The ABCs of getting divorced (INFOGRAPHIC)
Divorce can be freeing. But the freedom can feel more like a free-fall when you're in the midst of it.
If you're facing down a divorce or trudging through the months of negotiations prior to its finalization, tape this graphic to your mirror. You're not alone, you're not crazy and this too shall pass. In the moments you feel terribly disoriented, refer back to your divorce ABCs to find your bearings.
A is for attacks, of the panic variety. Totally normal.
B is for beginnings. You won't feel it while you're in it, but a divorce is a whole new beginning. Someday you'll look back and realize the beauty and strength required to fight for a new beginning — and you'll feel proud.
C is for custody. If you have kids, know what you want from a custody standpoint before you ever go to the negotiating table — and put their needs first, even though the process of custody negotiations can feel paralyzing.
D is for douchebag. Even if you and your ex try to split amicably, he will be a douchebag during the process. Steel yourself, take the high road and try not to take it personally.
E is for expensive. This ish ain't cheap.
F is for forgiveness. No, not your ex until you're ready. We're talking self-forgiveness for your perceived failures. Be kind to yourself, above all else.
G is for girls' night out. Replace date night with a girls' night to keep your adult sanity.
H is for haircut. Just like new moms tend to get a mom 'do, newly divorced women do something crazy with their hair. Freedom!
I is for idiots. You'll hear advice from a lot of them. Incidentally, "I" is also for ignore.
J is for jewelry. Repurpose your ring into another piece so you won't feel like it's staring at you all the time.
K is for keepers. You'll find out about your real friends and real priorities. Hugely revealing.
L is for laughter. Give yourself a break from worrying and make a once-weekly date with laughter.
M is for mediation. If you can manage it, do it. Mediating your divorce rather than fighting it out in court can save you thousands of dollars.
N is for nope. Use the phrase often, especially if people in your life are expecting too much from you right now.
O is for open. The closed door of your marriage means that other doors are now open. The possibilities for your future life are endless.
P is for patriarchy. You'll hear a lot of voices talking about how only bad women bail on their marriages. Those voices don't know you or your experience, and they have no right to judge.
Q is for quiet. Discover its importance.
R is for rebound. Hey, a rebound relationship can be an awesome thing. Just know that it's a rebound if you've met "the one" while you're still feeling vulnerable.
S is for support. People want to give it, and more people have gone through a divorce than you likely realize right now. Compassion is out there — you just need to find it.
T is for T-Swift. Play her song "Shake It Off" on repeat as a power anthem.
U is for ugly. You'll feel ugly and old. You're not. You're just sad and grieving. Don't conflate the internal feelings with your external appearance.
V is for vibrator. There's no shame in getting one. You're a woman with needs!
W is for whiplash. Prepare to feel jolted and tossed around — it will get easier.
X is for eXercise. Do it, it'll give you endorphins that can fight depression.
Y is for yoga. Divorce feels disorienting, so yoga is an awesome practice to pick up so that you can feel grounded and safe in the present day and present moment.
Z is for zen. Isn't it great to know you're on the path to peace?
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