It is seemingly very different from any type of loneliness that one tends to experience. The message of the holidays is togetherness and when that is no longer your theme, it can cause you to withdraw. The holidays are quickly coming and if you are enduring, or have endured a divorce it can be traumatic. I remember going through Thanksgiving and Christmas “divorced” for the first time. I was missing the family of my ex and our yearly family plans. I was financially depleted. So I was dealing with that. A few months before, I had just moved. So I was adjusting to that. My daughter was missing our holiday usual as well. I was hurting for her. My 12th year anniversary was coming up in December and it was already November and I had just gotten a job in later November sooooooo there was lots of transitioning happening.
All of that and now I had to begin to reluctantly settle into my new life–alone. I had no new memories to replace the old ones and to be honest I wanted the holidays to fall off the calendar. I was not ready to endure it without “what was” the year before. The loneliness, sadness, and devastation was enough for me to mentally check out! But I knew I had to ensure my daughter was okay and that my mom was okay, however I was not okay. I had just dedicated 14 years of my life to someone who threw it away. I was angry as hell. I was hiding the shame and embarrassment. I was hiding the loneliness. I did not know what else to do. I just wanted the loneliness and abandonment to go away. I wanted immediate healing from my divorce. I had to face it was not going to happen that way.
Fast forward to November 2013 and I am actually looking forward to the holidays. I welcome the cold weather, the lights, the party invites, and yes the sight of families. Has the loneliness totally gone away? No I won’t lie not totally, but it has lessened. But my tactic is different in dealing with it. I am choosing to confront the loneliness and not allow it to confront me. It is important to be aware of your emotional triggers as well as what you can, or cannot take. Find out where you are. You can’t anticipate everything but there are things that challenge you. Being aware can lessen the emotional breakdowns. They will not stop but my advice to you is to allow yourself to feel. Here are some tips that for me that I am sharing with you.
1.) Cry when you need to. No one has to understand it.
2.) Know where you are mentally and emotionally. If you can not handle the sappy movies and love songs, don’t. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those things, but if they tend to put you into a very low mental or emotional state; then lower the dosage that you don’t have to take. Know that you can not avoid what you see when you go out, but be careful of torturing yourself when you are alone. Listen to encouragement or read things that inspire you.
3.) Find the joy in the life God has granted you, versus wallowing in the pain of the divorce 24/7. Appreciation is something that we hear about when we are giving an award, but your hanging in there at this difficult time in your life, is appreciated. You are showing others how to push through without even knowing it. Know that you are in your hero phase. You will leap this pain in a single bound soon enough.
4.) Acknowledge that there is no way to replace what you had. Don’t try that. You must be willing to make what you have now, great. Start there.
5.) Allow God to be your sounding board. Tell Him exactly how you feel. Tell Him about the disappointment, the anger, the betrayal, the disbelief of the events, the discouragement, the low feelings, and the loneliness. God’s word says He will give us a garment of praise for our heaviness. Prayer is your exchange of what you are feeling, for the praise and encouragement that God can and will give you.
6.) Continue to awake each day knowing that it can only get better. Whether anything changes or not, you will get better.
Love you with the love of Christ! Be blessed!