On Loving Eggplant Parmigiana And Loathing King-Size Beds After Divorce

On Loving Eggplant Parmigiana And Loathing King-Size Beds After Divorce

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

For years, Robin Amos Kahn had it all: a great career, a husband and a close-knit family. Then in 2009, it all fell apart: her marriage ended, she lost her job and her daughter moved across the country to California. All that remained in her New York City-based empty nest were her two loyal dogs.

How'd she pull through? For starters, she sat down and treated herself to some damn good eggplant parmigiana. Below, the writer and public speaker tells us more about the memorable meal and what else got her through a mid-life divorce.

The Recipe
marcobir via Getty Images
"I remember being alone one night with my dogs right after my husband left and my then 21-year-old daughter moved to California. I was lost. I thought of my divorced friend named Helene and called her up. Then we had this conversation:

Me: 'Helene, I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s Saturday night and it’s too hot to go outside and I’m alone with my dogs and we're all just so depressed.'

Helene: 'Do you have any comfort food you like? I just ordered myself dinner and that always makes me feel better.'

Me: 'You don’t understand. I can hardly eat. I’ve lost about 20 pounds. I can’t eat'

Helene: 'When I was going through my divorce, I ate eggplant parmigiana all the time. That’s actually what I just ordered.'

Me: 'Oh, well, I like eggplant parmigiana.'

Helene: 'You do? Great. Have it delivered, I’m telling you, it will make you feel so much better. Hang up. Order it with a salad. And then call me back.'

We hung up and I ordered the eggplant parmigiana and even a cannoli. Then I called Helene back and we talked while we waited for our deliveries. Then we talked while we ate our eggplant parmigiana. Helene saved me that night. And then I went to sleep in my king size bed with my pups Lucy and Lola, who saved me every day of my life. By the way, if I ever get married again, there will be no king-size beds. They kill marriages."
The Photos
Robin Amos Kahn
"Post-split, I surrounded myself with photos of my daughter."
The Hobby
Eric Esquivel/500px
"A couple of years post-split, I went on a date with a guy I met on Match.com who taught tango. We met at an outdoor restaurant along the Hudson and after we had coffee we went to a tango dance along the river and watched. He taught me the basics and he said, 'You are a dancer.' Our relationship didn't go anywhere, but I began studying dance and fell in love with swing dancing and danced two or three times a week. I got pretty good but then traveling for my job got in the way. Still, getting close to all kinds of men (I danced with guys in their 20s and 30s and guys in their 60s, who were just as amazing) and feeling that connection and joy really saved me."
The Books
Getty Images
"The book Crazy Time was enormously helpful because it addresses how the first two years after you separate, you are pretty crazy. All your decisions and thoughts are crazy but you have to remind yourself: this too shall pass. One guy I met online said to me, after I had talked about my divorce (which is all I wanted to talk about in those early days): 'You are one of the walking wounded, call me in a year.' I was so angry, but when I read Crazy Time I thought, 'Oh, it's true. I am wounded. I'm feeling abandoned, lost and sad. If I just accept it, it will pass.' And it did. It just had to run its course. At that time, I still dated but I realized I wasn't ready to get into a relationship."
The Songs

"The songs I listened to were full of empowering messages, like "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)" by Kelly Clarkson and "F**k You" by Cee Lo Green.
The Gift
Anthea Lau/500px
"I received an expensive French leather jacket from a boutique in Nolita. I ended up giving it to my daughter because it reminded me of a time that I felt completely crazy and out of control. And it's a beautiful jacket that looks great on her."
The Quote
"I went through a number of losses on top of the divorce, including the death of my mother. One quote from Eckhart Tolle really rang true for me at the time: 'Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield. Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise and loving. Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life.'

It was and still is such a powerful message.

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