If you’re divorcing or divorced, you are NOT alone, and that is an amazing feeling!
Sometimes (well, most of the time), I can’t imagine that anyone’s life is as dysfunctional as mine! Seriously, how screwed up and embarrassing is it to have my ex and divorce drama? How reality show-ready is my home as a result of my husband’s high conflict ex-capades and the increased complications of being a stepmom and part of a blended family? It seems I’ve covered all bases on the spectrum of divorce crazy, and surely no one else could identify or understand- right?
Often, I operate in my own little bubble, and all I see is what’s going on around me. Then, I see an amazing quote, read a great article, or listen to the chatter of other women in similar situations, and I think “What? Wow! Someone else has been there, done that, and knows where I’m coming from? Amazing!”
The knowledge that another person, let alone potentially hundreds of thousands, has felt my pain, experienced my joy, and likely wouldn’t judge or look down on me is an incredible thing!
It validates my divorce experience. It reassures me that I’m not crazy to react in the ways I have to the many ups and downs that have impacted me and my family along our journey.
Mostly, I feel less alone to know that I am a member of a community of divorced women. Each of our stories is unique, yet there are often many similarities that bind us together. The heartbreaks. The fears. The emotions. The challenges. The triumphs. We’ve got it all covered!
Somehow, knowing that we’re not the only ones to endure the hardship of divorce, and everything else that comes along with it, is comforting. If you did it, I can too!
In our conventional circles of society (work, our neighborhood, our children’s school, family, and so on), it’s quite easy to feel lost, like a misfit, and misunderstood. The numbers don’t add up! The divorce statistics tell us that approximately half of the people we know should be divorce veterans; yet, when it’s our turn, we may feel like some sort of oddity or failure.
Where are all those other divorced people who understand what we’re going through and maybe even have some advice or inspiration to share?
Well, they may not be waving their divorced flags high and proud, but there’s a mighty army of others who have walked in our shoes, and they’re just quietly going about the business of living life!
The benefits of connecting to other divorced or divorcing people, while healing through our own, are too numerous to count; but, here are a few of the top ones to consider:
Inspiration by example. The encouragement and motivation that can be gained from witnessing the success of others who have been on the same road can’t be measured! To look at someone else or read their story and realize “hey, she was just like me and now she’s okay!” is often just the surge of reinforcement needed to keep moving forward!
Advice. Many times, the only people who know what a situation is like or how to get out of it are others who have lived it themselves. A lawyer or other expert may be able to offer important guidance, but they may lack the personal touch or not be aware of all possible sides to an issue. I call one experienced with divorce a “divorce warrior” because he or she has lived it and can now share their experience and wisdom with others going through it. Who else but a divorce warrior will know how it feels, how it can affect our life, or relate to all the concerns?
Support. I follow many online groups, and find it both wonderful and empowering how divorced women, single moms, stepmoms, and others from every facet of the divorce experience can share a question or concern and end up being wrapped in encouragement and love from others familiar with the anguish, yet happily uplift and cheer for others! Recognition for our pain, warnings to avoid pitfalls, and simply knowing someone else cares is priceless!
Divorce can be a very lonely time, so knowing that we matter to someone else and that others wish us the best can be like oxygen when we’re gasping for breath! No one should go it alone, so I highly encourage finding a source of support!
Camaraderie. Who doesn’t want to belong? Perhaps divorce was not a club we ever wanted to join; but, if that’s the boat we’re in, we might as well feel the strength of numbers, be motivated, and cultivate a tribe of like-minded survivors who can lean on one another and provide encouragement. One is the loneliest number when we wish we could just talk to someone who gets it, so dive in and join a team of fellow divorce conquerors!
Where can we tap in to divorce support?
Read some or many of the multiple divorce blogs, books, and other sources of information out there! Divorced Moms is a wealth of wisdom where we can read stories and expert advice for every conceivable problem or need that may arise during divorce. It’s amazing how much inspiration and and pearls of wisdom can be harvested from reading the personal accounts of fellow divorce warriors and professionals (coaches, mediators, financial advisors, lawyers, and more)!
Follow your divorce interests and needs onto social media! You can find a treasure trove of memes to make you laugh, articles to inform and tug at your heartstrings, and links to amazing resources on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Why not fill up your daily news feed with messages of healing, hope, and insight?
Link-up with the legions of others who can identify with your story! Dozens of pages and groups (many that are private) exist on Facebook and for very specific niches of the divorce experiences. Whether you’re a Divorced Moms on a Mission, a single mom, stepmom, part of a blended family, or identify with any combination of these and others, you can find a group to meet your need for support and advice without even changing out of your jammies! Some of my greatest moments of feeling like someone else “got it” came from connecting with the thousands of other women out there who participate in such groups!
Meet others in a support group. If a face-to-face approach is more your thing, check with your local churches, rec centers, and community agencies to join a group that fits your needs and your schedule. This can be a great way to meet new friends and others who can lend hands-on support.
All of us can experience that warm and fuzzy feeling of not being alone as we work our way through divorce, we just need to reach out there and grab onto some of the resources and people who are waiting and willing to uplift and support us! Others do understand what divorce feels like and will be able to help ease some of our pain and frustration. There is no need to go through this chapter of our life feeling lost and isolated; and, if you have been, prepare to feel recharged and empowered after achieving a connection with others who make you feel heard and part of a community!