I spoke to a divorcee the other day, like I do everyday, and gave them the divorce euphoria followed by slump speech. We often during our divorce are operating on such high stress levels that we are living on adrenaline. We may be dodging exes texts, lawyers, struggling emotionally and financial and often we can feel like we are constantly under attack, by the unpredictable turns the divorce process can take. During my divorce, I was under so much stress that I could literally barely function, I became a skeleton of my former self both literally and figuratively.
During the high stress period of negotiations, court dates, meditations and hearings, we can fixate on the end of this mess. We just want it all to end, to be divorced, to see it in black and white and you think that this closure will propel you to a life of utter happiness instantly. In that moment all you want is for it to be over. This in part is true, the relief that does indeed come is initially euphoric, you feel a huge sense of relief. Even when you know you are being taken advantage of or maybe didn’t get the custody you wished for, your reaction at least in the very short term is joy. You throw divorce parties (which I highly encourage) maybe you book a trip you always wanted too, maybe you get plastic surgery, or buy a crazy sports car in a final act of defiance to your ex. What ever you do there is no right or wrong answer, and you should in some way celebrate that you made it through this difficult process at all.
What you may not be prepared for though is the slump that comes for almost everyone after the divorce settlement papers arrive.
It maybe the realization highlighted in written form that you are no longer anyone’s wife or husband. It may be as you start to implement what you now know is your children’s forever shuffling schedule, that you feel the permanency of the change that comes with divorce. We may just still be saddened, angry, in love with or a mix of all of these with our ex and feel they some how got away with something untoward in the court system.
Whatever the reason is the slump that comes is a normal part of the grieving and adjustment stage.You may want to actually deny you are in a slump and bury your self in dodgy tinder dating apps and large quantities of margarita. This though is not the best way to deal with the slump.I am a big believer in allowing your self to feel whatever emotions you are feeling, to grieve how ever you see fit, to acknowledge that this part of your life is truly over. It is so important to realize that you are never alone on this journey 2.4 million other Americans are feeling these things to on any given year. Everything you think and feel I assure you someone is also feeling.
The best course of action is to prepare for the slump, to start straight away thinking, focusing and redirecting your thoughts and energy on what you want your new life to be. Each positive action causes another positive in your life, we are all just humans and having an plethora of emotions during any life changing events always is normal.
Divorce is the second most stressful life event anyone can endure, do the best you can, stay connected to friends and family, join support groups or communities like DreamsRecycled.com. Make sure you are practicing positive self love, and brace your selves for a roller coaster ride of emotions not just during the process but even long after it is gone.
Each day is a blessing and with a little work, a huge dollop of positivity and a healthy realistic expectation of what divorce will initially be like, you can indeed not only weather but excel after divorce.