Before you get too excited this week’s post is not about dating! A dear friend who just happens to be a successful writer and business owner has been putting pen to paper (or perhaps more correctly fingers to the keyboard!) and writing a series of articles for my collection. So, let me introduce you to my friend Liz who has made me really proud over the past months as she has been living the rollercoasters of divorce with style and pride (and many a tear along the way!)
As a I cried into the shoulder of one of my best friends at the very beginning of my separation, devastated that my marriage had ended, crushed that I would be considered “damaged or used goods”, scared my world would never be the same ever again, frustrated that my ex-husband couldn’t see or understand my decision and just praying to the universe that the significant change I had made would see my fairy-tale ending come true – I looked at her with tears streaming down my face …and she simply said:
“Divorcees are hot!” – and then we laughed, hysterically.
What else could we do? If you don’t laugh, you’ll go mental.
That’s the life of a separated person…sadness, fear, frustration and doubt can be quickly replaced with laughter, happiness, satisfaction and optimism, however fleeting those moments might be.
Hi, I’m Liz, I’m 34, I’m a modern businesswoman and I’m at the pointy end of my separation. I’ll be a “hot divorcee” in about three months.
I’m also a writer – I have been since I could pick up a pencil – but I swear nothing works better for me when I’m stressed than to take a moment and write. During my separation I have written in my journal – or iPad/laptop/notebook/scrap piece of paper – almost every day. When I am having a meltdown, mini or major, I write – and it helps.
I’ll hanging out on the Happy Family Lawyer blog every month, sharing my divorce diaries, tales, feelings and tips in the hope you simply know you’re not alone, your feelings are normal and while you aren’t the first and won’t be the last, it’s still your journey. It’s personal and individual.
On many occasions I’ve doubted my decision to leave. I’ve questioned why, I’ve second guessed myself, I’ve been up and down, inside out and found myself going around and around and around. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions – wouldn’t you agree? I’m sure I just heard you scream YES!
But in the face of adversity, I’ve taken solace in the great things that have happened too. I’ve also had some wonderful experiences. I’ve got to meet new and exciting people (business, friendship and pleasure), reconnect with old friends (boyfriend from Year 7, best friend from high school and colleague relationship that had fallen out), try new things (hello bungee jumping), do whatever I want (Bali at Christmas) and generally start to create my own world.
For at least 12 months, even longer, I’ve put myself through a lot physically and mentally. Separation and even the thought of it may do that to you. You do what you can to get through it, right? But it’s really important to stop and reflect on this…you’ve achieved a lot too, you know? Have a little think about that for a moment.
Not only did I leave my relationship of 15 years (we were married for three), I left the life I knew, my house, my dog, my possessions, my home office, my friends in the neighbourhood – my comfort zone. I moved in with some of my best girlfriends – I actually moved four times in about eight months – I’ve been on two major holidays (one in Australia and one internationally), I’ve put my house on the market, I’ve also been growing my business and I’ve been working on myself personally.
My friends and family often say they are in “awe” of me. Their words. I get called strong, amazing and positive. While I am flattered, I am simply trying to do the best I can given my situation as I’m sure you are too.
Staying positive helps me get through the miserable, wretched and dark days. It helps me bounce back more quickly. A bounce back took a week, then three days, now it’s less than 24 hours…sometimes. I still have sad days. I’m still a little all over the place, just not as much as I was. I have come to realise this is all very normal.
I have acted with grace whenever dealing with my ex-husband. I have been compassionate. I have been nice. I have understood that he is heartbroken and sad … even though at times I have wanted to scream at him, call him names and drag up things from the past. I did that twice. I’m not innocent or above all of this. But I quickly found it made me feel awful and it didn’t get me anywhere, so why bother? He’s on his own journey too.
I have been blessed to be surrounded by super supportive people – especially my family, friends and my bestie. They have helped me keep a level head, choose my battles and let things go.
I honestly believe at some point my ex-husband and I will be friendly – maybe even friends – in the future.
And I still stand by my decision to make myself happy and create a new life, one that I have designed through joy, happiness and love. I still believe in love; both finding it and keeping it.
I want to look back on my separation and my divorce and be proud of the way it panned out, how I conducted myself and the outcomes I achieved.
That will be an achievement.