Demi Moore recently made headlines after a being hospitalized just two months following a separation from her husband. The star I once admired doing chin ups as the brave soldier in GI Jane grew hauntingly thinner in recent months. Concerns of friends accelerated to a panicked 911 call.
Exhaustion and divorce can go hand in hand. So can a relapse of addictions in all forms. Drugs. Sex. Food. Gambling. Alcohol. Shopping. Work.
The familiarity of Moore’s photo shocked me. I recognized the gaunt face and skeleton-like arms. I had seen this image before from across my law office desk. It was the body of a woman in divorce, relapsed into her eating disorder and perhaps her substance abuse.
For men and women alike, divorce can bring such terror. About our future. About our identity. About our ability to be loved. At a time when one needs exceptional self-care, many succumb to self-neglect when facing the fears of divorce.
Our energy depleted, we struggle to cope in old familiar ways. We opt for another glass of wine instead of an after dinner walk. Despite escalating fears about our financial future, we shop and tell ourselves “We deserve it.” Our self-pity consumes us, and we consume the last of the peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream.
Left unchecked, a relapse into addiction or the onset of depression can put us at risk when we can least afford it. Our children need us more than ever during divorce. Our financial resources have shrunk. We are called to do more when some days just getting out of bed and showing up for work feels heroic.
Divorce demands support like you’ve never known it. For Moore, it was hospitalization. For you it might be therapy, a support group, a personal trainer, a coach, a spiritual community, or the companionship of good friends who can listen without judgment. Now is the time to set aside your pride and focus on your intention to stay healthy. There is no need to do this alone.
Divorce is a season that demands a new level of self-care. More rest. Fewer late nights. More vegetables. Less sugar. More water. Less wine. More movement that leaves you feeling good and less of what leaves you exhausted. Time for reflection but not social isolation. What are you willing to do to take better care of yourself during your divorce?
Divorce is tough. We don’t want to do one more hard thing. Nevertheless, if we are willing to devote a small amount of energy each day to take better care of ourselves, we can make it through the fear and loss of divorce without a 911 emergency call.