According to the Social Readjustment Rating Scale, Divorce is second only to the death of a spouse for trauma. Divorce recovery can therefore take quite some time to achieve for many. Indeed, a lot of people feel that it isn’t possible for them at all.
There are usually very strong negative feelings that come with the end of the marriage. Anger, shame, guilt and fear are generally the strongest.
A recovery would involve being able to eliminate having these negative emotions as a part of your daily life. Being able to to stop looking back on the idea of the life that you thought you would be living as part of a couple and instead start to put yourself, physically and emotionally, as a priority in your life. Being able to begin the process of creating your vision for how you want your future to look is a real step forward towards recovery.
There are several challenges that can arise after a long relationship of any kind has ended. These cause us to lose peace of mind, and forward momentum to the life we would really love.
The negative emotions mentioned earlier added to a feeling of loss of control or an idea of being a “ victim” are often very powerful after a divorce from a long time spouse. They can impact all areas of life.
Among the mental health impacts are a loss of confidence and an inability to trust one’s own judgment. Also, the feeling of a loss of identity and a fear of an unknown future. All of these combined add to a rise in negative self talk, which can cause one to spiral further into stress and anxiety, leading to very real health issues.
Things such as a higher incidence of depression and high blood pressure can impact all areas of your life. With all of this going on, relationships of any kind are difficult to maintain, work becomes much more stressful and just getting through the day, making small decisions or setting goals can feel like an impossible mountain to climb.
Is anyone ever fully “recovered”?
Trauma is hard to forget. However, you can move on from it rather than get over it. An ideal goal is when you can wake up one day and realize that you are living life on your terms and that you no longer hold onto blame or guilt towards your ex partner. In fact, if you don’t even think about it in terms of how it impacts your life any more, that is a major move towards recovery.
What could this possibly look like?
My Believe System is a blueprint for that
*Believing in yourself.
*Believing in your ability to set a goal, see the path to achieve it and make that journey successfully.
*Believing that the negative observations that pop into your head when you pass a mirror are totally false and Believing that you can replace them by noticing the true beauty in your reflection.
*Believing that the negative things you have heard from others about you are just an incorrect opinion, to make them feel better about something they are dealing with, or a way to control you.
*Believing that the negative voice in your head that snaps at you when you think about changing things up, breaking out of your comfort zone or reaching for a goal is not the truth about who you are.
*Believing that once you start to look at the true facts of your life you can make a whole list of amazing, courageous and unique factors that make up who you truly are and what you have achieved.
*Believing that this is the time to lose the stress, anxiety and self doubt that doesn’t serve you, and instead move forward to a feeling of peace, confidence and joy with life.
So how on earth are we supposed get there when we are feeling stuck right now?
To get to this place, it is necessary to put in some “work” and take steps to change your thinking to these new beliefs.
As outlined in my first book, Fearful to Fabulous, there are seven steps to recovery and thriving after your divorce. Everyone would have varying degrees of need for each.
1. Stop focusing on what your ex is thinking and what your thought your life was SUPPOSED to be.
2. Face your financial realities.
3. Eliminate bad habits that you may have started as a coping mechanism.
4. Reframe some emotions, such as blame or guilt.
5. Identify the inner voice that is lying to you about your abilities and who you are.
6. Understand the new relationship dynamics in your life now. Maybe with friends or relatives, or even your own children.
7. Start to identify your goals and passions in your life. This is now your chance to become the person that you want to be as you move forward.
I would add an eighth point to my ideas above, which is almost more important than the others. Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Whether that be from friends, a councilor or a coach of some kind. Someone with whom you can talk through your thoughts and also to provide you with accountability to push through hard times. There is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about and trying to go it alone can add more stress and prolong the process of recovery.
To ask any questions at all about what you have read here about here, or to set up at time to chat with me about challenges you may be facing for your Divorce Recovery, simply set up a time to chat: