The wee small hours of the night should be quiet and peaceful, yet can be as noisy as if you had a symphony playing in your head.
Keep a notebook and pen beside the bed and when the wordy tumble dryer is spinning thought after thought, sit up for five minutes and write them down, however silly they appear to be.
Doing so externalises those irritating conscious strands which you can revisit and deal with during waking hours; now close your eyes and get some rest.
Unregulated excesses of alcohol, food, sex, smoking, drugs and destructive behaviours are easily employed as emotional crutches to help see you through a painful divorce.
They can be incredibly effective at helping you forget what’s going on in the short term, but may end up being something else you need to get a divorce from once the dust has settled and your Decree Absolute has arrived.
Try to find coping mechanisms that you will be happy to carry with you for the rest of your life, such as writing, going for walks or maybe just seeking support.
It’s easy to reflect back on your years of marriage and consider them wasted.
However, in doing so you run the risk of negating all the good things you did together too; the children and friends you may have made, the houses you turned into homes, happy holidays and more.
The trouble is, when you try to look back on the good bits in years to come (and you will), your brain may have filed away all of your smiles under, ‘Heartache: forget it’.
Perhaps consider those years as chapters firmly closed for now, and look forward to the next book of your life opening.
Divorce can be mentally and physically exhausting and you may feel as though your body is wrapped in a cloak of tiredness; don’t fight it.
For some, shutting down and retreating somewhere to slumber safely is the body’s way of coping with what’s going on.
Don’t counteract it with energy drinks and caffeine, because for every ounce of false energy you put in, your body will eventually re-address the balance and take two ounces out; rest up!
The desire to fight back in an unjust divorce can be overbearing and exhausting.
When you are dealing with the wording in a petition that has been served on you, it’s worth remembering that if you contest it and go back with a counter petition, the only folks that profit are the respective solicitors.
Consider the benefits of simply rolling with it; ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me’… unless you let them.
The emotional colour of your separation and imminent divorce changes from when it’s pre, mid and post divorce and don’t think it’ll end up being three shades of black or constantly a fiery and argumentative red!
In fact, although some days you may not feel this way, it can be shiny and gold from time to time if you let it, when good things come along despite the turmoil you are going through.
Have a little quiet time today to focus on what colour you feel it is now, what colour it has been and what colour you would eventually like it to be.
Despite the way it may feel at times, a divorce is only ever two people wide.
Some friends, and more frequently relatives, may try to make your divorce all about them – how they feel and what your actions have done to them. One divorcee I know is frequently berated by his mother because she doesn’t see his children any more. She never imagines the hurt she causes when lashing out like this reminds him that he doesn’t see them either.
Try to reserve your energy to cope with necessary responses to your situation, as opposed to justifying or clarifying yourself to the array of onlookers who seem to delight themselves in your fueling the fire of your angst, also commonly known as ‘The They’.
Once you are the other side of your divorce, celebrate life by planting a tree to signify the emergence of the new you.
If not on land controllable by you, consider using a non-profit organisation like The Word Forest Organisation, who for a very small fee will plant food bearing trees in African communities.
A fledgling new whip of a tree is the perfect signifier of what you now are.
Nowhere near its full potential and with a propensity to move with the seasons and occasionally, bend with the wind.
It’s hard to imagine that something so tender and vulnerable could blossom into a steadfast creation of majesty and strength but it will and you will too.
If you have a growing mass of problems to solve and they’re stressing you out, sit down with a piece of paper, a pen, a phone and a cup of tea.
Problems are like shadows, often appearing bigger than they actually are when they’re rolling around in your head. Start by writing down what you consider are the biggest issues you need to deal with right now and draw an encompassing circle around them. Move on through the other problems and do the same, listing them all as they fall from your fingers and include tiny irritating ones, like, ‘Remember to pay the milkman or he’ll stop delivering!’
They do need your attention but when you look at them in black and white, you’ll see some of them are easy little tasks that you can take on, then put big, fat red ticks through once you’ve completed them.
With a comprehensive list on paper, you can go about prioritising them. You may find that once you’ve done the most daunting task, it will lead to another simple task and so on. Write numbers in the boxes and draw a line from 1 to 2, then 2 to 3 and join up as many as you feel you can tackle in the first instance.
Accomplishment will spur you on to addressing the next item on the list but remember, slowly and surely does it and not necessarily on your own, that’s what friends are for.
There’s nothing more sobering than having to watch someone you love stand on the edge of death following an accident or beset with illness.
It certainly helps you put inane divorce matters into perspective.
Their impending demise can be completely debilitating for you, yet has a persuasive way of making every moment in time count, in an inescapable way.
An ex crowing their bitter screech, or whining on like a cow in labour, stands far less chance of penetrating your protective barriers if you do have such a friend in your midst.
The truth is, we all are a day closer to our ultimate sell-by date. Perhaps a few thoughts of mortality might help you strengthen your resolve and look to the future with optimism, not dread.