Feelings are much like waves, we can’t stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf.
In this tumultuous time of financial, legal, and familial upheaval, you may experience many different (and extreme) emotions simultaneously. You may feel as though you are all over the emotional map and that your feelings have a life of their own—with you at their mercy. Some people going through divorce have told me they think they are “losing it,” because they are experiencing so many new and intense emo¬tions that their lives feel out of control.
The process of divorce can be much like riding a roller coaster. There are so many emotional highs and lows, and just when you think things are calming down and the ride is over, you get thrown for another loop.
Be patient, fasten your seatbelt, and expect the unexpected. If you know that the ride will be long and bumpy, you are less likely to be upset when life takes you down instead of up or left instead of right.
Get some support and go with the flow. Although this is good advice at anytime in life, it is espe¬cially true during the ending of a marriage and the changing of a family unit. It may also help you to remember that life will eventually calm down again and you will return to a sense of normalcy. It might just take a while.
I am patient on this roller-coaster ride. I wait for things to calm down, knowing that I can’t rush the process.
This article has been edited and excerpted from Stronger Day By Day with permission by New Harbinger Publications, Inc, copyright © 2010, Susan Pease Gadoua is the author of Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go (August 2008), and Stronger Day by Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce (July 2010). Susan is a licensed therapist based in the San Francisco Bay Area with an expertise in marriage and divorce.
Other articles by Susan Pease Gadoua