DIVORCE
05/26/2014 01:04 am ET Updated May 26, 2014

This Was 'Way Better Than Therapy' After My Split

Hitoshi Nishimura via Getty Images

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 divorce@huffingtonpost.com or tweet @HuffPost Divorce

What do "The Colbert Report," wicked strong margaritas and a war-time quote from Winston Churchill have in common? In very specific ways, each helped writer Christina Pesoli push through what she calls a "super crappy" divorce.

Below, Pesoli tells us a little more about each and shares why she later set out to write a divorce self-help book that wasn't of the "hug your inner unicorn"-variety. (She'll explain what that means, too.)

  • The TV Show
    AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
    I didn’t date until my divorce was over. I thought it was the responsible thing to do. But while I didn’t date, I did go to bed with Stephen Colbert several nights a week. (Don’t judge. I aspired to be responsible, but I never said I wanted to be a nun.) My ex never cared for Stephen Colbert, and that may have been the attraction for me at first. But whatever the allure, within a week or two of splitting up with my ex, Stephen and I fell into a routine where every Monday through Thursday night after my daughter went to sleep, I would welcome him into my bedroom where we would share thirty minutes of heaven. This was way better than therapy. I didn’t just like him for his looks—we actually had a lot in common. We saw the world the same way. Plus, we were both Catholic. And even though I knew that ours was a “no strings attached” kind of relationship, our time together made me realize that there were other men out there like him. Men who were smart, funny, and confident. And after the ten years I had just lived through, I desperately needed that reassurance. I vowed not to settle for anything less. And I knew I didn’t have to. I was going to be more than fine on my own --plus, I always had Stephen."
  • The Quote
    behappy.me
    "It was 'If you’re going through hell, keep going,' a famous Winston Churchill quote that helped me to keep a clear head during some pretty dark days. When you’re going through a sucky divorce, the best way to make it stop sucking is to get to the finish line. To get to the finish line, you have to keep moving forward, and that requires you to pick your battles wisely along the way. The goal is to fight for things that actually matter, and sidestep decoy battles that cause you to squander precious time and resources. This quote both motivated me to keep pushing ahead, and guided my path along the way. Framing tactical decisions through the lens of this quote helped me to avoid wrong turns that would have kept me trapped in hell longer."
  • The Food (And Drink!)
    Chronicle Promotions/Flickr
    "Around the time of my divorce, my brothers and sisters, their significant others, and all of our kids, had a default Friday night dinner plan. Those of us who were in Austin, Texas, and didn’t have other commitments would show up at whatever restaurant we designated for Tex-Mex and margaritas. For a while, our restaurant of choice was Matt's El Rancho, but it wasn’t so much the 'where,' but the 'who' and the 'what' that made this routine so critical to my divorce recovery. The 'who,' of course, was my family; and the 'what' was the Tex-Mex and margaritas. (And if I’m being totally honest here, the margaritas mattered way more to me than the food.) Thanks to this routine, I knew that if I kept getting out of bed day after really crappy day, I would eventually get to Friday. And on Friday, I’d get to see the folks who I loved most in this world and I’d get to think and talk about something other than my super crappy divorce. Oh -- and I’d get to have a margarita. (Did I mention there were margaritas?)"
  • The Song
    YouTube
    "I often say that divorce is the leading cause of temporary insanity. And for those who doubt my theory, I feel the fact that it was a Britney Spears song that got me through my divorce when I have never before (or since) been a fan of her 'work' is ample evidence. What made this song resonate with me wasn’t the overall message. After all, the paparazzi wasn’t all over me, nor was I on a hot streak of terrible decisions like Britney was at the time. But a series of jerk moves on the part of my ex made it seem like he wanted to take me down rather than simply get divorced. I had to choose between falling apart or standing up for myself. And for some reason, the refrain, 'You want a piece of me?' was very empowering. Whenever I was on the brink of cratering, that song enabled me to summon the strength to keep on fighting my way forward."
  • The Splurge
    facebook.com/viktorandrolf
    "The list of things to which my ex claimed to be allergic was as long as it was ever-changing. From cats, to scented candles, to wheat, to gelato, to my son from a previous marriage, to allowing anyone else to drive when he was in the car, when something landed on his “banned” list, everyone within a five mile radius had to adjust their lives to accommodate him. Because he also claimed to be allergic to perfume, I had not worn any for the past ten years, and I really missed it. Shortly after we split up, I headed to Nordstrom to sample a variety of perfumes. I ended up buying a bottle of Flower Bomb by Viktor and Rolf. I found the name to be as appealing as the fragrance itself: 'flower' implied femininity, but 'bomb' meant it wasn’t for shrinking violets. I liked that combination. This turned out to be a gateway fragrance for me. Before long I was using Eau de Parfum by Jimmy Choo, and since then I've become hooked on Prada Candy. If this is an addiction, I consider it to be a positive one. (In)Dependence never smelled so good."
  • The Book
    Christina Pesoli
    "Break Free From the Divortex: Power Through Your Divorce and Launch Your New Life, by yours truly. When I was going through my divorce I felt like someone had shoved me into a blender, clamped down the lid, turned it on crush, and left it running for six straight months. At times I wondered if I had what it took to survive. So, I did what most competent, capable women do when they need help with something. I went looking for a book to use as a resource to get me through the ordeal. With half of marriages ending in divorce, I was sure to find a good selection of books on divorce, right? Wrong. The problem wasn’t quantity; it was quality. Most of the books were of what I like to call the 'hug your inner unicorn'-variety: books with words like 'journey,' 'path,' or 'healing' in the title, and a photo of a woman doing yoga by a peaceful stream on the cover. This was not at all what I was looking for. I wanted a book that helped me get back to being the person I normally was, and I had never once done yoga by a stream. I wanted a book that radiated power, not peace, or worse yet, pity. So, long story short, I wrote the book myself. You’re welcome."


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