“I Am Working On Myself:” The Best Thing a Newly Separated Person Can Say!

By Jackie Pilossoph, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling, Love Essentially columnist and author

I seriously want to hug the woman who sent me the e-mail below! Like almost every newly separated person, she is fearful of the unknown, sad, and lonely. But, she ends her e-mail with, “I am working on myself,” which is really the best thing she can say and do right now. Here is her e-mail:

Jackie,
Newly separated about 10 weeks I left our home of 25 plus years. feel
really panicked at times to go home. Was married 30 yrs. I am living with
my mother and it a big house I’m ok with it, I just need to get some of my
furniture, bed, and I am working on it.

My feelings are over the top with all the unknown. how will it all turn
out in court? Am I doing everything right, am I going to be taken
advantage of. it’s so many emotions.

I am involved with much volunteer work at my church. it helps a lot.
I am lonely for male companionship and am concerned that I will ever meet
someone where I am located.  I am not into dating sites or anything like
that.

I am working on myself. Any suggestions?

My reply:

Do you realize the power of “I am working on myself?” You are so ahead of the game! I cannot count the number of newly separated men and women who either go into victim mode and blame everyone else for their problems, or rush into another relationship to try to put a Band-Aid and fix everything with romance and sex.

So, GOOD FOR YOU for being so insightful and strong! I would love to hear what you are doing for yourself, besides volunteering at your church (which I admire tremendously!!) My suggestions for “working on myself” include things like focusing and enjoying your kids (if you have them), yoga, therapy, faith, exercise, leaning on good friends and family, and taking life day by day.

A couple more things.

Living with your mom

I have no idea what your relationship is like with your mother, but I hope it’s a good one! Enjoy her and take advantage of it. I’m sure you won’t be there for long, so treasure this time with her. If your relationship is strong, you need her now.

The unknowns

Yes, these are very hard to deal with. Being in unfamiliar territory (the divorce process) is scary. It’s a lot of ups and downs and unexpected things (both bad and good.) Try to look at it as a journey, and try to make sound, ethical, UNEMOTIONAL decisions. If you make decisions based on logic instead of anger or bitterness, you will spend less money on your attorneys and be a happier person, in general.

I’m not into dating sites

My suggestion is to make yourself get into dating sites. How about this. Try dipping your toe in the water. What I’m saying is, no need to go crazy and put pressure on yourself to go on 5 dates a week. Start with one. Drive your own car, do not tell the guy where you live, don’t have more than one cocktail (if you go to a bar or restaurant) and see what happens. If you hate it, don’t do it again for a couple months and then try again.

Also, it sounds like you live in a small town and I just want to tell you that there are single people EVERYWHERE. Divorce doesn’t only happen in New York City or LA or Chicago.

Another great way to meet people is to make new friends. Platonic friends. Ask your friends if they know any single people and just go out as friends. I love my guy friends, just as I love my girlfriends. Just be upfront and make sure the guys know it’s platonic (if that’s all you want.) What could end up happening is you could fall into a group of single people and have plans whenever you want. It’s really nice to have that. Plus, you never know who they might know which could lead to a romantic relationship for you.

 

You sound great! Just keep “working on yourself,” as you said. A big part of the hardest part is over for you: your unhappy marriage. You are on your way to a happier, better place!

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Divorce is a journey. Live it with grace, courage and gratitude. Peace and joy are on the way! Jackie Pilossoph is the creator and Editor-In-Chief of Divorced Girl Smiling. The author of the novels, Divorced Girl Smiling and Free Gift With Purchase, Pilossoph also writes the weekly dating and relationships advice column, “Love Essentially”, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press and the Chicago Tribune online. Additionally, she is a Huffington Post contributor. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University.

7 Responses to ““I Am Working On Myself:” The Best Thing a Newly Separated Person Can Say!”

  1. Gina

    I remember having all of these exact same thoughts when I got divorced earlier this year. I thought I’d never meet anyone, thought I’d be sad forever, I couldn’t imagine a “single” future when all I new was a “married” life. But I can honestly say that as unhelpful as it is to hear, time is the only thing that helps. Focus on today and today only. Pretty soon 6 months will have passed and you’ll be happier and healthier. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Tina Cohee

    You ask what else I am doing to work on myself, I do core exercises, read devotionals, volunteer at a Hope House for addicts, worship/sing at Church, loving myself so I can love others, mostly crossing the chicken line LOL, APPRECIATE YOUR BLOG, MANY BLESSINGS TO YOU LADY!

    Reply
    • etboces

      Tina,
      You’re doing a fine job. Keep it up and enjoy your singlehood and your new “you”.

      Reply

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