5 Steps: Healing from Divorce
Updated: May 24
Never in a million years would I have guessed I’d file for divorce, become a single parent, and desperately struggle to find a way function and move forward alone in life.
Hindsight is 20/20. When I look back on my journey, I can see a clear path to recovery and healing, but at the time, I was lost and depressed, and I didn’t know how I was going to make it through.
Now that I'm on the other side, I've deconstructed the stages of my divorce recovery to give you some insight and guidance for your own healing journey.
How to heal from a (traumatic) divorce:
1. Allow yourself time and space to grieve.
Don’t contact your ex and don’t allow them to contact you (unless it’s critical for legalities, custody, etc.) It’s very tempting to try to skip this step but…you have to feel it to heal it. Process your feelings, don’t push them down and hide them away.
2. Separate the lies from the truth.
If you were subjected to gaslighting and other forms of manipulation and abuse, it’s so important to take the time to sort through all the confusing “mind-chatter” and find your truth. This isn’t an easy task. You may have believed lies and half-truths (through no fault of your own) for a long time…and you probably still believe some of them. Tuning in to what is real and true for you now can be overwhelming.
3. Be aware of your self-talk.
Start telling yourself the truth. Perform reverse-brainwashing by repeating the truth to yourself. Every time a false thought pops into your mind, counteract it by telling yourself what’s true for you now. Examine and test your thoughts…are they true or are they part of someone else’s old story?
4. Seek support.
Surround yourself with friends, mentors, and family members who can remind you of your truth when you forget. Don’t beat yourself up if you fall into old patterns and stories. Don’t force yourself to maintain contact with people who don’t understand your truth (evens family members).
5. Expand on the new truth you’re practicing now.
Slowly come to the acceptance that there are new thoughts and new ways of being that are available to you when you cultivate an open mind. Learning how to trust yourself to meet your own needs takes practice and patience.
Remember: Your most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.
It’s the basis for all other relationships in your life.
When you find your truth, you’ll begin to trust yourself.
Deep self-trust allows you to be open to the idea of trusting and loving others.
When you know that you won’t betray yourself, the fear of betrayal by others softens.
If you’re reading this as a bunch of magical thinking and bologna, then I wish you peace and happiness on your journey.
BUT…if you’re reading this and wishing you could figure out how to use this information in your own life to heal yourself…I’m sending you so much hope and inspiration right now…because I’ve been where you are.
If you're a woman who's trying to manage a divorce or its aftermath, I invite you to join my free FaceBook group: Her Divorce Project. Inside this unique sisterhood, we're working together to leave the past behind and fall in love with life again. Just click below!
By Rebecca Wolf
Certified Life Coach
Founder of Her Divorce Project