Rediscover who you are post-divorce
Getting your life back after a divorce is perhaps the most difficult part of recovering. When we are in a marriage our whole person gets intertwined with the habits of someone else. We get used to this person texting us, supporting us, being on the other end of the phone when we need them, and we operate around the relationship whether the relationship was healthy or unhealthy. It is discombobulating when we get out.
Here are seven ways to get back to yourself:
- Who Were you Before?: Think back to who you were before the relationship started? Think of the things about yourself you liked which somehow got put to the wayside when you fell in love and got married. Get back to and begin with those qualities and give them a re-birth. Put your energy into those aspects of you that you loved and lost.
- Love Yourself: To be happily taken, you must be happily single first. Start fresh. Start a new life with a new goal in min… that being you loving yourself. If you feel you don't know who you are after a divorce get deliberate and start loving yourself any way you can. Take care of yourself in the same ways you have taken care of others. Do for yourself. You deserve it.
- Fill in the Spaces: Get busy and creative. You may feel like you have a Grand Canyon's worth of time and space in your life to fill, which feels daunting, so fill your time. Find new projects to start, new ways to get out and socialize, lean on your friends and family and keep busy. If you stop moving you go against life which will increase the pain, so get moving.
- Less is more: Let go of your ex. Do not text him/her, seek revenge, or act crazy. The best revenge is for you to hunker down and commit to yourself quietly. Your quiet will make your ex a lot more curious about you then any revenge-noise you make. Work quietly and let your newfound growing happiness speak for itself.
- Be the best You: Get yourself in top shape on all levels. Read and journal. Get to know yourself more deeply. Go to therapy, join a new group. Exercise and eat correctly. Make sure to get enough sleep. To be your best Self you have to take care of this physical body to have an emotionally healthy life-adjustment. We feel more attractive when we are committing to holding strong through a challenge, which increases our self-esteem.
- It's Not the End of the World: It feels like the end of the world when we lose a significant love and it's important to experience this feeling, but remember it is a feeling and not a reality. The initial shattering and the experience of your stark separateness is the most painful phase, but also the most temporary in your healing. In reality it is not the end of the world. It is the end of that old life and the rebirth of a new life where you now have sole control over creating whatever it is you want your life to be. It is an opportunity. Keep your mind focused on that as you travel through your pain.
- Have Faith: It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, especially if you did not want the divorce. However, the relationship had reached its capacity or it would not have broken. Whatever is empty will soon be filled again, and if you do the work you need to do to love yourself whatever is to come will be good or better than what left.
To get back to yourself, you have to love who you are. Get back those lost and discarded pieces of you that were put to the side. Learn how to keep those pieces of you present so you do not give them up again. These are the things which make you who you are. We are all the happiest when we are being loved for being 100% authentic.
Sherapy Advice: Breathe.
Sherrie Campbell, PhD is a veteran, licensed Psychologist with two decades of clinical training and experience providing counseling and psychotherapy services to residents of Yorba Linda, Irvine, Anaheim, Fullerton and Brea, California. In her private practice, she currently specializes in psychotherapy with adults and teenagers, including marriage and family therapy, grief counselling, childhood trauma, sexual issues, personality disorders, illness and more. She has helped individuals manage their highest high and survive their lowest low—from winning the lottery to the death of a child. Her interactive sessions are as unique and impactful as her new book, Loving Yourself : The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.
She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology in 2003 and has regularly contributes to numerous publications, including Intent.com, Beliefnet.com, DrLaura.com and Hitched.com. She is also an inspirational speaker, avid writer and proud mother. She can be reached at Sherriecampbellphd.com