I never expected that a divorce would take my emotions on a roller-coaster ride to the extent that it has. I have had highs and lows and a combination of the two at times. I have experienced multiple emotions at a time and then I have been suddenly thrust into neutral. I didn’t know it was possible to feel anger, sadness, and anxiety all at once.
Maybe it is naïve and strange to think that your emotions wouldn’t be in hyperdrive going through the process of a divorce and then after it is finalized. But the reality is that there are so many emotions. Divorce is a type of loss. At the same time, your experience will be vastly different than someone else’s because of the circumstances surrounding the divorce and everyone responds to grief and pain differently.
My divorce is final, but it is still relatively new. This means my feelings are still raw and the pain is still sharp. For the most part, I am happier. I say for the most part because life is stressful as a single mom who tries to juggle maintaining her online business, raising a happy and healthy daughter, trying to be a stay-at-home mom all the while being trying to make ends meet.
Me and my daughter are in a better situation. I’m no longer in a constant state of dread and panic. I can start fresh and new and pick up the pieces.
I have pricks of anger that rears its head every now and again. Anger that is for many reasons but mainly towards my ex-husband.
I start questioning my decision every now and again. And I wonder if I made the right choice? (Yes I did. I know deep down I did what was needed for me and my daughter to keep us both safe. But that doesn’t stop the questions every so often.)
I feel sadness. Sadness at the loss. Loss of love. Loss of what could have been. Loss at what could have been. Loss at what the marriage had become. Sadness that my daughter will have two homes. Sadness that the dreams I had for my marriage and family were shattered.
I have days that feel more hopeful and days that feel hopeless.
I have days where my feelings are so muddled, I have to wade through them to figure out what I’m feeling. And days where there is one emotion that is crystal-clear and prominent. I’m still sorting them out and I am pretty sure it will be a process for quite some time.
If you are going through the process of sorting out your feelings, here are some things that may help. Things that have helped me so far.
Sorting Your Feelings Out After a Divorce
1. Feel Every Feeling
No matter how painful, it is important to allow yourself to feel every emotion. That is the way you start to heal.
2. Be Gentle with Yourself, Also Kind
You are going through a tough time. It will get better, but it takes time. Be kind and gentle with yourself.
3. Give Yourself a Year to Not Be Okay
Allow yourself to just be. Maybe a mess at times. This tip is tricky because life still goes on. You have responsibilities and maybe kids to take care of. But basically, just cut yourself some slack. You won’t be 100% okay and that is okay.
As time marches on and I continue to sort out my feelings in the aftermath of my divorce, other tips might come up. So far I have come to understand the importance of just feeling my emotions without judgement as I go through this process. And I know it will get me one step closer to healing.
- How to Deal with The Loss of Your Marriage
- 6 Tips for Surviving Mediation
- What to Do When Your World is Crumbling
What ways have you found helpful as you sort out your feelings after you divorce?