R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Recovery: Surviving After Divorce
Those long agonized seconds in the mornings when I first came back to consciousness after the restless nights were the seconds I hated most. I dreaded those gut-wrenching moments when I realized — again — that the life I had known for 33 years was crumbling all around me and the divorce was really going to happen.
Those early weeks and months are a matter of survival, so I developed R.A.D.I.C.A.L. which stands for Rising Above Divorce In Confidence And Love.
The Survival Six:
Simple to the normal person, but difficult in the face of divorce.
- Get up: You have to mentally and physically will yourself out of bed. The small, but significant victory of getting in the ring for another round will reassure yourself, and others, that you have the power and courage to face this, but also to become stronger and more beautiful because of it.
- Take a shower: Go directly into the shower and turn on the water. Don’t even think about it. Getting into the shower is a positive step toward meeting the battles of the day. Picture your negative feelings and thoughts washing down the drain.
- Fix your face: Put a smile on and take time to at least put on moisturizer and a little cheek color and lip gloss. The better you look, the better you feel.
- Get dressed: If you’re going to work or to a meeting, dress up to feel up. Be age and occasion-appropriate. Bright colors help. Stand up straight. Don’t lounge around in your sweats all day.
- Eat something healthy: You might not feel like eating a whole meal, but fruit, toast and peanut butter, a hard boiled egg or other simple foods will give you fuel to function. Be sure to drink enough water, too.
- Get moving: Get outside … to work or to the gym, or to the coffee shop to get out among the living. During the grief of divorce it takes more energy to do everything. But commit to getting your body moving somewhere. Our feelings follow our actions, so moving propels us forward in all kinds of ways.
Once you are doing these six things every day, you can look farther into the future and set more ambitious goals. But in the beginning, surviving gracefully is enough.
Suzy Brown, Founder, Midlife Divorce Recovery, LLC