“Healing takes time.” We have all heard it, especially when you go through a change. I had NEVER heard the phrase when I wanted to, but have ALWAYS heard it when I needed to. By nature, I am impatient, busy, and a doer—my number one value: achievement. From the moment my separation began, I looked for a “How to” guide to quicken the process. I did not find one, but decided to write this blog to see if any of my reflections help you.
I am not promising a speedy recovery. It does take time, and it’s a process. If one piece of advice resonates with you and shaves off a little time, I consider it a victory! Just remember, you can’t get a six-pack by doing five-minute abs. You could do crunches all day, but you will not see results until you change your diet. Recovery is like getting a six-pack, it takes a full-body and full-mind approach.
The #1 thing you can do for yourself is to recognize that divorce is a rollercoaster. There is no perfect way to get through this. No matter what situation you are in, there will be change, and change can be hard.
See a Therapist
If you have health insurance and the means, therapists are the most neutral party to work with. They will give you a different perspective than family and friends. If you do not jive with your therapist after a few sessions, look for a new one. You have to “click” with them for it to work. Make sure you feel comfortable. I did not have health insurance and worked through my divorce with my mom. While I love her deeply, she was not the best person to accelerate my recovery in retrospect.
Talk to Someone in Recovery
I have found the most helpful insights come from people who have experienced similar changes. Finding a confidant who has made positive strides toward recovery is vital, otherwise, you find yourself in a drama-filled, bitchfest. I’m not saying that venting is terrible, but to accelerate your life, ditch the drama, and focus on the end result. In addition, if the person is giving you advice and has not applied it to his or her life, find someone new. You don’t need lip service, you need action and accountability.
Address, Don’t Suppress
When a feeling creeps up, address it. Journal about it, meditate, talk to someone, but don’t suppress it. Dealing with emotions when they rise is hard and takes strength, but it will help them move through and release them.
Listen to Your Intuition
Remember that little voice in your head that telling you things were off? She’s buried. Dig her up. She’s pissed that you have been suppressing her. Welcome her back with a toast, and promise to listen. She will stay quiet for a while until she can trust again, so be patient.
You Have All the Answers; Trust Yourself
It may not seem like it, but the answers will come from you. Therapists, friends, and gurus will just point you in the right direction; self-realization will be where the change occurs. Trust me, this is frustrating and seems far from the truth initially, but little by little, the answers will come if you do the work.
Outwardly, progress may seem to crawl at a snail’s pace. If you use a form of journaling, whether it’s written, recorded, or typed, you can go back and reflect on your progress. You will be amazed and sometimes horrified. New aha moments to further your recovery, will surface. You have the answers.
Invest in Yourself
Whether it’s finishing a degree, enrolling in a new class, joining a book club, or buying a new wardrobe, it is time to invest in yourself. Think about what will move your life forward. Buying a Mercedes might make you feel better initially, but will it propel your growth or just put you into debt? Investing in yourself isn’t about buying fancy things, it’s about fulfilling your dreams and giving your life purpose. With purpose, your recovery will accelerate.
Move Towards Independence
Having a partner is comforting and can lead to codependency. We often let them take the lead on things that scare us. Do you hate doing taxes? Tackle it and find a resource to help. Moving away from codependency will make you feel secure, independent, and like a total badass.
Ditch Your Ego
Ditching your ego goes hand in hand with all of these points. Are you afraid of failing or asking for help? The sooner you can ditch your ego, the happier you will be. Be curious. Be open. Take action. Fall, and try again.
Loving myself has been a journey. Outwardly, I am confident, put together, and positive. Inside my head, the critic, or as I call her “the dictator,” punishes me for not doing enough or being perfect. When you go through a life change, your critic is energized. She will place blame. Meet your critic head-on and smile, knowing that you have the real answers. I now think of my critic as a 4-year-old. She is having a temper tantrum. Bless her little heart she’s cranky; put her down for a nap.
What has helped you recover from your divorce, breakup, or any other life change? I would love to hear your thoughts.
Sending love and light to a speedy recovery,