Today, I am rip roaring mad!!!!! I think it’s finally hit me over the head with a frying pan. Up until now I have been heartbroken and devastated and if I’m being honest, desperate. Today, I’m just MAD…
Let me ask you a question. What’s the BIGGEST roller coaster you’ve ever ridden? Take that answer and multiply it tines five. Yes, FIVE!! The emotional rollercoaster of divorce is absolutely the MOST up, down and all- around journey you will take. It is most often compared to the emotional rollercoaster of grief. There is nothing you can do to prepare for it. The most you can do is brace yourself for it, because inevitably, it will happen. You will be sad, mad, lonely, tearful, absolutely fine, then repeat again and again.
There’s no timetable I can give you on how long the rollercoaster will last. For each woman, that timeframe is unique. It depends on several factors such as time married, reason for divorce, who initiated the divorce, the divorce aftermath, kids impacted and more. I’ve been divorced twice and each time, the rollercoaster looked completely different.
Here’s a few tips I can give you in regards to the rollercoaster and your anger about divorce:
1. Honor your feelings.
They are valid and should not be stifled. Like guests, your feelings should visit, then leave. Feelings are not permanent residents in your mind. Do not give them the space to LIVE in your head. Remember, they are temporary and at any point you have the power to make them leave.
2. What’s the pattern?
I love to journal. I record my feelings and what brought on the feeling. I then look for patterns. So, if watching the Lifetime Channel brings on feelings of sadness, then I limit my time surfing that channel. If my best emotional days come after spending time with certain friends, then I do more of that to increase my joy. Figure out the triggers and proceed accordingly.
Women are the best at making sure others are OK while often sacrificing ourselves. I encourage you to treat yourself to those things that you enjoy. Whether it’s taking a long walk, picking flowers, sewing or working out- do what makes you happy! It’s critical to your emotional wellness.
4. Support System.
No one likes riding a rollercoaster alone. Having a support system during and post-divorce is key. Take a look at your list of friends and family. Who’s the person most calming, nurturing and logical? Find that person and if your feelings are safe with them, recruit them as your “person.” If you can’t identify your “person”, get a therapist or coach. Either of them will give you an action plan on getting through this tough time.
In closing, know that if you are angry about divorce, and if you are feeling a multitude of feelings, this is normal. What is not normal is living in your head, having unsafe thoughts or worse. If this happens, seek help immediately. I hope this helps you. Please stay in touch and let us/me know how things are going. Take care and know that this too shall pass!
Debbie LeSean is a divorce expert and life coach to high achieving women executives navigating the divorce funnel. She is an author, public speaker & founder of the nonprofit, 2LIVE Daily, which helps families navigate the mental health maze. Debbie helps women remove the executive mask to gain clarity on their goals and purpose, and achieve a breakthrough. A graduate of V.C.U. and Liberty University, Debbie uses her degrees in Counseling & Executive Leadership to shift mindsets, eliminate limiting belief and release the emotional heaviness that often accompanies divorce. Debbie is a two-time divorcee who took the time to heal WHOLE before stepping into the “best relationship ever.” To connect with Debbie, you can email her at email@example.com or visit her website at debbielesean.com.
Like this article? Check out, “The Emotional Stages of Divorce”