Going through divorce or the ending of a love relationship is one of the most devastating emotional experiences that you will ever go through. Your world as just crashed down around you as your hopes and dreams for a bright future together are rapidly fading away.

I was told from someone who lost a beloved child that her divorce pain was worse because the ‘corpse’ from her dead marriage still had the audacity to keep walking around! A common problem in the ending of a relationship is often there is no closure. This only adds more agony to the already broken heart.

How many times have you heard people tell you “Well, just get over it” Yeah, you already know that. The question you ask yourself is – “How the heck am I supposed to do that?”

Well, there is good news. Divorce recovery – and I use the term divorce, not in the legal sense but rather in the physical sense – is a process with a beginning, middle, and an ending. There are tools and tricks that you can learn to help you get through this painful time a lot faster.

That’s right. Get through it. It’s not something you can get over, around, under or otherwise avoid. You gotta go through the pain and the darkness before you can reach the light on the other side. You’ve heard this before – What you resist, persists. These words have never been truer than in divorce recovery.

I know you don’t want to go to that dark, scary, icky place. But if you allow yourself to surrender to all the pain, the hurt, the bitterness and anger that you are feeling right now, I promise you, you will get through this ordeal faster than you would ever have believed possible and you will come out the other side a stronger and more vibrant person.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Grieve deeply and fully. Allow yourself to cry, then cry some more. It’s OK. Not to worry, you won’t get stuck here. It’s all part of the healing process.
  • Vent all that rage that is stored up inside you. If you don’t get it out, it will just eat away at you, possibly for years and years. What a waste of a good life. But a word of caution here.

    Find activities that will replace all those toxic stress chemicals with more powerful, positive ones. You’ve heard of the “runner’s high”? That’s sorta what your looking for. Any physical activity, even walking briskly will raise your endorphins, those “feeling good” chemicals. I knew a lady who took up kickboxing following her divorce. You can just imagine her thoughts she had while she was practising! But she released her rage in a healthy manner and got fit to boot!

  • Say good bye to all that you have lost. The good, the bad, the big, the small. The hopes, the companionships, the house, the security, the favourite picture, etc. You can’t let go of the past and move on until you know what exactly you are letting go of.
  • Welcome the future. What can you do now that you couldn’t do before? Things like – eat what you what, dress how you please, take that art or dancing class you have been wanting to. You can watch your favourite TV shows when you like and you have the remote! When one door closes in our lives, another one always opens. What door has just opened for you?
  • Take really good care of yourself. More than ever right now, you need to be getting lots of rest and quiet time, eating well and nurturing yourself. Have you ever noticed that you tend to take good care of things that are important to you? Your self-care gives you the message that you are important.
  • Do something that you love. Make a list of things that bring you joy. When was the last time you did something on your list? Make a commitment to do something today. It doesn’t need to be big or cost a lot of money. It’s not just fun but it is good for you.
  • Be your self. Chances are, you gave up a lot of who you really are by taking care of others in your relationship. The most important person to please is your self. You become more authentic when you live according to what’s really important to you.
  • Take responsibility for life. You can stay stuck in anger and bitterness or you can use this opportunity to learn more about yourself and how to have healthier, happier relationships in the future. The choice is yours and it’s yours to make. Where are you avoiding responsibility and what action steps can you start taking today. Remember that you are the captain of your own ship.

I know. You can’t get thoughts of your ‘ex’ out of your head. It’s natural to think about the past – what might have been, could have been, should have been – if only you could do it all over again. But you can’t and you need to remember that there is more to life than pain, grief and frustration.

Yes, this ending has deeply impacted you in so many ways. Not only the life as you once knew it but also your sense of self has been shattered as well. You are bound to change in someway. Your grief is meaningless until you learn how to use it and then it becomes the stepping stone to your personal growth and potential.

Things were different in your life a year ago and things will be different a year from now. You need to spend your precious energy wisely and creatively. You need to find some meaning for your life because it is from reaching beyond you self, beyond your grief that you are transformed.

This is Act 2 of your life and you get to write the script anyway you want it to be. Is it going to be third rate paper back or a best-selling novel full of passion and adventure? Only you can decide.

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