The Wise Words That Helped Me Survive My Divorce

The Wise Words That Helped Me Survive My 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 or tweet @HuffPost Divorce.

In the wake of her divorce, HuffPost Divorce blogger Elizabeth Denham said she took comfort in take-out food and hobbies she had put on the back-burner during her marriage. But what really helped her get past her breakup was realizing she'd have to accept the divorce before any progress could be made.

"To me, the key to moving forward after divorce is getting to a place of acceptance," she told us. "Accept that this is where you are, this is your new reality. Accept, as my good friend and minister, Angie Long says, that you are living in the consequences of other people’s actions. Accept these things, move forward from this new place and let go of how you got here. You are responsible for your future and your kids’ futures. Honor it."

Below, Denham shares with us how her reignited passion for ballet and writing made all the difference on the road to acceptance.

The Mantra
"I asked my ex-husband to move out October eight years ago. I filed for divorce the following January and in February my two year-old son started having uncontrolled seizures. There were days where my three kids were fed and bathed and that was all I could accomplish. I started a mantra to myself. 'You can only do the best that you can do.' Some days my best was great. Some days, it was survival. Accepting that doing my best might look different every day helped me to give myself a break. Also, perspective is everything. Having a sick child will put a bad divorce in perspective in about two seconds flat."
The Splurge
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"When I was married, my ex-husband generally put down anything I wrote…so I wrote less. For me, writing is an outlet. With a divorce and a child struggling with seizures, I needed an outlet. I bought myself a laptop and found my voice again. I haven’t been consistent in writing every day or even every week, but I am writing more than ever, and am making a career shift to incorporate more writing."
The Food
Berit Myrekrok via Getty Images
"I kind of think red wine and dark chocolate go without saying as necessities for surviving divorce. But friends are also a necessity. My girlfriends and I often had pajama nights at my house where we would get take-out and watch movies in our PJs. We spent more time talking and laughing and offering support than we did actually watching the movies."
The Photo
Elizabeth Denham
"This picture is important to me because it represents a reignited passion. I was a ballet dancer my whole life. Once I had my own family, I took class off and on and taught off and on between pregnancies, but never performed. After I was divorced and my son’s health was under control, I started teaching 8-10 classes each week and started performing again. It was so meaningful to my sons to see their mom doing something that made me happy. They were excited and proud, and it was a lesson for me that it is good and healthy for my kids to know that I have passions and goals for myself. My knees are too old to dance now, but my kids are so supportive of my writing and are proud to see me progress. One of my biggest goals is to help each child find their own passion."
The Song
"I played Joss Stone’s 'You Had Me' repeatedly every time I got in the car. It's about a toxic relationship. The empowering repetition of the line 'Taking it back, I’m taking it back, taking back my life' helped reinforce that I was in control of my life and would not be defined by what was happening to me because of someone else’s choices. I still love that song."
The TV Show
Bravo via Getty Images
"Continuing the theme that perspective is everything -- and I almost hate to admit this one -- reality TV was a staple during my divorce. I mean, who can top the 'Real Housewives of Name that City'? If you are feeling like your life could be a Lifetime Original Movie, just watch a few minutes of reality TV and you will feel relatively normal."
The Hobby
"I started playing league tennis about a year before my divorce. Unbeknownst to me, it would prove to be fortuitous. There is no better therapy when you are hurt, angry, confused or overwhelmed than to go out and knock the crap out of a ball. From the time my divorce began until it was final, I moved up 3 flights (levels) in my league. And I made a lot of great girlfriends in the process."
The Book
Sasha Bell via Getty Images
"The book that helped me the most was the one I began to write when I started dating again. It started as a funny chronicle of my ridiculously bad dates, but it evolved into a reflection of why people do the things they do and how I wanted to move forward. The thing I learned most through the process of therapeutic writing was that you must say this and mean it: 'I would rather be alone for the rest of my life than be with the wrong person.' And also: 'Deal-breakers must actually break your deal. It’s all about self-worth.'"

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