Wondering How To Survive Divorce? Here’s The Key

how to survive divorce

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

This is a guest post by Divorce Recovery Coach, Shannon McGorry. McGorry, who personally went through a divorce talks about the moment she figured out how  to survive divorce, and offers that advice to you. So much of this post is in sync with my feelings on how to not only survive divorce, but to end up with a life that brings you happiness, peace and fulfillment.


How to survive divorce: My A-HA moment

The game changer which took me from that indescribable moment to my now incredible life.

by Shannon McGorry, Divorce Recovery Coach

“How am I going to do this?” “How am I going to do this?” I asked myself that question hundreds of times throughout my divorce. It faced me everywhere: brushing my teeth in the morning, pushing the cart in the grocery store, watching my daughters on the pre-school playground, in spin class, driving to my therapist; you get the picture; “How am I going to do this?” I felt like I was underwater, and holding my breath was starting to hurt.

The reality of divorce is indescribable. The emotions and the overwhelming details to sift and suffer through can’t really be put into words: too tough to explain unless you have lived it. I have talked to numerous women who identify with these two thoughts: 1. Finding ourselves in this place makes us question who we are, what our life has become, and how to move forward. and 2. We acknowledge that we either gave away our power or maybe had it taken from us (either intentionally or unintentionally). Like these women, I have experienced divorce first hand and I want to share with you the game changer which took me from those indescribable moments to my now incredible life.

It all started with what I call my A-HA moment. It was a simple yet oh-so-powerful shift in focus. The strength of what I am sharing is in this simple yet powerful step; turn your focus inward, get really clear on you, focus on yourself. The internal shift in focus is what allows us to not only survive divorce but to redefine ourselves and navigate this all important chapter of life very well.


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I know you have one million things to do right now, and it may not seem like you have the luxury to spend time on yourself. Believe me I get it, but I also know the most powerful thing you can do right now is to shift the focus to you. (Now, I don’t mean check out of life and check into the spa,,, although I’m sure that sounds great to a whole lot of us right now!) The powerful shift I am talking about is an internal means of really getting to know who you are because when you know, accept, and love yourself you can make decisions that serve you best…and we know that divorce demands the best of us.

There are numerous ways to create this shift in focus and the beauty of the process is that it is customized by you. The clarity is created by getting in touch with yourself… remembering who you are, the things that you value in life, the experiences that bring you joy, the people whom you would choose to surround yourself with. It’s in the selection of your thoughts, feelings, and actions; the creation of positivity and confidence.

For example, when I shifted my focus inward the most powerful thing I realized was how important my faith was to me. I was able to use that awareness to strengthen and deepen my relationship with God. I developed and shaped my life, made the choices based on my values, and created life experiences with the people I love who so I know joy and fulfillment. And now, I love the journey I am on. Here are some of my go to’s that I use to regain clarity, and shift my focus internally:

I journal.

I revisit my core values to use them as a barometer for decision making.

I reread my list of self-identified strengths and remember ways those strengths have served me.

I schedule time to do one thing a day that brings me joy.

I work on my mindset (the purposeful selection of thoughts).

I listen to one of my go to books or podcasts.

And I make time to meditate and pray so that I can clear out the chaos of the external world and listen to my inner voice.

Feel free to borrow from my list or create your own; but the point is; focus on you. You have to get real with yourself. Now is the time to know, accept, and love yourself; not only for you but for those that you love and care about. I say this from a point of love and respect; to show you all that is possible. Shift your focus; spend some time and energy on you; you are so worth it. Only when we truly know, accept, and love ourselves can we shine our light and love to others.

So, I got my answer to the question that had replayed in my head hundreds of times. It was the powerful shift in focus on myself which empowered me to go from “How am I going to do this?” to living out “THIS is how I am doing this.”

A slight change in words…yes, but more importantly a powerful shift in focus.

With Love, Strength, and Grace,



how to survive divorce


Shannon McGorry is a Divorce Recovery Coach passionate about creating a powerful shift in focus for women who are ready to reclaim their power during and after divorce. Shannon is certified as a Professional Coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching, a graduate of I Heart Coaching, and a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Siena College with a B.A. in Economics.  Her powerful coaching skills lead women toward lives of purpose, fulfillment, and joy; learn more at http://www.lovestrengthandgrace.com.

Like this post? Check out, “15 Survival Tips for Those Going Through A Divorce”



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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at: DivorcedGirlSmiling.com

    2 Responses to “Wondering How To Survive Divorce? Here’s The Key”

    1. Joy Harrell

      Please give me a little insight. After being with my husband for 22 years we decided to divorce back in October 2018. We signed final paperwork march of 2019. It was very fast. I am just wondering how to get though this. I have good moments and there are times I am so deep in the grief I have a hard time pulling myself out. I know in my head that it was the right thing but my heartache is so very deep. I have read almost all your blogs on this site. I have been with him since I was 19. I have God, a counselor, mentor, friends, family my church all in my corner. We have 3 adult children. I have never been though something so deep like this. I don’t speak to him much only if it has to do with the kids. He was my world and I stuck by him though his alcoholism and getting sober, 2 DUIs, a job loss, 4 affairs, and a bunch of other crap. I was not perfect. But what is wrong with me that I still grieving. Just hoping to feel a little different at some point.

      • Jackie Pilossoph

        There is nothing wrong with you at all! You are grieving. 22 years is a long time, and I think people grieve the loss of what is familiar to us. I guess try to remember that there was a reason or reasons the two of you decided to split up. Focus on those reasons instead of remember all the good things (which our minds tend to do to cope.) Cheating, alcoholism, DUI’s, job loss, that is a lot that you had to deal with. You deserve to NOT have to deal with those things and instead, focus on YOU, YOUR life, your kids and getting enjoyment out of life every single day. I’m not sure if you have started dating (or are interested) but there are some really realy wonderful people out there who don’t have these kinds of problems. You deserve someone wonderful. Or, if you just want to be by yourself, that is OK too! But do something you really love with your time and spend it with those you love and care for. I hope this helps.


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