You’d think a Divorce Coach would have it covered. I had just started my business after helping a close friend navigate her post-divorce life. I was confident in my mission – to help women get through divorce with emotional and tactical support. My husband and I agreed not to duke it out in court, we’d remain amicable for the sake of the grown kids and we’d both come out unscathed.
Armed with my new Divorce Coaching certification, I launched The Divorcierge, hung my shingle and then went through my own divorce experience. Instead of having a distraction to keep me busy helping others, I found myself paralyzed. 25 years of marriage do not end lightly, regardless of how amicable you are.
I was excited about my newfound independence. What I didn’t realize was – that independence comes with being alone – a lot. I’d spend hours staring out the window unable to focus. My daughter refused to visit me, later telling me that she felt if she didn’t visit, we weren’t really divorced. After being a stay-at-home mom for 15 years, it didn’t occur to me that I’d miss the interruptions while I was on the phone, the dinner planning that never had the exact right mix of foods, the nudging to get my daughter to do her homework. All the things that I had taken for granted were no longer part of daily living.
No matter how prepared you think you’re going to be, you can’t plan for the unknown. We know life will change dramatically after divorce, with new homes, new relationships, new responsibilities, and yet we can’t anticipate the little things that will trigger us – The moments when we have a quick question that there’s no one to ask or the times we are watching a show that we want to comment on to someone, or the days when no one comes home for dinner.
Divorce can be unbearably lonely, and yet, once the dust settles, you find a new way of being. Eventually, I learned to accept the ups and downs of the journey. I learned that this process would be an evolution, not a spontaneous change. I spent time figuring out who I was and what I really wanted for my future. I turned my self-pity into self-help and eventually into helping others. I can now look back at that time with awe and recognition. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and grateful that I was able to get here and use my experience in the service of others.
You can’t always choose your path but you can choose how you show up on that path. There will be twists and turns and bumps and dips but they will get smaller and less frequent. Before you know it, you will be living a life you got to choose, and what an amazing opportunity that is!
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