The process of divorce in our conservative and orthodox society is not easy. I deliberately don’t want to use the word, social stigma here, but I find a lot of young, educated, financially independent women feel uncomfortable talking about their separation.
I have a friend who years after her divorce panics when the other women of her age discuss their children or husbands. I can understand her predicament. I tried talking to her about this issue, but she often dismissed it with a wave of her hand.
I understand that for some of us often it is unwanted and we are not yet ready for it. But let’s face it. The unthinkable has happened, or it is in the process of happening. There is no point living in denial.
Then one day she chose to share it all and deal it upfront. She said she is ready to walk through the memory lane before she bids final goodbye!
I could see how all the legal and social trauma changed her and had broken her from within. It had changed the course of life drastically and majorly.
Hers was never a dreamy wedding filled with lovey-dovey moments and teary memories. There were no ‘till death do us apart’ moments.
She took marriage as a substitute for happiness and spouse as a replacement for a savior. The conundrum is all too common.
Life was not going great professionally for her too. She questioned her career choice as she got stuck in a tiring and unfulfilling job.
Girls of her age were tying the knot and planning to have babies. And here was she completely shattered with a recent breakup with her longtime boyfriend.
She made the same mistake as hundreds of other women. She was pressured to jump into marriage bandwagon because that’s what you do in your 20’s when rest everything fails.
Disillusionment seeped in quite early, and that led to a quick divorce as marriage.
So somewhere at the back of the mind, she was ready to face the consequences of this decision though she didn’t realize at that time the enormity and magnitude of it.
She was an emotional wreck and felt stupid, unworthy, anxious, lonely and vulnerable all the time.
To come out this setback, she read many self-help blogs and attended meditation programs. Turning towards spirituality helped her in a limited manner. Now, instead of feeling depressed all the time, her moods fluctuated. One moment she was feeling jubilated with her newfound rigor and excitement of starting life all over again. But the very next moment, she was again mourning and cursing herself for all the blunders she had committed.
Fortunately, her parents were incredibly supportive during the entire process. They kept aside their bereavement and shame and faced the society neighbors and relatives in a very dignified manner.
She kept reminding herself that life is tough, but it’s not over. Life does change, and nothing remains the same. One bad and ugly chapter of her life has ended, and she has to take control and write a fresh chapter.
There are ten things that she did to complement her process of natural healing (Remember, time heals everything! ) and to regain her confidence:
- She didn’t mourn forever. She gave herself ample time and sufficient space to cry and went over her real or imaginary mistakes many times.
- Solitude is beautiful and necessary when you need to dig deep within to find out who you are and who you want to be. Just disconnect and enjoy your own company. She often went for long walks alone.
- She started writing a journal to vent out the frustration and deep-seeded angst. Her emotions became much clearer when spelled out in black and white.
- She focused on becoming the woman; she always wanted to. This means she had to forego many unwanted relationships, ideas, beliefs and material things. But it’s all worth it. Trust me!
- She tried developing a new hobby. She experimented with photography, embroidery and writing short stories. She admits she hasn’t acquired any significant expertise in any one of these, but it helped her to recharge her soul batteries.
- She refocused on her career and made specific goals for herself. Try to learn a new skill that will assist in your career advancement. There are many online programs you can join based on your individual needs.
- She took special care of her health. Robust and healthy body is must for inner peace and happiness. Her craving for sugar skyrocketed rocketed, and her overall health nose-dived. She used to feel lethargic and lazy all the time. Make your fitness regime. Do yoga or go to a gym or do whatever suits your mind and body. But be physically active and watch your diet.
- There are countless motivational and self-help blogs and gurus you can follow online. Don’t consider it as a fad and shake your head in disbelieve. I am not saying that some miracle will happen overnight and it will cure all your problems. But it will certainly change the way you perceive your circumstances.
- She created a positive atmosphere around her. I can’t stress enough the importance of decluttering your physical surroundings. She diligently went about cleaning and redoing her kitchen, her your office table, her room.
- Sow some seeds in a planter and watch it grow. There is nothing more Zen-like than this.
I am glad to see my friend picking up her life and moving on. I am also glad that I didn’t press her to share her feelings. I respected her privacy and waited for the right time. Now she cannot stop talking about this whole issue.
It’s her storytelling time now!