The DivorceCandy.com mission is to show that there is life after divorce ... that divorce can lead to all things positive and happy, and no one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to go through one. So, it makes us a little frustrated seeing some recent articles and even ABC News compare divorce to a epidemic, offering ways to "vaccinate against divorce" or suggesting, "divorce is contagious" like the flu. It seems our goal of changing the stigma of divorce is still facing an uphill battle with such negative comparisons.
Yet, we're not the only ones who wish could shift the tone about divorce. Don't get us wrong; we don't want to start encouraging and condoning failed marriages. But there are many who are living, breathing proof that it's possible to move on in a healthy, positive way. We wanted to give a voice to these many divorcees who have learned to appreciate and celebrate who they are, have grown independent, stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity, and found a new level of joy, peace and calm.
During this past month, we posted a weekly "Question of the Day" to our Facebook community. These questions were: What is something valuable you have learned from your divorce? How did you get your groove back after divorce? What advice would you give to others currently going through the divorce process and don't know if they will make it out in one piece? The community's positive, encouraging, and inspiring responses demonstrate just how much life exists after divorce. Please note that we have received written permission from these Facebook fans to post their responses.
What is something valuable you have learned from your divorce?
- Amy: Candy tastes even better after you're divorced (everything does)!
Cyndi: I learned that remaining on friendly terms with my ex has made dealing with the obligations we have to our child easier, not to mention it's allowed me to keep my sanity! Lynette: I think the thing I learned was I CAN do it on my own and there is someone out there that will treat me and my children with love and respect even though he won't. Patti: That I actually could be happy and like myself! Stephanie: Forgive and move on. Cecily: To not forget who I am; that I am more than a wife. Sarah: That it's better to be alone than be with someone that doesn't bring out your best. Karen: Divorce has taught me to find myself again and be independent. Robin: I learned that divorce is not the end of my life; it is the beginning of a wonderful adventure where I can create the happiness I desire. I found out that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was and my friends can and do, at times, love me more than the family I was given at birth.Paula: Not to settle for something for fear of change.
How did you get your groove back after divorce?
- Cindy: I started taking scuba diving lessons and after talking to the dive shop owner's wife, I had an epiphany: I can do whatever I want!
Michele: Working on it! Pray a lot and let God lead me where He wants me to go. Trying new things I didn't think I could do. Learning to believe in myself! Unduplicated Art: Working out and doing more stuff for me. I have lost 26 lbs and I feel and look great! Cyndi: I made myself a priority, since God knows he never did. I decided to put myself first and to do the things that make me happy. Once I focused on me and making positive changes in my life, the rest just fell into place. SO much happier now! Jennie: I have two new jobs and I treat myself better: manicures and pedicures, which I never did before. I spend more time with friends and exercise so I can look good and feel good!Jennifer: Going out with friends and lots of wine, sex and therapy!
What advice would you give to others currently going through the divorce process and don't know if they will make it out in one piece?
- Melissa: Just take it one day at a time. Surround yourself with a good support network and know that one day you will look back and realize that you have more strength than you ever thought possible.
Carla: Everything is temporary--good and bad. This too shall pass. Jackie The Divorce Coach: Pay more attention to yourself than the divorce itself. Be brutally honest with yourself and ask for help. (www.thedivorcecoach.co.uk) Ingrid: Have faith you are where you are supposed to be. Janine: When you feel like you are just going to die, crawl into your bed and just die. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off, put one foot in front the other and keep moving forward as best you can. Even if it's two steps back for every step forward, you can do it! Life stinks right now, but if you keep going it WILL get better. A year of healing has passed and my life is BETTER than EVER! Rachel: Sometimes things get worse before they get better (in my case). In the end, it all works out and I am a much happier person. Nicole: If you're worried about the future and the what if's, keep your feet in today and when it all gets too much, focus on one second at a time until you can focus on one minute. Then, gradually keep increasing. Take baby steps and don't think you have to tackle everything at once. One day at a time. Make a list and cross it off as you get it done. Heather: ALWAYS take the high road, always. You will feel better about yourself and your children are watching and learning from you.Amy: Want to change your mood? DANCE! Crank up your favorite tune and DANCE!
As you can see by the above responses, divorce does not have to be a negative experience. These divorcees are living proof that there can be positives -- a renewed faith in oneself, new-found talents, self-worth and for some, a restoration of the thing none of us ever has enough of: freedom! The responders above are also testimony to our favorite mantra at DivorceCandy: Revamp. Rejuvenate. Rebuild.
To learn more about our Facebook community, go to http://www.facebook.com/DivorceCandy.
Randi Small and Jennifer Schwartz are the co-founders of www.divorcecandy.com.