Divorce is hard. Let's get the stigma that you have to feel great right afterwards and that you couldn't have waited long enough for its realization out of the window and face the reality. Whether you've had children or not, you were a family. You desired to spend the rest of your life with that person. But as life existed without them, it will most certainly do so without them. The reinvention of your life does not need to be something huge and bubbly and the best forever, but it is yours. Therefore, why not try it out? Here are some ideas to help you get started after the rocky weather.
Give yourself time to grief
As said previously, divorces and separations are tough situations to deal with. It can feel like a part of you, a version of your future died. Therefore, it is completely normal to give yourself time to be sad, to grieve, to process, and recuperate. It is ok to ghost everyone, to call your friends or family, to underperform at work and, in life generally. Allowing yourself to feel all of your emotions will aid your long-term recovery. Even if bringing up negative emotions is painful, the healing process cannot begin without allowing your sentiments to surface.
Enjoy yourself by yourself
When a structure you have built and held on to for years is broken, you feel stuck. Planning many of the life events and activities as a couple became a habit, a normality that suddenly does not exist. If you have children or pets, the matters can complicate more, although that certainly doesn't mean that your time for yourself doesn't exist. Try going into it slowly, give yourself a spa night, a movie night, an activity day, visit a new store, try a new coffee shop or a restaurant. Pamper yourself and build a relationship anew.
Seek legal professional help
People seem to underestimate the impact that a separation can have on the parties previously involved, especially, if there was no signed marriage. But nothing could be further from the truth. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers state that long-term relationships (legally referred to as “de facto relationships”) are becoming increasingly popular. They also explained that the laws for this type of relationship are changing, resulting in the need for a divorce and family lawyer for separations and other legal issues that may arise.
Seek professional help in therapy
Another type of help you might want to consider is therapy. There are many patterns we adopt in communal living conditions, along with pent-up emotions, stress, and other possible mental health issues that come with living in a stressful environment. That certainly does not mean that you need years of therapy and medications, but the support during the period of transition may be one of the key factors to help you deal and heal with what has happened.
Pick up a new activity, hobby, or a habit
The best way to newly discover yourself is to put yourself in new conditions. You certainly were interested in an activity, a career, or even in a certain style – you can choose to do and present yourself however you wanted. If that has been a part of the common issues in your marriage, it is the perfect time to see yourself in a new light, the ‘you’ you have been hiding from yourself. If you feel you’ve been neglecting yourself for the past few years, that all changes after a divorce. You really, truly are free.
Make new memories
Every day truly is a new day and a new opportunity. New places, new wardrobe, new activities, and even old places in the new context can be rewritten in your mind map as a happy, not a place of sadness or nostalgia. If friends are the family we choose on our own, don’t forget to spend time with them! Even if you feel bad about yourself, you don’t need to stay that way. When meeting with a friend or a family member, bring a small gift. Even a small fruit bar or a few flowers are enough to make someone’s day better, instantly mending yours too.
Avoid indulgence in negative feelings and habits
The darkness we are facing with the emptiness of the time, space, bed, silent phone is not to be underestimated. The painful loss is proven to cause physical pain, and numbing yourself with unhealthy food, drinking, scrolling, or others can easily turn into an unhealthy habit. Do not let someone or something else take over the life you have just started building for yourself. Enjoy your newly given power, and do not let the negativity get the best of you. The worst must stay behind.
You are not alone
The divorce rate in Australia is at 1.9 divorces per 1,000 people in 2020. It is only a rate for one year. Taking into account that the low status of de facto relationships has changed, there are even more unreported separations taken into account. Life is not a straight line, and certainly not a planner you can write a schedule in and do it. Your life never stops, and neither should you. The rest and the down phases are only preparations for future excitements!
Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, and her ultimate passion is art and architecture. She is also a bibliophile and her favourite book is "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.