I’m Divorced: How Do I Start Over?

Where do I go from here?” was the question that echoed deep inside of me. “I don’t even know who I am anymore. Who am I if I’m not his wife?” He’s all I had known for almost nineteen years. We had been together since I was seventeen, and built a life that I thought would last forever.

I felt alone. A shell, that’s what I had become. I was done living up to the expectations of everyone around me, and because of that, I felt naked, empty, lost. If I am no longer what “they” need me to be, then who am I? I forgot the girl I once was before I became a wife and a mother; she felt distant, disconnected, a fraud.

After something gets destroyed, you can’t see the possibilities, not when you’re standing in the rubble of what once was. I wish I could say the wreckage was solid, but it wasn’t. It was quicksand, and it slipped right through my fingertips.

I was surrounded by people that had opinions, judgments, and advice unsolicited. They all thought they had the solution to the gaping hole I felt inside of me. How did they have the answers when I had yet to find the language and awareness to know how I got to this unconscious relationship in the first place?

Mentally I was in what I call “Divorce Purgatory.” It’s the eye of the storm, that place where your life is defined before the divorce and after divorce. It’s a place that I imagine a pilot would be in if they were flying an aircraft without instruments; it’s uncertain, scary, uncharted, and you are just hoping and praying you survive.

Survival was all I could hope for at that point. “Let me just get through today.” I couldn’t worry what tomorrow would bring, the thought of another curveball was too overwhelming.

Each day bled into the next. Awkward conversations, always defending my choices, feeling victimized by every situation—welcome to Divorce Purgatory, where there is no light at the end of the tunnel, just constant darkness.

There’s a heaviness that surrounds divorce, darkness that runs deeper than the divorce experience. At first, I was fooled, like many others who have gone through this experience. We so want to blame our ex-partner for our pain. “You’re responsible for this. You did this to me. If you disappeared, my life would be joyful again.”

I would be lying if I didn’t say I fantasized about the day he would vanish. As if his disappearance would somehow make me feel whole again. I just wanted to feel “normal.” I was tired of feeling like everyone else’s life was perfect, and mine was a complete failure.

I wasn’t going to do what most people do—ask someone to join my circus because I needed to distract, avoid, emotionally numb myself from the pain in hopes that the next person would fix my baggage. I knew this wasn’t someone else’s job, that my happiness was something that can only come from within myself, but how do I find it?

Where does one go when you are mourning the death of the family unit? The body is still cold, and all that’s left is grief. Divorce is very similar to death in that grief shows up when you least expect it. One day you might be feeling like you are on top of the world, and the next day your ex triggers the hell out of you, and you feel hopeless.

How did I allow someone the power to bring me to my knees with a simple text? Or, not wanting to open my email out of fear of what I’d be having to give up next? I lived in constant fear, waiting for the fight, anticipating the next swing.

That’s no way to live. “This can’t be my life. There has to be more!”

It’s easy to continue spinning in the hamster wheel, round and round, getting absolutely nowhere. You can go for a lifetime if you choose. It took me decades to realize that I was the one who put myself in the wheel, never realizing that all I had to do was take myself out.

I had to be the one to decide that I had enough. My spirit was tired of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. If I wanted a different result, I had to be willing to take ownership of my story.

It was time to stop silencing my voice and reconnect to my spirit within.

Strand by strand, I untied all the knots of divorce. The knots of what I was told things should look like. I had to let go of people and things that no longer served me. I had to forgive those in my life that were living unconsciously. I forgave myself for buying into beliefs that weren’t my own. I had to let go of the need to please others at the cost of neglecting my spirit. I had to let go of trying to control anything or anyone. I had to let go of the need to compare myself to anyone. I freed myself of any guilt and shame that I carried around like an anchor. I let go of the need to defend my choices and actions. I let go of trying to be the perfect anything––especially the perfect mother.

The question you should be asking yourself after divorce is: What do I want the next chapter to look like?

What comes after that is accepting ownership and healing what has been lingering beneath the surface. And what’s beneath the surface has nothing to do with your divorce. Do not let a divorce be a distraction for real authentic healing.

The deadliest type of betrayal is not when someone betrays you; it’s when you betray yourself–every time you don’t say no, every time you neglect to listen to your spirit, when your inner voice tells you to walk away. Still, you stay in a relationship that isn’t serving you. When you say to yourself, I don’t want to hurt them, but it’s at the cost of hurting yourself.

What has this cost you?—your happiness, health, peace of mind, relationships, living your life’s purpose, a healthy relationship with your children?

Where you go from here is putting the oxygen mask on yourself because you realize that you matter—your happiness matters, your life matters, your purpose matters. It starts with bit by bit untying the knots that are holding you back from living your truth.

My Untying the Knots of Divorce Program is coming out soon (August 26th), I have really truly put my heart and soul into making this an amazing program that will help you discover your purpose, pull back the layers, and really help you heal from within. Join the waitlist here: https://marisa-lupo-7875.mykajabi.com/UntyingtheKnotsWaitlist

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