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Despite the terrible stigma divorce has in India, people need to go through the steps of healing themselves, seeking help and reaching out so that they aren’t permanently damaged by the process.
There are five things you, as a divorcee must do once you’ve decided you’re getting a divorce, during the process and after it. Don’t take it lightly, it’s a life changing event that needs to be given its due importance. You may also be going through child custody battles, financial crunches and sheer loneliness – all of which will hugely raise your stress factors.
1. Get support from others recovering from divorce
You can’t do it alone. You can’t ignore the pain, and it hurts even if you are the one who wanted the divorce. You can’t jump into another relationship because you’re likely to cause more unhappiness and health problems. Deal with your issues, talk.
Talk to others who have been through it. Not necessarily the person you are dating ( if you do start dating very soon after) as you may not trust them enough to put all your feelings out there, and this is natural and fine. Talk to friends, online groups (internet anonymity can be wonderfully useful), family who understand you. But of course the best thing you can do is to see a professional divorce counsellor. The reactions, insights and advice of friends will be coloured by their own experiences.
3. Be aware of the process of recovery
There is a process. And there are stages (I’ll blog about this in my next post). Be aware of the stage that you’re at. Some people remain stuck at a certain stage if they don’t actively pursue their recovery and never heal completely. Their divorce becomes the cancer of their lives; the terminal illness that makes happiness impossible. It isn’t true that you can’t be a whole, happy person after a divorce. You can. It takes time and work.
4. Work on that emotional whirlpool
Those strong feelings of anger, resentment and frustration can’t be denied. Nor will they go away on their own. Not paying attention to them or sweeping them under the carpet will ensure that you remain trapped in the drowning whirlpool of grief, anger or low self worth. Working through your emotions is the way to recovery. You can heal your wounds and be stronger than before.
5. Learn from your experience
Understand your life patterns and the decisions you make in relationships. Without this process of looking inward you could end up making the same mistakes. Stop the blame game, and hold the mirror up to yourself instead of the other person. This doesn’t mean you run yourself down but have a balanced understanding of your part in the break up.
Turn your divorce into a reason for getting to know yourself better so that you can be a person with better emotional health, more strength and a greater chance for happiness.
A freelance journalist and teacher, Kalpana is a feminist, an animal rights activist, passionate about
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