Going through a separation and a divorce can bring on a rollercoaster of complex emotions.
This is an emotional journey where you may feel overwhelmed and afraid of the unknown.
This is more than just a break up, it includes both legal and financial consequences.
Many people going through a process of divorce or separation neglect the turbulence of emotions that they are experiencing.
Divorce can be a taboo subject, one that people dance around and avoid talking about. Most people feel ashamed about divorce and they tend to bottle their emotions, but there are things you can do to help you cope with this adjustment and lifestyle change. Talking and expressing your feelings are a healthy way to cope with your emotions and to help others in similar situations.
When we get caught up in the ins and outs of daily life it can become difficult to take care of yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually. This can happen when you are not going through a divorce, it becomes harder when you are dealing with a significant life changing event.
During a stressful or uncertain time, it’s good to take time to do positive things for both your body and your mind. Try not to distract yourself with unhealthy tendencies such as, alcohol and food. The more stressed your body feels the more likely you are to make rash decisions. Use your stress to focus on more productive activities such as, exercise and new hobbies.
Allow yourself to Grieve: A divorce can cause grief, pain, confusion, and even fear. The important thing about these emotions is identifying them and allowing yourself to go through a grieving process. Remind yourself that you need to be gentle on yourself, and you will be able to re-build your life. Understand that the situation you are in now is not something that will last forever.
It is okay to feel defeated and ashamed, but you can build your self-esteem back up. Everyone grieves differently and your emotions are going to go up and down, this is a non-linear process. Many people describe divorce as losing a large piece of their life. Try to re-build that void by finding yourself as an independent person. Let yourself heal from the inside out, resist the urge to attach to someone else and focus on your inner happiness and healing.
Have a Support System: It is easy to push out emotions down and tell ourselves that we are fine, but this is not a healthy way to cope with a big change like divorce. Creating a group of people that are not judgmental will help you with two major pieces of coping: a safe place to cope and vent and a constructive way to cope.
It is important to realize you are not alone in this journey and you can find solace from a therapist, group of friends, or an anonymous online forum. A combination of these people can make this emotional and draining experience feel a little bit better. Allow yourself to open up to the people around you and let them help you re-build yourself and your self-esteem. Sometimes it takes a village.
This is a task is probably the last thing on your mind when thinking about your divorce. When the decision to get a divorce is made it comes with a long list of “to-do’s” and “should-do’s” This list can range from dealing with finances, legalities, attorneys, and emotional fallout. Many people describe these things as “urgent” and can feel overwhelmed with the process of divorce.
The best way to help with this is to understand that divorce and separation is a process and with any process it will not happen overnight. There will be things you will need to address immediately, but there are other things that can wait. Organize your “to-do’s” and “should-do’s” by priority. Allow yourself to understand that not everything has to be done immediately.
You have a Choice:
Divorce will test all of your strength, but in this process, you will realize that you have a choice to make. You have the ability to find a support system, educate yourself about the legalities surrounding the divorce, and empower yourself with coping mechanisms, or you have the ability to let this defeat you. This is an experience that can empower you to stand up on your own two feet if you let it. Take the time to understand your situation and take the extra steps to power through this.
You are not Alone!
Finding help is crucial and you can look to different people to aid you during this journey.
Find a counselor: A counselor can help you work through your emotions through a process called cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a type of therapy that does not use medication, it focuses on giving you the tools to succeed.
Divorce Counseling: Counselors can help you as you go through an adjustment period. They aid in your personal growth and development, and they are there to help you work through sorrow and grief.
If you start experience lack of sleep, too much sleep, an irregular eating pattern (disorder), or quick changes in emotion.
When Should you Seek Counseling?
When you are unable to stop thinking about things you need to do or that relate to your marriage.
When you are un-able to create future plans or concentrate on the future.
If you feel like you are becoming depressed.
If you are being consumed by feelings or anger, rage, aggression, and isolation.
When you are using substances to try to control your feelings.
When you are frightened and unsure of where to begin.
If you have difficulty seeing a new life after divorce or separation.
What are the Benefits of Divorce Counseling?
Divorce counselors can help you gain control in your life and they can help you with your new family dynamic. Always chose a counselor that you feel comfortable with, you will want to feel confident sharing your stories and your feelings with this person. Counseling is a proven method that allows you to see a difference in your attitude. It is a way to help you understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling these emotions. Counselors can provide a productive environment for you to release your emotions.
A counselor can help you understand the entire process and the emotions you feel as you are going through the process of divorce.
They may be able to help you identify your feelings of grief, or the feelings surrounding your spouse and the institution of marriage. Identifying these feelings are critical as you are coping with divorce.
Creates a safe space where you can share your feelings and gives you support for the new feelings you may encounter.
Expert counselors are able to help correct the distortions that you are thinking, further correcting your coping process.
Help you manage anger, loss, and frustration and they can help you use your energy in a more productive way.
Gives you the tools to assert yourself when creating a better and happier life.
Allows you to see that you can be happy again.
Helps you strengthen your communication skills and allows you to believe in yourself again.
Call Dr. Clare Albright, Psy.D., Clinical Psychologist CA License PSY11660 at (949) 454-0996 or go to