Life after divorce is challenging especially if you are going to refrain from running out and starting a new relationship or drinking your sorrows away, which we all know simply makes things worse. After my divorce, and from time to time over the years, I come across a phenomenon that drives me crazy. It happens at church, in the grocery store, at the park, driving down the street, and watching tv. It hits me from nowhere and nearly brings me to tears, sometimes it does.
What I am talking about is loneliness or the sense of loss or what could have been. Consider this – Sitting in a church service all is going well, and the couple in front of you seem to be having a grand time as she gently rubs her husband’s back. Then you start looking around, and the whole damn place is filled with couples… they all seem so happy and even look the same age as you are. What the heck is going on, why can’t I have this?
I can apply this same scenario to the grocery store, parks, going to events with friends and much more. I remember one time I went to an outdoor festival for kids and I was without a child that day, but I thought it would be fun to go and do some photography. Only after a few short minutes of being there, I was overwhelmed with the emotion of self-pity and anxiety. All I could see were happy kids with their parents having a grand time. As I high-tailed it out of there, I was nearly in tears.
Why is it when we lose something, whether it is good or bad, we seem to be able to see nothing else. Like when a smoker quits smoking, the same thing occurs. It is nerve-racking, and the same when it comes to a loss of relationship with a spouse and or children. We miss that relationship at times or at least what it represented, and sometimes it seems to be all we can focus on.
Here are few tips that I have used to get me through some of these crazy times:
- Change your focus, I realize that when I get like this, I am focusing on what I want. Find something else to focus on, help as helping out a complete stranger.
- Remove yourself from the situation. I see nothing wrong with doing this, but then again I am not a counselor. I don’t feel we should always run from these types of things, but there is a time when we are ready for something and a time when we aren’t.
- Find a quiet corner at home and cry… yes, I said it and have done it. It does help to feel better.
- Deep breathing helps as well as smiling, and thoughts of joyful memories can also improve such situations.
- If at church I simply close my eyes and listen to the worship and teaching. Sometimes you learn more that way, just don’t fall asleep.
- Read your bible and pray to God, let Him know how you are feeling.
- Journaling can help by getting your feelings out on paper. That is why I have a website.
- Don’t expect this to happen all the time. For me, it happened a lot the first couple months, and now it usually happens the first part of spring when love is in the air – blah blah.
- Affirmations! Jason are you wacko? Why yes, I am – but affirmations do work, and I use them. “I am worthy of being loved and God is preparing the path at this very moment.”
- Attend a singles group at church. No couples there!
- Go over your “to do” list in your head, if you do it out loud, people might thing you are crazy.
This is how I see it; my mind has found something to focus on, something that has powerful emotions associated with it. You need to break that connection by giving it something different to think about. Sometimes this is easier said then done but it is VERY doable. Not all the above will work when you are in public or private, but then again these feelings come at different times. My favorite is the “to do” list when in public, that is if I am not making a mad dash for the door.
I am sure there are many more ways to deal with your feelings, and you will discover them for yourself. Remember that you can choose how you are going to feel and you don’t want to let times like these make you angry or bitter. It is a withdrawal symptom, craving so to speak, it will pass. Think on all the blessings that God has for you because He does have a plan for you and it is greater than you can ever imagine.