If there's ever a time you need a little distraction in your life, it's during the divorce process. That's why we launched our Divorce Care Package series. With each post, we'll show you what things -- books, movies, recipes -- helped others relieve stress in the midst of divorce, in the hopes that a few of their picks will serve you well, too. Want to share what got you through your divorce? Email us at email@example.com or tweet @HuffPost Divorce
Writer Miriam Novogrodsky took refuge in everything from relationship self-help books to guilty-pleasure TV while muddling through the divorce process. But the mother of two says what really helped her move on was recognizing that she'd have to come to terms with the relationship patterns and choices that led her to divorce.
"You discover more than you’d care to about your own bad weather during divorce -- how and why a particular weather pattern stalled over your life," Novogrodsky reminisced. "Some of that will be hard to look at, but look you will, because you want to move forward. Then, after you’ve walked for a really long time, after you’ve sat down and said you won’t go any further, and stood up and started again, then you realize you’re enjoying the journey that you didn’t want to take."
Below, the writer shares six things that made that journey a bit more bearable.
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"Shoes, shoes, shoes… I searched for a pair of proverbial ruby slippers to take me home to myself. I tried on and bought many pairs of shoes in said quest. They didn’t help me figure anything out, other than who I wasn’t, but I suppose that was something. I felt flirty and young in slingback pumps, buttoned-up and serious in loafers, casual and jaunty in leather boots. Turns out time, not shoes, get you home to yourself. I’ve got plenty of beat-up loafers from the splurge-era now. I wear ‘em around, they’re part serious and part messy, and that feels just about right. "
"I’m not proud of this divorce recovery stage, but here it is: Instead of becoming a dignified Masterpiece Theatre fan, I became an avid fan of “48 Hours." On Friday nights, I’d text my tween and teen insane-ish texts: “Ru you sure ur not being held hostage in the back of an eighteen-wheeler?” “Have u been abducted by a satanic sect, are u lvg a dangerous double life, selling drugs by night and going to high school by day?” If they didn’t respond right away, I’d nearly call 911. Those hours of back-to-back fear and anxiety consumed me. The unpredictability and terror within the stories went well beyond anything divorce had kicked up for me. I chose the immediacy of horror as a reminder of what was not happening to anyone I loved. I was scared out of my sadness by horror, and that was something I needed. Again, not proud of this stage."
"At first, I couldn’t eat. Chocolate made my mouth dry. Wine parched my lips. Bread stuck in my throat. Everyone told me I looked great. I had collarbones, and hipbones, too. My new slender self was further proof I’d made the right decision. People said I looked great. I felt horrible, but I looked great. Then, I started to eat again. Slowly at first, and then I picked up speed. I rushed toward any and all food and consumed. There wasn’t one recipe. There wasn’t one restaurant. There was a tasteless binge on all things sweet and all things soft and all things chocolate and cheesy. Eventually I moved on toward something less extreme. I added some exercise and kale to my routine, and bam, became (mostly) an energized divorced person. I still love chocolate."
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"I watched my children’s creativity. They both used art for self-expression and recovery from divorce. My son drew monsters and abstract pictures of, well, nobody was really sure what it was. My daughter drew pictures of ideal families and wrote poems about clouds and cats and flying way up high, away from newly-divorced-family hell."
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"I wrote. I wrote about sadness and heartache, parenting and joy. I wrote about depression and illness, politics and injustice. Writing distracted me and made me hopeful. If I could find the right words after a hundred revisions, maybe, just maybe, I could begin to find the right words in real life."
"If The Buddha Ever Dated by Charlotte Kasl. It's a self-help primer on relationships, love and losing the self. The book encourages self-awareness by asking a series of questions leading the reader to one of two conclusions: They’ve either become hopelessly co-dependent or they haven’t. If you're the former, you’ve lost sight of yourself: You can’t think of anything but the new love and you’ve changed what you like and who you are to match your new love’s likes and dislikes. The best thing about the book (and the whole thing is good) is the very end: After you’ve read the tips and made the changes and know how to identify co-dependence, the author reminds the you that there’s no guarantee love will come. I find that level of honesty in a self-help book refreshing. Learning to live alone took a long time. Accepting that I may be single forever took even longer. Once I did that, and I mean really did that, not in a sad resigned way, but in a embracing the good within that possibility-way, everything shifted."
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