Divorce Advice: ARE YOU STRUGGLING WITH DIVORCE DEPRESSION AND WONDERING WHEN WILL I GET TO A POINT OF ACCEPTANCE?
Divorce Advice: Will Divorce Depression last forever? How Can I get past this feeling of loss? by Marion TD Lewis filed in Divorce Advice/Q&A
Divorce advice is a tough category and topic for me. I try not to be off-hand and give fluffy advice because people in this situation are very serious.
Giving divorce advice often calls on me to wear many hats and one of those hats is that of a shrink. Even when I practiced law as a divorce attorney in New York, clients expected a lot of emotional support from me. Not only did they want help dividing up their asset but also dealing with the emotional aspects of divorce – in short, divorce advice.
Divorce is very sensitive and it is very tough to wear so many hats.
Primarily because, obviously, I am not a shrink. I am probably the last person to dispense advice that requires the expertise of professional shrinks – especially on such a sensitive topic to boot.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let me try to tackle this question about divorce depression as best I can.
Many people struggle with depression after divorce. They often need help dealing with this depression. What can I say to make it better?
What is the deal with Divorce Depression?
I would think divorce depression, like a lot of other bouts of depression, would tend not to be a whole lot of fun. I also think that depression is tough on the person going through it. We have all been less than happy at one point or another in our lives. With divorce depression, there is a specific catalyst for it – the divorce. But the result is the same. You are unhappy.
You feel crappy and unhappy; you feel worthless and useless and hopeless; you are crying and you are sad and you are moping and you can’t get out of bed and you feel heavy and you don’t want to eat and you have this awful sense of emptiness inside as if the sun will never come out again. You just can’t deal. You can’t cope. You don’t think you ever will.
Sounds familiar to you?
This could actually reach really deep, and seriously, you may need professional intervention from experts because you could be clinically depressed and need medication or to be monitored. So this could be serious and should not be taken lightly.
If it is just a basic bout of this mental menace, though, then you just have to accept that this is a process you are going through and is going to take time. That is to say that you are not going to just be able to ACCEPT the divorce right away. This was your marriage, your happily ever after, your life. OK? And it fell apart. OK? Of course you are sad about it. And me or anybody telling you how to achieve ACCEPTANCE right away is getting ahead of ourselves because so much has to happen in between before this wound heals.
This will Pass
Divorce can make you feel isolated as if you are in it all by yourself. You are going to blame yourself and your spouse and you are going to feel like nobody will ever love you again and you are going to doubt you were ever loved in the first place. You will throw yourself a pity party.
This will pass.
Then you are going to feel this RAGE and anger that, hey, this person actually left me. This person abandoned me and our marriage. Our commitment meant nothing. He has left me with these kids (or took your kids as the case may be). Additionally, there could have been adultery involved. You could be thinking: “you cheated me out of my fair share of our economic partnership with your behavior.”
Then, you could think “I am MAD AS HELL and I am not going to take it anymore!” You may even find yourself thinking that you want your REVENGE against this person. Before you can stop yourself, you are plotting ways to get your vengeance known and felt. (I would advise you not to act on any of these feelings, by the way).
This too will pass.
You will find yourself going back and forth with these stages of GRIEF. Sometimes you may even fantasize about a reconciliation. It is tempting to think “if only I had done such and such.” You could also think “maybe he will come back and I will get a second chance.” Then you will realize that it is really over and the divorce depression will start to really sink in. It will just take a grip and you begin to feel afraid it will never let go.
The stages of divorce depression could take a while to work themselves out in your mind. Meanwhile there are probably going to be PHYSICAL evidence of your depression such as weight gain or weight loss or looking “ravaged.” Or, you could just smoking or drinking too much and doing too little exercise.
But one day, this too will pass and you will wake up and realize “oh my gosh, the sun came out today!”
So my divorce advice for divorce depression is: GIVE IT TIME and also take it step by step; day by day. And see a professional if you can. There is no shame in getting help if you need it.