STAGES OF GRIEF
Divorce comes with five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
DENIAL. There is a sensation of shock when you go through this first stage of divorce. You cannot just fathom it’s happening or connect with it. Your mind is unable to settle this since it would alter the fundamental essence of who you are.
The next stage is ANGER. At this point, you express anger in a variety of ways and can range from outbursts of pure rage to simmering cold inward rage. Anger is a natural reaction, but if it’s not controlled promptly, it may be quite harmful. It can also be directed in a variety of ways; you may be angry at yourself, your ex, family, friends, and so on. After that, it comes the time to BARGAIN.
BARGAINING At this point, you’re doing everything you can to avoid the divorce. You might promise to change or even pray to God. This is the point where you desperately strive to avert the inevitable, even though you know it’s already happened.
The next stage is DEPRESSION. It is sometimes the most difficult and perilous stage, and we all go through it differently. You may start to believe that end is near and that you will be unable to do the normal things in life.
ACCEPTANCE is the final stage. It’s at this point that you’ll recognize you’re no longer married. It generally occurs when you can reconcile your sense of self with your new circumstances. Some people acquire an even greater level of acceptance by achieving true forgiveness – which is a word that is misinterpreted!
Each of the stages takes time to achieve full recovery from divorce. But once you know how to do it, you may get through them much faster than you think and emerge much more committed to a happy life on the other side.
RECOVERING FROM DIVORCE
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM DIVORCE?
One of the most common laments I hear from recently divorced people is, “how long will it take me to go through all these processes?” Different schools of thought give different options. Some say it will take years; some say that divorce recovery will take one year for every year of marriage; some claim it will take one year for every two years of marriage.
Whatever the source of your divorce recovery, one thing is sure: it will take a long time. Another fact is that you may not do anything and get recovered, and you may or may not experience all the five (5) stages of grief.
Not doing anything at all is not the best choice for you, as you can risk being stuck in any of the stages. Think about it: Which do you prefer: being bitter or angry with your ex-spouse?
Do you want to completely heal from this difficult process without becoming stuck?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Recovery from divorce is grouped into three (3) stages:
1. STABILIZE your reactions to the divorce;
2. RELEASE your fear of the unknown future; and
3. PREPARE for your next relationship to avoid becoming divorced again.
The First Stage : Stabilize Your Reactions to the Divorce
The Second Stage: Release Your Fear Of The Unknown Future and Accept Your New Life Situation
The Third Stage : Prepare for Your Future - Your next relationship
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
• Speak to your friends and family who have experienced similar issues.
• Seek counselling from a reliable counsellor or a reputable religious leader.
• Read books about divorce recovery.
• With the introduction of the internet, several online resources about divorce recovery are available, irrespective of the choice you make for your divorce recovery process.