I didn’t grow-up wanting to be known, as the divorcee with ultimate story of turning divorce lemons into lemonade for other divorcees. That is though what I have become, over the last four years, since starting my company DreamsRecycled.com.
My driving force and personal mission, is to try to guide and help divorcees, understand that like everything in life there is always a “better” way to do something, even if that something is divorce. You may be fooled into thinking that I personally did all the correct and healthy things I could have done, during my own divorce, and are therefor now helping others do it too. This is polar opposite from the truth though.
My divorce almost killed me, due in large part to the extremely unhealthy way I handled it. Here is an excerpt from my book “My Dreams Recycled” which chronicles my journey after divorce.
“Mom hurry up, we are going to be late and don’t forget I have Brownies after school!
Her words are literally ringing in my ears as I both attempt to dress, another now difficult task. I stand in front of my mirror as I do every morning, taking inventory of the physical damage my divorce has inflicted upon me. My long dark hair, once shiny and thick, had developed a permanently messy lack-luster that went along with its patches that had grown thin, from stress and vitamin deficiency. My deep brown eyes no longer sparkled, but had sunken into my face enough to exaggerate the size. They oddly showed nothing. No pain, no pleasure, just a vacant hollowness, that only altered when they often spilled with tears, leaving my eye lids far too puffy and sensitive, to even contemplate wearing my at one-time signature black eye liner. My body had reverted to a 17-year old, my arms and legs appearing too long and thin attached to my frame, which also made my movements gangly and less sure-footed. I look at the bruise on my back, which has turned a moldy green with a touch of yellow, I really need to see a doctor but with out health insurance, as one of the many things I lost during my divorce, I know I can’t. Passing out and in the process hurting myself from the falls can’t be normal. In a word, I looked uncomfortable, which in reality was only the tip of the iceberg of misery I felt.
I resist the urge to step on the scale. The last time I had looked, I weighed 103 lbs, which would maybe be okay if I wasn’t 5’8”. And you could now count my ribs through my skin, front, back and sides. There is mass irony attached to finally reaching and then overshooting your lifetime weight goal. It had been met with a mixed array of both inappropriate comments and envy. My doctor was horrified, my girlfriends weirdly jealous, and my male friends fixated on where my missing 34D breasts had disappeared too.”
I for the entire divorce process, inflicted horrific additional stress to my body and mind, by not treating myself with the love and respect, I should have. I barely ate, stress will knock out your appetite, but in an vicious cycle of your stomach shrinking and lack of appetite, I had dropped to a very unhealthy weight. Being malnourished, wreaks havoc on your mind, thoughts, you feel over emotional, befuddled, even doing regular mundane chores, seem monumental, when your body is running on no fuel. Physically, your hair may begin to fall out from lack of vitamin D and C and iron. You may become anemic, and add exhaustion to the list of negative impacting factors effecting your health. Your blood sugar may have a harder time stabilizing its self, resulting in fainting, which of course can cause more injury and harm. Your immune system, takes a beating, and any virus or infection you may pick up will, be harder for your unhealthy nutrient deprived body to fight off.
Now lets add to this list, lack of sleep, divorce is a time of great worry, you toss and turn, running through your head all the “what ifs” and “worst case scenarios”. You may also be depressed which can cause a cycle of even more sleep deprivation . Lack of sleep, makes you feel dumber, impairing judgment, alertness, concentration and reasoning. You need to be mentally on top of your game, in many divorces you really need to understand how the court system works, educating your self as much as possible about state laws.
Lack of sleep also can cause, heart disease, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Under normal circumstances, the optimum version of you requires healthy food regularly and a full nights sleep. A stressed and unhappy, version of you going through any kind of adversity, needs a constant supply of good food, and an restful night sleep even more so. I can’t change how I handled my own divorce, but I can advocate, the huge benefits, and much better outcomes for divorcees, who take the time, and thought to practicing self love and care through out their divorce. Allowing your self to being so sick, so tired, so stressed, so malnourished, has no winners, you are more likely to make bad settlement choices, and more likely to give up and sign anything, just to make your stressful divorce just go away.
The much healthier , better way to make it through divorce, is to spoil your self, make your self number 1. Take time to eat regularly, eat healthily, sleep in full 7/8 hour nights. Exercise, meditate, practice breathing methods that lower stress, enjoy the great out doors, anything you can do to make your divorce even a little less stressful, and better you should do. All the while you are practicing these self loving daily positive actions, remind your self, that not only will you survive your divorce, in the healthiest way possible. You will also go on to dream bigger, live healthier and love more deeply then ever before. This love though always has to start with how we treat our self, starting with our bodies.
Originally published at medium.com