I was married at 18 and divorced when I was 22, with a little boy to raise. I put myself through college while all of that was going, so it wasn’t an easy ride. My ex-husband remarried a couple of years later, which was a blow to my ego, although I liked his new wife. While he was enjoying life as a newlywed, I struggled as a college student with a toddler, living off food stamps, government housing, and welfare checks for support.
I was so young when I got divorced. My parents were still married, as were my grandparents, so I didn’t have many role models at the time. Looking back, friends made it easier. I went through a little “wild” party phase, as usual, 20 somethings do. I was young and did many dumb things that at the time seemed like a good idea. I struggled with eating disorders, self-doubt and moved through a ton of short-term relationships.
It wasn’t until I discovered outdoor recreational sports like rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking that I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. My love of the outdoors created a friendship group, who shared similar interests and eventually led me to meet my current husband, 20 years after my divorce. We have been married for 15 years.
There are so many self-help books that got me through it back in the day and so many more out there today, but remember this; the best resource you have is yourself. Visualize what you want your life to look like (vision board), learn to sit in silence through meditation (HeadSpace), and get comfortable with being alone.
It’s actually ok to be alone, and sometimes it’s preferable.
It’s the best time to work on oneself, develop skills, try new things, make new friends, start journaling… just don’t overdo it with your besties 🙂 They’re there for you, but at some point, you have to be there for yourself. Divorce is a shared experience by millions of people. You’re not the only one going through it!
Words of Wisdom to Share
Don’t beat yourself up. Divorce happens; it’s not a sign of failure; it’s just a practice run for the real deal.
Learn to love your personal time and space and to respect that of your partner. Being alone can be liberating. Cherish it; don’t fear it.