So today is the day.
The day I fold up this very important, life-changing stack of papers, pop them in an envelope, lick a stamp and send them off to the Universe. Once these papers have been received and processed by the powers that be, I will officially be a divorcée. Or as I like to think of it, a FREE WOMAN!
These past few years have been an emotional rollercoaster, and in all honestly, I feel like I won’t be able to see clearly again until all of it is behind me. (If you don’t know my whole horrid story, you can read about it here in issue # 1 of ROOOAR.)
The words that have stuck with me throughout this whole journey are those of Elizabeth Gilbert: “Going through a divorce is like being in a car crash every day for two years.” Perhaps not your stock-standard inspirational quote, but wowsers is it true.
So as I sit here, oh-so-close to the end of this bumpy road, I am feeling pretty bruised and battered. But I’m proud to say, I’m also feeling really excited about my future. In honour of this momentous occasion, I thought I would share with you some of the things I have learned while surviving this recurring car crash…
8 THINGS DIVORCE TEACHES YOU…..
1. Not everyone is reasonable. It’s true – not everyone thinks and feels alike. This lesson is hard enough to learn when you’re talking about a friend or family member. It’s especially (freaking) difficult when you are dealing with someone you don’t like a great deal. When we’re kids, we have an unwavering belief that everyone will ultimately do the ‘right thing’. Growing up and realising that this isn’t the case is a tough pill to swallow. It helps to realise that it’s not personal, it’s just reality: not everyone is reasonable, and we have to live with that.
2. You can’t rationalise with unreasonable people. Most unreasonable people can’t be swayed because they have no idea how unreasonable they are! Save your sanity – and your blood pressure – and let the solicitors deal with it.
3. Bad shit happens to good people all the time. Hells YEAH. Look around, watch 60 minutes, read a newspaper and you will see that good people are getting screwed over all the time. Yes, the pain of a divorce is real, and yes, it hurts like crazy. But know that shit could always be worse, and there’s always something in your life to be grateful for.
4. You are resilient. Divorce has taught me that no matter how unfair it all seems, you will make it through the other side because you have no other choice. Life doesn’t stop, kids still need to be fed, money still needs to be made… It may seem cruel, but it helps you get over it.
5. Kids are resilient. Divorce is not fair for kids – they are as innocent as it gets – but I have been amazed by how tough they are. They have been a true source of strength and comfort to me (perhaps more times than I care to admit). This is one proud mama, right here.
6. Self help books are really smart. Its true, I have read millions of them! Even if you find just a few paragraphs in a book that speaks to you, it’s worth the read. Educating yourself on how you can take back control of your mind and your life is the best thing you can do.
7. Getting help is ESSENTIAL. Speaking to a psychologist is the best thing I ever did. She helped me work through every single crazy thought I had. She gave me strategies for changing my thought patterns, tools to conquer my stress, and a safe place to vent my (seemingly endless) pain. And the sign of a good therapist? She made me work. I’m talkin’ homework assignments, field trips and a whole lotta journaling. Hashtag: worth it.
8. Forgiveness heals all. Some wise person once said that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. It’s true. You need to forgive to survive, and you won’t be able to move forward until you do. Even though it may seem like the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do, it’s absolutely essential and absolutely worth it. Don’t forgive for them… forgive for YOU.