My Own Little Holiday advice & strategies celebrating courage and resilience divorced with kids emotional rollercoaster emotions & emotional inventory moving on after divorce my letting go ceremony relationships & communication triggers & the inner critic

Last fall what I affectionately refer to as my “Un-Divorce” finally became FINAL after a mere seven and a half year process.  Initially I was jumping for joy and popping the bubbly because this Mama was hot to trot and ready to prowl!  By December and contrary to what I thought was “normal”, I felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck.  There were so many emotions seeping to the surface, then like a toddler they were whining for my undivided attention. Darkness surrounded me and I was breathless.  I was speechless.  Why were these emotions surfacing again and so intensely?

I surrendered to my grief.

Seventeen days of rain and the sappy movies on TV made me feel worse, you know the ones where the woman always finds her happily ever after?  Her life gets tied up with a red ribbon in less than ninety minutes.  Snotty nosed and spotty faced, the result of chronic ugly crying episodes, I left the safety of my couch only to restock the essentials; Cookies and Kleenex.

To add fuel to my emotional pyre, this was the first year neither one of my sons would be home for Christmas.  Here is the visual…….No shower for three days, so I was sticky, snotty and spotty AND on a sugar rush.  Not a very pretty picture, even in cute pajamas.

GRIEF…..  Unless you have experienced divorce, you may not be able to understand how much it REALLY sucks.  Divorce is on the list of the top five stressors in life (death, divorce, moving, job loss and serious illness).  Not only was I struggling to get divorced for seven years, I moved three times, struggled with clinical depression and changed jobs twice after a lay off!  And I might as well add the stress of being a Modern Day Mother. (Thank God I survived to bitch about this.)

(Thank God I survived to bitch about this.)

It is not like my “X” died – in fact in some ways that may be easier! I wouldn’t have to think about him with his new girlfriend or his white carpeted pied-a-terre.  (actually the list is quite long but I restrained myself to the top two on my list!)  My grief meant I was letting go of my happily ever after and facing the future alone.

My body vibrated with fear.  Most of my critical voices are female but this one was definitely male.  It bellowed, “Will you grow old alone?  Will you ever find true love?  Will your sons be impacted by the divorce and never have healthy relationships?  You are pretty old to be starting over.”  on and on an on…….

While treading the muddy waters of the last decade, I learned that two things would be important in order to keep myself healthy and my mind present.

  1. Give back—volunteer. Find a way to help others and practice kindness.
  2. Commit to self-care and not only cultivate “My Girlfriend Voice” but let her flourish!

Following MGV, I researched various types of...

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