The one thing I have learned from my friends is that divorce can be one of the most insane times in a person’s life. That time in between your separation and the first year after you are divorced….my friends refer to that as “crazy time.” It’s like being trapped in a snow globe and helplessly watching as someone grabs you and gives you six good shakes. The crazy time is the time it takes for your thoughts, friendships, memories, and feelings to settle down so you can breathe again.
For a lot of my friends, going through a divorce was something they were completely unprepared for. At one point, they found themselves thinking for two, planning for two, combining families, gaining new friends, and having visions of growing old with their significant others. Somewhere between the “I do” and the visions, they found themselves alone, cooking for one, and sleeping in a bed that was suddenly way too big for just one person.
Separation can feel like limbo. You aren’t totally together and married and then again you aren’t truly divorced yet. It’s a time that can send your emotions from zero to 60 in a matter of seconds. Case in point: my friend, “Lisa.” She recalls being in an ice cream shop when a guy walked up to her and struck up a conversation. As they made their way to the front of the line, he asked her if she was married. Just then, her thoughts and emotions went haywire. “Am I really married when I haven’t seen my husband in months? But technically I still love him and want to get back together and besides, by law we are still married. But are we really married when he has moved on and has told me that he doesn’t want to be with me anymore…” And before she knew it, she was reduced to tears in the middle of an ice cream shop on a Saturday afternoon.
For a lot of people, divorce is like a death: You lose friends, family, pets, time with your kids, and sometimes you lose the sense of who you are. But just like everything in life, it all gets better with time.
Divorce is not all bad. There are plenty of people who come out on the other side with a greater sense of who they are, what they want, and what they won’t settle for ever again. When a friend of mine found himself consumed by self-pity, shame, sadness, and anger, his friend (who was also divorced) took him for a ride and gave him a perspective that changed everything for him.
“The best part of a divorce is the fact that you get to reinvent yourself. You get to be whoever you want from this day forward. You don’t have to be “the divorced guy” or the person who just got out of a failed marriage. You don’t have to be depressed or feel sorry for yourself. You can change all of that today and decide to learn from everything you’ve been through and begin to formulate the person you want to be.”
The same is true for every single person reading this blog. After any break-up, you have the choice whether to allow it to consume you or enable it to help you become the person you have always wanted to be. The choice is yours. Your voice, your passion, your happiness are all out there waiting for you.