Self, Heartbreak

How I Survived The Loneliness Of Divorce (And You Can, Too)

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How I Survived The Loneliness Of Divorce (And You Can, Too)

Everyone tries to hold it together during the holidays for the family, for the kids, or to try one last time. But reality sets in come that first cold January Monday morning. You think to yourself, "I just can't do this for another year."

I honestly don't remember what month it was when I hit that wall. But I do remember screaming at my (then) husband across the airport, "I want a divorce!" Oh wow, did that feel good... and then, a moment later, I felt terrified. What did I just say?

Getting a divorce is a lot of things — it's paperwork, it's moving, it's mourning and it's being on your own again. I thought I could handle it, but I wasn't prepared for just how lonesome the process is, despite reading advice on how to get over a divorce and move on.

RELATED: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Divorced

I look back at my journals now and wish I let this girl know she will be okay in the end. At the time, though, I was in a dark place full of doubt and fear.

My thought process was as such:

  • I'm lonely.
  • What's going to happen to me?
  • Am I good enough at my job?
  • What am I forgetting to do?
  • I'm so lonely.
  • I don't know if I can take it.
  • What's he doing? Is he okay?
  • Why do I care?
  • How will I get everything done?
  • I don't want to disappoint anyone.
  • What the hell happened to my husband?
  • What happened to me?
  • More importantly, who am I now?

Then, I'd keep thinking similar thoughts, and writing them down:

  • Everything is such an effort. Everything.
  • I should go to sleep now. Eating, sleeping — either I do too much or not enough. I don't want to do either alone.
  • I cannot describe how awful it feels to go through these feelings by myself.
  • I started crying today in my office because everything, is such a mess. I have absolutely zero moments that are stress free, or parts of my life that are in order. My personal life? A mess. My emotional health? Shot to hell. My finances? Drained. My work? Behind. My marriage? OVER.

I share those journal entries because I bet there's a woman out there, reading this right now and feeling just like I did. She needs to know it doesn't have to feel so lonely and things will change.

Are you listening? You won't feel like this forever, I promise. It will get better. You will smile and laugh again. You will regain control of your emotions and your finances, and your career and your life will be yours again. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.

RELATED: A Letter To Myself The Day I Decided To Divorce

Are you wondering what makes me say this? Well, because I did it. I learned how to get over a divorce, I moved out on my own, I pieced my career back together and I chipped away at the debt. Later, I met someone whom I love very much and decided I'd be willing to give marriage another go (albeit, cautiously).

We bought a house and now I have a beautiful baby boy, who is the light of my life, my heart and soul. I'm not just okay; I'm great! Who knew?

Getting a divorce often feels really lonely, but it doesn't have to. I wish someone told me back then what to do. My number one piece of advice? Talk to someone you can trust. Find a friend, a family member, a therapist or coach who you know will give you genuine, non-judgmental feedback.

You don't have to go through this alone; in fact, you shouldn't. You need perspective. You need someone to help you think things through, give you fresh ideas, and help you keep moving forward.

RELATED: How To Find (And Love) Yourself Again After A Harrowing Divorce

Educator and Divorce Recovery Coach, Liza Caldwell is the Cofounder of SAS for Women, a stand-alone action resource that, since 2012, provides strategic coaching, a specialized education, and emotional support for women thinking about divorce or seeking to navigate and thrive beyond their divorce story.