After two divorces he found that there were four stages everyone goes through, and 12 key lessons to take away.
I have been divorced twice. I’m not proud of it. Just saying those words feels uncomfortable. But it is the truth. So I say it, and have learned to accept it. I’ve even gone a step further and written a book about it.
In A Forgotten Friend: Rediscovering Yourself During and After Divorce, I tell a very personal story of my struggles through divorce and what I learned (twelve key lessons.) I also share how through my divorces I came to discover four stages of divorce (Reeling, Dealing, Feeling and Healing.)
One of the key tools that helped me grow through divorce was writing. It took the form of journal entries and poetry. (I included several of my poems and a journal entry in the book also.)
Even though the theme of the book is a dark subject, it is basically a book about hope. It is a book that is intended to help other men (and women) have an easier time adjusting to the strain and struggles brought on by divorce.
Here is an excerpt from the chapter titled “Your One-Two Punch: Key Lessons #1 and #2.”
Key #1: Lean on your friends and family for emotional support
Friends and family were a big help. They provided the emotional support that helped me get through and heal from divorce.
If you are going through a divorce, I strongly encourage you to reach out to your friends and family for emotional support.
During your divorce, you may be surprised where your support comes from (and where it doesn’t.) This was one of the biggest surprises I experienced during divorce.
People I barely knew provided significant emotional support. Yet, some I considered close friends provided little or none.
This hurt, and was hard to accept; but I learned I shouldn’t take it personally.
You shouldn’t take it personally either. Here’s why. Each of these people has had different experiences with divorce and with divorced people in their lives.
It’s hard to know exactly what memories and feelings your divorce triggered for them. Most likely something from their past is influencing their behavior much more than anything related to you or your divorce.
Divorce tells you who your real friends are … and who they aren’t.
In his book The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt sums this up well:
“…some friends and family members rise to the occasion and look for any way they can express support or be helpful. Others turn away…”
In addition to emotional support from friends and family, I also found great comfort in writing.
My writing consisted of both journal entries and poetry. In fact, the writing just poured out of me.
I believe writing helped me on two levels.
First, writing about my thoughts and feelings, helped me better deal with and understand them. That is, writing helped me to make sense of them. It helped me realign my emotional compass.
Second, it was especially helpful that some of my writing came out as poetry. Poetry was a creative outlet. At this sad and lonely time of my life, having a creative outlet was something my spirit needed. Writing poetry gave me a sense of purpose.
Due to the healing power that writing had on me, I chose to make it a significant part of this book.
- Who are the people I can lean on for emotional support? Make a list.
- Have I ever tried journaling my thoughts and feelings?
- If yes, in what ways did it help me?
- If no, will I take the first step and journal for ten minutes today?
I hope this little snippet from my healing process will inspire you to move further in your own process. Starting today.