I remember feeling sluggish. I remember having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I remember when brushing my teeth at the end of the day felt like a chore. I remember the year I got divorced and all of the lethargy that went with it. And notwithstanding the constant feeling that my feet were being pulled down by quicksand, I couldn’t let my life stop. I still had a business to run, bills to pay, clients for whom to advocate, and daughters to raise. I look back now and feel amazed that I got through it.
If divorce were weather, it would be just like these hot, sticky, humid days we have been having in Nebraska this week. Days where no matter what you do, you can’t get comfortable, it feels like you are on the verge of not being able to breathe, and your energy is depleted with the smallest of effort.
I wish recovery from divorce were as easy as sitting down with a scoop of ice cream to taste sweet relief. But unfortunately divorce recovery is much more complex. Our firm just finished our inaugural Transition Series designed to help people develop tools during times of transition. I was reminded as we did this work each month for six, that transition is a slow process without a defined beginning and end. I was reminded that recovery requires patience, surrender, and a fair amount of sadness.
One of the most challenging learnings I had during my divorce recovery was slowing down. I am fairly driven by nature and I wanted to fast-forward everything about the divorce. I yearned to wake up and have it all be over and my new life magically unfolded and perfect before me. It was hard for me to be still and rest, and yet that is what my mind, body, and spirit most needed.
So as you travel through your divorce transition, I encourage you to reduce your normal life pace. Be mindful that you need rest and rejuvenation in steady and significant doses to make it through. Remember that it is natural during this time to surrender to slowness. Just like when the weather on a 96 degree summer day makes us slow down all of our activity and reach for the slow moving relief of savoring a scoop of ice cream, so too does divorce demand its own dish of idleness for rocky road recovery.