Reading so many blogs and articles about divorce recovery on DivorcedMoms is making me think I am doing all of my divorce recovery wrong.
There is no real way to do it wrong. As with any sort of grief work people have to do it their way and on their time table. The key is to let days pass because if enough days pass that you manage to live through, especially if you don’t do anything detrimentally harmful, like drugs or commiting suicide, then the loss gets one tiny speck of a bit less sharp, every day. Then one day, you realize that you are living with the loss and although it still hurts, you are back to living your life and coping. Your life may be different than it was but you are adjusting to your new circumstances. (If I sound like a grief therapist, I am. I have a certificate with my name on it and everything.)
So, I’m reading about how I should be exercising, and LORD KNOWS I SHOULD,
- I hate it
- I’m busy (sitting eating potato chips and watching TV takes time, People!)
- I’m attached to my chub.
People also apparently read self help books and I’ve read nary a one.
- I hate them, really hate them. I’ve never managed to read a whole one.
- I am a mental health professional and so it kind of feels like work.
- I read a whole bunch of them when I was single and it made me more depressed.
If you need recommendations for self help books you can find many here on DivorcedMoms.com but you are at the wrong blog at this very second in time.
Since I wrote about my 2 year Divorce-aversary, I’ve been thinking of what got me through. What were the things that were my primary coping tools?
Here is what I did:
- I searched the internet for fellow women going through it like I was and found some bloggers. Divorced Pauline, was one, so thanks, Divorced Pauline. I was not alone, I had Pauline. Now we are fortunate enough to have a lot of resources in one place.
- I started blogging myself because a friend recommended it and I had always been a closet writer anyway. Mostly about grief and other fun topics. Yuck. I don’t recommend everyone blog because for some people that would be work, they would not enjoy it. I do it because it relaxes me. It helps me clear my thoughts and purge my negative feelings. I don’t recommend anyone do anything to help cope that feels like work during this time.
- I recognized that I was depressed and that there were some days that I was only going to be able to do the bare minimum and that had to be enough. So, that said, I learned to live without making my bed everyday. I realized what I absolutely HAD to do: work, keep kids happy, homework. If I had energy for nothing else, I had to have it for those things. Homework is a big deal in our house because my kids go to Magnet schools. So, I made sure their homework was done but I gave them lots of frozen pizza. I just wasn’t up to doing better than that some nights.
- I only did things that made me happy other than my list of things I HAD to do. So, exercise did not make the list. I did however eat, a lot. Then I had to go on a diet and that sucked, but at the time, the sofa and frozen pizza made me happy. When I felt better, I went on a diet. But I had the energy then and wasn’t thinking constantly of what a failure I was. That does wear off.
- I succumbed and got some medication. Just a lil bit. I realized that I wasn’t getting any medals for suffering. Eureka! Honey, They do not give medals for suffering no matter how good you are at it. So, I went to the dr (OB, Internist, most any old doc will do) and cried real tears and told him I was getting a divorce, bless my heart. He pulled out that prescription pad quicker than shit and wrote me for 50 mg of Zoloft. I ended up taking 100 of Zoloft for a long while, then went off but I’m back on 50 now. You still suffer, make no mistake, but it’s bearable. And bearable makes days go by (see *Disclaimer above). Personally, I think that 50 mg of Zoloft should be in our water supply. Like Fluoride.
- I established some rituals with my kids that were ours alone. I sat with them on the sofa and watched funny movies or shows. I tried to save my energy to do fun things with them. I also loosened up with my kids. They were also grieving and had seen me sad often. So, I cut loose with them more. We danced and told questionable jokes and ate frozen pizza on the sofa. We had always eaten at the table, the 5 of us. No more, we ate on the sofa, laughing at stupid stuff and eating frozen pizza and assorted crap.
For like a year. Don’t judge.
They didn’t die of malnutrition and tonight they had baked ham, green beans, rice pilaf and rolls. They are fine, the crisis is over, they probably don’t even remember. They may even miss it.
I probably broke every rule of parenting. But they were physically and emotionally safe every minute. I even let the kids sleep with me sometimes. So what? They were freaked out and having to make a huge adjustment as well. They all sleep in their beds now. No harm no foul, they feel secure.
So, my final recommendation is to do what feels good to you, because you are dealing with a whole lot of things that feel bad. If running gives you power, for God’s sake, Run Forest, Run.
One day I’m going to exercise.
But NOT today.
And probably not tomorrow.
But we wil get through, we will be okay.
Hang in there.