These are the body’s healing methods. I know it seems impossible right now, but there will be a time when you will feel all right again. It doesn’t mean the pain will go away completely. Nonetheless, it means that you have taken the pain into yourself, learned from it, and worked out your new “you”.
Like it or not, the process of grieving is simply something we have to go through. There is no escape. I remember trying to numb the pain in different ways. While numbness can delay the immediate pain, the grief comes back stronger than ever afterwards. Of course, everyone is different in how they go through the process. Just when you think you’ve found acceptance, something triggers your memory and you whirl straight back into denial, pain, and anger. Sometimes the steps come all at once when we usually feel overwhelmed.
Dealing with a routine While processing the grief of divorce
Traumatic events such as the grief over divorce mess up our routines and daily structures. It can also affect our relationships with friends and family, who often feel uncomfortable about not knowing what to say. Surviving loss is not just about learning to accept these changes. It’s also about adjusting and adjusting our routines and how we see life.
Some life changes can be so unsettling that we question our core beliefs and know who we are. And self-identity is something we all naturally hold onto because it helps us understand the world. Our language, genes and society drive us to hold on to our identity. It can therefore be terrifying when it falls apart and we are no longer the spouse who lives next door. You will also find that you will lose friends and gain some as you adopt your new identity. The whole divorce experience tells you a lot about what and who you value in life.
How to start healing from the grief of divorce
The good news is, the choice is yours. It’s a tough choice, but it’s still a choice. You can let your emotions overwhelm you or learn to feel them and then let go. With practice and time, you will gradually gain some distance from these emotions and they will not seem as painful.
Start a diary
Take time to journal or sit quietly with the pain so you can start creating some distance. The more you face it, the less pain possesses you
Unfortunately, most of us have been taught that crying or emotions are bad. However, we have to cry tears because they help us get rid of built-up stress hormones. Let yourself cry and let the tears flow.
I realize this may sound a little forced or strange, but we need to grieve in order to heal. Distracting yourself through activity only delays the process. Remember to sit with you for at least a short time each day while you are busy. Let your feelings come so you can feel them. Journaling is a very powerful tool that allows you to process emotions so that the new situation can penetrate your subconscious.
Some things to journal about are:
- What are you grateful for / what are your best qualities?
- What do you forgive yourself for
- What do you forgive your ex for?
- What are all the things that you have never had time to do but can now do?
- What did you learn / what could you do differently next time with a partner?
Granted, there were times when I couldn’t even lift a pen, let alone write or read, because the pain was too great. I was lost and confused. However, the simple act of sitting with the emotions and the tears is a start. If you can, try to sit in nature, surrounded by trees if there is a park nearby. There is something therapeutic about bathing in the glow of a green treetop or watching the birds fly by. It’s kind of like they are holding you through the pain while you just let the emotions be.
Write a letter to yourself
Write yourself a future letter and imagine what you are going to think and say in maybe 6 to 12 months. What advice or friendliness would you like to give yourself today?
When you feel ready to do this, showing yourself that there is tomorrow and that hope is possible is a great exercise. Be as creative as you can, almost like having a magic wand. Where will you be in 6 to 12 months? What are your dreams and what advice would it be useful to hear before venturing into these dreams? This is about getting you to think about what the new will look like once you go through the process of grieving for divorce.
Be nice to yourself
Connect with your body and remember that everything you feel is perfectly fine and normal. Remember, you have to do what is right for you
It was my trainer at the time who told me to be kind to myself when I was at my lowest point. I never dared admit to him that I had no idea what he was talking about. It confused me for years. If it is you, imagine your closest and dearest friend talking to you in a friendly way. What are they telling you What do they encourage you to do or not to do? And yes, if that means taking an afternoon nap and that’s what you need, that’s fine. Remember, one of the most difficult things to do is face the heartache of divorce.
Hopefully you’ve heard of self-care. If not, don’t worry and just try to play around with different activities that you can enjoy a little bit. Anything gardening, listening to music, taking a bubble bath, or just chatting with your friends could be just what you need. If you have any ideas, here is a great list that covers all aspects of wellbeing.
Now that you are on this journey through the heartache of divorce, all you can do is move forward. Try not to fight the pain but feel it and let it in. You can even name it, and over time you will find that it becomes more manageable. It never goes away, but it makes you more resilient. You can also know better what you don’t want and what you want in life.
The best part is that you are much better prepared for the next challenge that life presents to you. Because that’s what life is all about. The sooner you can accept pain, the sooner you will appreciate life for what it is, with all its ups and downs and twists. It’s a hell of a trip, but somehow it’s still better than nothing.