Hello and welcome to Episode 3 Divorce Thrive, I am Wendy Rovers, Founder and CEO. Your coach and thinking partner. I help moms transition through divorce with grace.
I was thinking about all the times that I felt lonely and isolated while transitioning through divorce and one time in particular popped into my head.
It was time for the boys to go to their dad’s house. I was helping them to gather all their little bags and “blankies” and “stuffies”, while at the same time, showering them with hugs and kisses and talking about the wonderful time they were going to have with dad.
Inside my head and through my whole body I could feel the tears starting to build up.
You see, up until this time in my life I had spent almost every moment with my boys, I was their primary caregiver.
Standing on the porch with a big smile on my face I waved goodbye to my babies. I turned around and the tears started to pour out. I don't know how long I laid down on the mud room floor, but it was quite a long time. I cried and cried.
I cried often.
I knew they needed to spend time with dad just as much as they needed to spend time with me. But I just couldn’t stop this agonizing loneliness I felt when they were not around.
I knew that I needed to help myself out here. I was wasting precious time feeling so lonely and needed to find a way to be more productive. I worked with a coach and a therapist. I did a lot of reading, meditating, journaling, working, thinking, hanging out with friends. I did, and still do, whatever I can to reinvent myself and be better tomorrow than I am today.
Christmas was a difficult time to even spend one minute with my kids. So…one cold winter day, on December 23rd, I made a plan to go for a jog as soon as I waved goodbye to my babies. I put my running shoes on, put my earbuds in, put some music on, and I jogged and walked and cried and sweated, and when I got back home I felt a little bit better.
Slowly, one action at a time, one little teeny step at a time, I made plans to help with my drastic feelings of loneliness and isolation, while my boys were spending important time with dad.
Loneliness is something that everyone experiences when transitioning through divorce. It's part of the journey. It's part of the process. The thing with friends and family is you can lean on them, talk to them, be with them, but eventually they have nothing else to offer you. They've got nothing else to say that is useful for you to move forward.
I know that for myself, I was the only one in my friend group going through divorce, and for me to expect them to understand what I was going through was not fair. I needed to do this on my own and find resources that could help me out.
I know that my friends’ marriages are a great example for my boys. So rather than expect my friends to know what I was going through I decided to just spend tie with them. This extended family that we have has been a blessing in my life and something that I am truly grateful for.
Yes, divorce did happen to you. Yes, it did happen to our family, but a forever marriage is also very possible.
I think a real shift happened when I became aware of the loneliness and isolation in my life, and when I decided that I needed to do something about it. Taking action is not about how you feel. If you are feeling isolated and lonely I understand that. I get it. I've been there.
You may not feel like going for a walk. You may not feel like journaling. You may not feel like exercising. You may not feel like joining a meetup group. But guess what, taking action is the first step. You will have to do some things that are uncomfortable, do some things that are scary if you want to make shifts in your life.
Take action now. Go for a walk or give yourself permission to sit quietly on a bench and give yourself permission to get in touch with yourself, to feel more proactive in your own life, and to know what you want.
What do I want? She knows what you want. I call this your ‘wise her’. She's down there. She knows. She knows what is best for you. She's speaking to you all of the time. The thing is, you might not be listening. You might not be slowing down enough to be able to hear ‘her’. Give yourself permission to take the time to listen and to know what is best for you.
Maybe it's journaling, just start writing, write down a couple things that you would like to do tomorrow. A couple things that you would like to do today. What are your dreams? What are your hopes? What are your goals? What do you want your family to be? What work do you want to do? What do you want? Just start writing some things down, write a poem, write a little story.
You could pick up a book, learn something new, sign up for a course. Think about what work you would like to do, maybe you can't quit your job right now, but you could think about what work you would like to do and start that for an hour or two each week. When the kids aren't with you take that time to start thinking about your dreams.
What are your dreams? Slow down. Give yourself some time, in the midst of this chaos, and this sad and painful time. Give yourself some time to get in touch with your ‘wise her’, get in touch with your intuition, your gut, your dreams, your hopes, the things you've forgotten about you. You may surprise yourself.
I know that she is talking to you. She's there, with you, all of the time. Here's to you first. I hope to inspire you, I hope to give you that little boost of confidence that will help you move forward just a teeny bit to create massive shifts in your life.