Change is hard. It can be exhausting, challenging and unnerving.
Major life changes can be very difficult to navigate. I don’t even like to change my wallet.
And divorce just happens to be a major life change that generates many uneasy unknowns.
I mean, if you have kids, you will be worried sick about how your divorce will affect them.
How will your family and friends react?
Will you fight it out in a lengthy court battle or settle amicably?
Will lawyers walk away with your life savings?
How will your finances be affected?
Who will get the $7,000 Stickley dining room table… (hmmmm, I wonder)???
Will you have to get back to the dating game?
Will you have to move or get a different job?
Who will pay for your kid's health insurance?
The questions just go on and on. And the truth is there are no easy answers. I’m sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but some divorces are equivalent to a never ending Haunted House the likes of which you never imagined. You never know what new horror is lurking around the next corner. Yep. That’s the ugly truth so PUT. YOUR. BIG. GIRL. PANTIES. ON. and suck it up Buttercup.
Actually, I wish it was that easy.
I hate to break it to you but there aren’t any big girl panties or even a Wonder Woman Cape you can put on to fly your way through it all.
If you're unlucky enough to have a real jerk for an ex-husband, I can offer you 4 helpful hints to guide you through your divorce:
1. Do Not Watch Late Night Infomercials
You won’t be able to sleep. Your brain will feel like Jello and you will barely have the strength to pop those Peanut M&M’s into your mouth. The only thing you will feel capable of doing is watching mindless TV but unfortunately, the majority of programming during those twilight hours, when you’re wide-eyed and possibly drooling a bit of Chardonnay, will not be good for you.
You will be completely vulnerable to every Cindy Crawford Beauty Fluid product available. In fact, after watching all those fascinating testimonials, you will gladly spend any amount of money necessary to achieve that youthful, dewy glow you so desperately want.
Therefore, do yourself a favor and play Spider Solitaire, take up crochet, make potholders, just Do Not Watch Late Night Infomercials!
2. Do Not Go On Facebook
For the Love of God Girl, we’re all tempted to yank out that hangnail but remember it will bleed and hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.
Yes, it’s intriguing to peek into the lives of others. I know, I know, part of you just wants to see that old high school friend of yours 30 pounds heavier or to read a post that your cousin just lost her job…again!!!
But, unfortunately---YOU. ARE. THE. TRAINWRECK right now. It may be temporary, but you are currently in NO position to be looking at all of those pre-posed-perfect-pics-and-puffed-up-posts from all your friends and family. Smarten up girl and Do Not Go On Facebook!
3. Have Self-Medication Available
I am 100% serious. I do not believe in “doing drugs” and I will go years without taking a Tylenol. However, I will tell you desperate times call for desperate measures and You. Need. To. Be. Prepared.
If you were climbing Mount Everest you’d bring supplies, right? Like water bottles, protein bars, oxygen tanks etc.
Well, some of these divorces will require the physical, mental and emotional endurance of climbing Mt. Everest on a weekly (or daily) basis.
Sometimes, you’ll just need a little something to get you through a particularly horrific day. For example, a shot of Tequila, a glass of Merlot, a Xanax…. Stock-up Ladies!!
I specifically remember I had ONE measly 2mg Valium pill left over from a dental procedure. And when I had one of “those days” I would take a nibble of that stupid little pill and it is downright embarrassing to admit there were times I sunk to an all-time low of licking the tiny morsel I had left as not to waste it.
I probably should mention here, that there are many healthier alternatives to the self-medication I’ve mentioned. Many people may also find relief from exercising, running, meditation and yoga. Oh, and chocolate, definitely CHOCOLATE!!
4. Take Care Of Yourself
Chances are you have been focusing on everything and everyone EXCEPT yourself. You’ve been busy trying to save your marriage, hopelessly bailing water out of a sinking ship. You’ve been desperately trying to fix everything that can’t be fixed. Protecting your children from the pain they can’t be saved from.
And now you’re finally forced to accept it’s O.V.E.R.
You’re left to pick up your jagged pieces and face the toll this has all taken on you.
Your nails are bitten down to the quick, your complexion is most likely a lovely shade of pale gray, you’ve either gained or lost over ten pounds, and you've probably noticed your hair is starting to fall out.
Well, Hot Damn… It is now Game On Girl!
It. Is. Time. To. Put. On. Your. Oxygen. Mask!!!
Make a list of things you need to do for YOU:
- Do you need to slow down, sit down and enjoy some healthy meals?
- Do you need a haircut, some highlights, a manicure/pedi, a hot bath, a facial, have your makeup done at Sephora (maybe learn the hottest trends or newest techniques)?
- Do you need to finally buy a new pair of sneakers or running shoes to get you going again?
What will help YOU feel better?
- A lunch with friends, or to go see a movie, a play, a concert.
- Go for a long walk in nature. Go sit in a church or synagogue.
- Pray... Play... Persevere
There is one last thing you will need to remember.
This time of chaotic change will pass and you (& those you love) will be okay.
PS, You’re stronger than you think! I promise.