Divorce and Loneliness

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How do you fight the loneliness when going through divorce, especially those first days when your kids are gone? It’s hard to sleep. The mind races. You just want to escape, but there is nowhere you can escape to because that racing mind goes with you. It can be crazy making time. Even if your ex is an ass and you feel somewhat relieved that they are gone, you will go through a mourning period. It’s OK to do that. It is normal to tell everyone how horrible your soon to be ex is, but then go home and miss them all the while wondering why you miss them when you make them sound so horrible.

Allow yourself the grieving time, as much as you need. Try to figure out in your head if it is your ex you miss, or if you just miss having someone there for you when you come home. Maybe you just miss the security of another adult in the house for the times when something goes wrong. Maybe it’s just that there used to be someone you could leave the kids with if you had to run to the store quickly and now you will not be able to make quick runs to the store unexpectedly, unless you take the the kids with you. These are normal feelings. It’s OK to feel glad that this person you hate is gone, but 10 minutes later deeply sobbing because they have left. During divorce, people go through the exact same mourning process that they do when a loved one dies. It makes sense, in a way, it is the death of a relationship. So go through those feelings of loss. Be with people if you need to or stay away from people if you just don’t feel like socializing. Most likely, you will either sleep a lot or hardly at all, maybe go between the two. Many people lose a lot of weight during this time. Of course there is the profound sadness. Your life is changing. Maybe you weren’t prepared for that.

Once you feel a little more acceptance and at peace about the situation, and maybe even a little excited that you get to reinvent your life, where can you go on those lonely days? It’s a very good idea to stay busy and take your mind off of your problems. If you are having serious legal battles, it will help save your sanity. On weekends when the kids are with the other parent, carve that time out for yourself. Make sure to plan something fun. If you have some good friends, make some definite plans and don’t back out if you’re not feeling that great when the day comes. Try your best to go attempt to have fun. Don’t spend the entire weekend on court matters. If your lawyer needs to have your write up any details of your case for him/her, do it so that you can still allow time for fun. Save it for a weeknight if you can.

I know that many people have to also find new friends. I have often joked that my ex got all the friends and I got all the bills. Well, in all honesty, those people were not my friends anyway. I have awesome, awesome, God sent friends now and I wouldn’t trade them for the world! If you need to get out and meet people, there are many ways to do that.

You could volunteer. Is there someplace you have always wanted to volunteer, but never had time? Make the time now. You could volunteer at a school or a homeless shelter or food shelf. You could check in with some senior apartments or assisted living or nursing homes and go visit an elderly person. The senior who has no family to visit would love to see you. You might considering  reading to a blind person or finding a friend there to  play cards with or do a puzzle with. They would love it! 

You could volunteer at church. If you don’t have a church, join one. You could sing in the choir or try something else that they offer. Churches often have groups that you can join, too. My church did not have a singles group when I inquired and so I started one!!!! I never got too many takers, but yet, I tried and it was a great experience for me. 

There are police and fire reserve units that always need volunteers. If you are musically inclined, you could check around with a city near you for a community band and join. If you are looking to meet people there are literally thousands of groups of all different persuasions that you could join at meetup.com. They have groups for card playing, biking, hiking, singles, political groups, parent groups and many other things. Check it out, it’s pretty cool. I remember that I showed a friend of mine that had a Dachshund that they even had a Dachshund owners meetup! 

Do you want or need to increase your income? Go back to school. Trust me, you are never too old (just ask this woman) and you will be able to afford it. Whatever you do, just get out there and get involved. You will be amazed at the people you will meet!

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