Why 'Getting Divorced Sucks' But 'Being Divorced Doesn't'
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
What got single mom and HuffPost Divorce blogger Jennifer Gardella through her divorce? For starters, a tight-knit group of friends who refused to leave her side and a sweet comment from her youngest daughter that convinced her to reclaim her maiden name.
Below, Gardella tells us more about that and shares a few more of her divorce lifesavers.
“The first quote I lived by was 'Getting divorced sucks, being divorced doesn't.' Truer words about divorce have never been spoken. The pain and craziness of getting divorced is only equaled by the feelings of exuberance and independence once the final papers are signed.
The second quote was, 'Everything will be OK in the end. If it isn’t OK, its not the end.' This phrase cemented my belief that my children, my emotional state, and future life were all going to be OK regardless of the present struggle. I knew an amazing life was waiting for me and I never allowed myself to think otherwise. Staying positive through the difficult times was often hard and I can remember almost falling into a pattern of 'thinking things would never get better. Reminding myself that everyone would be OK kept me going.”
"This picture was taken at Skytop Lodge on my 40th birthday. It was the first vacation where I stepped out as a single mom with my children. While I don't like 'labels' I very quickly realized that his new one was here to stay and I needed to embrace it. While I cried a few private tears during that trip it was one full of happiness for me and my daughters."
Stepan Popov via Getty Images
"Within weeks of the divorce being final I started to process paperwork to legally take back my maiden name. It was not an easy decision as I was no longer going to have the same last name as my children. I asked my youngest daughter what she thought and she said, 'Well, I don’t care! I’ll still call you Mommy.' Deal sealed. When it was all legally finalized I felt like a small part of me had come back to life."
Kylie Townsend via Getty Images
"While there are many great books to read through during divorce, no words helped me more than my own. Journaling at every turn to get through pain and confusion was critical to getting through the process. When I was struggling with an issue or needed clarity I would start writing. It was critical to my sanity to dip into my heart for truth and to concretely dream a bit about my future."
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"When first talking about my divorce, a member of my inner circle told me, 'You will never make it in life without a man.' This person was wrong in every way but one -- moving heavy furniture. For that, you really do need some serious muscle…or maybe not. When setting up a home on your own, you tend to move a lot of furniture, right? Carpet sliders to the rescue! Those suckers turned my tiny muscles into those of the Hulk when it came time to move things around. There is a great feeling of empowerment when you can move a solid wood bookcase or a couch all by yourself!"
"My core support system dropped away from me during my divorce and I relied heavily on a few people to provide the positive spirit I was determined to maintain. My dear friend, Susan (pictured here), helped me navigate those first initial steps out of the marriage and then the falling out from the 'society' here in our little town. Meanwhile, my life-coach was instrumental in helping me develop the emotional strength to navigate the process with great dignity on the high road and focus on building a life. And then there was my best friend, who was the only person who really trusted me. As she said, 'If any of our other friends called and told me this I would freak out. But I trust you and know you are making the best decision.'”
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"Experts aren't kidding when they say workouts will keep your sanity during hard times. I found great solace in regular visits to the gym during my divorce: Yoga helped me clear my mind and dates with the elliptical helped me manage stress."