And, finally, I got myself a lawyer. She was able to walk me through the reality of getting a divorce and what being divorced would look like. And how much it would cost. Information for me is very powerful.
It makes me feel like I have some control of my outcome. Talking to her gave me the clarity I needed to be able to move forward confidently.
#3 – Make a plan for the future.
After talking to my lawyer, I realized that, for the rest of my life, I was going to have to take care of myself. I was scared out of my mind.
I had been mostly a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and all of a sudden I was going to be responsible for taking care of myself financially, for doing my own taxes, for finding healthcare and for figuring out how to fix things that broke in my house. I was very overwhelmed and didn’t know how I was going to handle it.
So I started to think about where I wanted to live, what I wanted my life to look like, what I wanted to do now that I was on my own. I realized that, while being alone was scary, it was also give me a certain amount of freedom. For the first time in 20 years, I could live the way I wanted to live. Realizing that really helped me cope with feeling depressed because for 20 years I had been unhappy and I knew that now I was in charge of fixing my unhappiness.
Next, I made plan. I came up with a list of things that I was going to need to consider for my future and I came up with a list of people who could support me when I needed support. I found myself a financial planner. I found myself a CPA to help me with my taxes. I found myself a handyman who could help me with those things around the house that I couldn’t take care of myself.
Lastly, I did the math. I figured out what my expenses were so I knew what kind of money I was going to need going forward to survive. Armed with that knowledge, I was able to secure the kind of alimony that I would need to get myself back on my feet.
Making a plan, having an idea of what my future looked like and how I was going manage, really helped me to cope with my feeling depressed while going through my divorce.
#4 – Take care of yourself.
Fortunately for me, when I was going through my divorce, I didn’t drink. While I hadn’t been much of a drinker for the previous 20 years, I have to admit that the inclination to drink a bottle of wine on a lonely night at home was often very attractive. I am glad i didn’t though. I think had I indulged in a bottle of wine I might’ve struggled more with figuring out what I needed to do to move forward.
Instead of drinking wine I did yoga. I did yoga every single day. When my brain started running out of control, I would use yoga to bring it back. When I started feeling like I was not going to survive, I used yoga to make my body feel stronger.
I also made a big effort to spend a lot of time in the sunshine because it’s warmth made me feel healthy and strong and the Vitamin D from the sun helped alleviate my depression.
And, of course, I ate well, as well as I could at least, and made a big effort to get enough sleep.
I know, in retrospect, that taking care of myself and keeping my mind and my body strong really helped me get through this divorce intact and helped alleviate my pain when I was feeling depressed.