Paper listens. This is my conclusion – after all these years and technological advancements, paper still takes your pain in the best way possible.
As my marriage was coming to an end, I felt a lot of pain. Scientists say it’s normal but it felt anything but at the time. I didn’t know how to cope. That is until I bought my first journal after so many years.
Here is how writing can help you survive your divorce.
1. Gain perspective
Reading what you wrote once is one of the best ways to figure out who you were at that point in time and measure the distance you’ve crossed.
You can compare your old feelings to your new feelings and so on.
I’m not saying that you should read what you wrote each day because you likely still feel the same but once you feel like you have gotten a bit better, read those very first few pages and you’ll see how far you’ve come.
I read my first pages frequently, reminding myself that it was a dark place I’d do my best not to get back into.
“At some point, your friends will get tired of listening to you. It’s not personal and they still care about you very much but they can’t really understand what you’re going through unless they’ve been there. Even then – we all mourn differently”, – says a blogger from Writemyx and 1Day2write, Allysa Jones.
One of the best uses I found for my journal is grieving. I realized that my friends had their own life and problems and while they were great for a while, I didn’t want them to start resenting me.
So, I grieved to my journal. It’s amazing, the things you can write but can never say. I learned to let go of those things and be a better friend.
Another thing journaling really helped me with is finances. You rely on the other person’s income for such a long time and when it’s time to rely only on your own, it can be scary.
So I wrote down my budget, debt, spending and everything finance-related. It helped me understand how much money I can spend and what I can save up.
I felt in-charge and independent again.
4. Discover who you are
After you’ve been a part of ‘we’ for such a long time, it can be hard to figure out who you are underneath all of that couple stuff. Trust me.
I thought that I was pretty independent and I kept up with most of my friendships and activities – but you wouldn’t believe how many things you adopt over the years without even knowing it.
The food you eat, the things you like, the songs you listen to, movies – everything – is affected by what the other person liked.
For example, I loved Indian food all my life. But my wife didn’t. So, I slowly but surely stopped eating it.
When we divorced, I passed by an Indian food restaurant and dismissed it by default.
Then I stopped and realized that there is no reason on this Earth why I couldn’t eat Indian food. My mind instantly went to all of the other things I could do now without compromising.
None of this was ever forced – you just slowly adapt to the other person until you become a hybrid of yourself and them.
But I couldn’t fully grasp this until I started writing it down. I was carrying my notebook with me at all times and I wrote and different writing tools helped me immensely. It helped me realize who I am now, after all those years. It’s something I could never have done without extensively writing about it.
5. A bucket list
Now that I was on my own, I could do all sorts of things I couldn’t do before. But there was a whole world out there that I had to take on. o I wrote – again.
I created pages and pages of bucket lists. Some of the things I did, some of the things I did many times and some are still waiting. There were simple wishes and there were complex wishes but by writing it down I got to know myself better.
Rediscovering an old love
For years and years, writing was something I did for texting and emailing purposes. But not so long ago, it was my main interest. I wanted to be a writer my whole life but things got in the way. Then, suddenly, as I started journaling I realized that I could write again.
My love of writing never died and it was still there.
Get better by writing
Paper listens. This is my conclusion – after all these years and technological advancements, paper still takes your pain in the best way possible. Commit yourself to keep a journal and I hope you can get better because of it just like I did.