No matter how you say it, it all feels the same. Dirty. Embarrassing. Shameful.
There is an automatic cloud that hangs around the word. The moment you hold that divorce decree in your hands and suddenly feel the judgements and opinions floating around your life.
I am divorced.
It took me a long time to say it. To believe it. To be able to embrace it.
Once upon a time there was a little girl. A girl that dreamed of her princess dress and her adventurous love story. She dreamed of a house full of children and growing old with the man of her dreams. When she said her vows she believed them, she meant them. She expected it to last forever.
The reality was that it didn’t.
The hardest part for me was forgiveness. Self forgiveness. Forgiving myself that things didn’t work. “I should have fought harder. I should have done _____ differently. I shouldn’t have argued over the simple things.” You try to justify the mistakes made. That seems to be the only thing that makes sense to do.
Going through a divorce is like going through the stages of grief. The anger, the denial, the acceptance. Each stage brings new emotions and a new ability to cope. Divorce is sticky. It’s never cut and dry. No matter how many ways you analyze it you can’t define it.
After my divorce I had to find myself again. You dye your hair, you work out, you fill your time with Netflix and late night ice cream. You do what you can to find your new identity. You learn how vulnerable you are. You stay up late and try to remember how to be alone.
You will rebuild yourself. Slowly and over time. Instead of letting the “dirty” word of divorce define you, use it to tell your story. Make your future, learn from mistakes. You are strong and still just as worthy.
You deserve everything beautiful. Divorce is the end of a chapter, not the end of your book. Know that you are every bit as worthy of a white dress, of a happily ever after. Use your past to learn from and to help make you stronger. But learn to move on. Learn to find yourself and let yourself love again.
You will find your happiness again. I did. But I will save that for another post. : )