By Cathy Meyer,
Everyone who goes through a divorce experiences pain and grief, but some may be more profoundly affected. Some do not cope as well as others. Divorce can be a traumatic experience and healing from it takes time. There are some ways you can help yourself move through the healing process.
Time Required: Depends on the person
- Develop a support system. Find those friends and family who will be there to see you through the times when you need a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen. A clergyman or professional counselor may be helpful, as you can talk openly and confidentially. After a divorce, your true friends won’t be hard to recognize, because they will be willing to help you adjust to the changes. Seek a divorce recovery group in your community, so that you can interact with others going through the same emotions.
- Seek professional help if needed. Some people get stuck in the pain of divorce, and may experience depression, whether mild or severe. In that case, it is imperative to seek professional help, through your family doctor or a licensed therapist. Don’t try to carry your burden alone.
- Lean on your faith. People who have a religious base may find this is the time they rely deeply on their faith. Even those who don’t consider themselves religious can lean on the faith in themselves that healing is taking place, and that they have the strength to pass through it.
- Let yourself feel your emotions. Now is not the time to try to hold in your feelings. Cry when you need to. Express your fears. Voice your anger. Holding in your emotions or trying to convince yourself you are fine when you aren’t is not healthy for you emotionally or physically.
- Journal. Many people find that journaling gives them a safe place to process their thoughts and feelings. Choose a journal and set a time of the day when you can write uninterrupted. This may be a time of discovery for you, of the deep seated feelings you didn’t even realize you had. The key to successful journaling is just to keep doing it. Find a safe place to keep your journal so you can have access to it but feel it is safe from others. After some time has passed, you can look back at how far you’ve come and all that you have accomplished.
- Don’t isolate. Accept the offers to go to lunch with your friends. Take a day and go out window shopping or sightseeing in your community, and ask someone along. Spend time with family and friends and don’t allow yourself to become isolated. Some time alone is good for everyone, but don’t overdo it.
- Be patient with yourself.For a while it may seem you take two steps forward and one back. Allow yourself the time it takes to heal the emotional wounds. Deal with them now so they don’t show up in your life in other ways later. Don’t expect the pain to go away too quickly, but allow yourself all the time you need. This is a very individual process, so don’t compare your progress with others.
Tips – Divorce is very painful, but the wounds do heal if you effectively deal with the thoughts and emotions that result. Reach out when you need help, and keep moving forward.