A Divorce Journey: BLOG #1
Updated: May 31, 2019
By Lynn Kaplan : Certified Divorce Doula & Divorce Coach
BLOG # DO-IT-YOURSELF THERAPIES
Why did I decide to put this out there?
I know that divorce closes many doors, but there is also the opportunity for it to open many others. My hope is for readers to pry open those doors and to find their own path; to find what helps, grounds, supports and empowers them on their divorce journey.
In this first Blog Series, I want to share the Do-It-Yourself Therapies I delved into; with the hope that others will find ones that fit them; a bit like shopping and trying items on. Lastly, I’d love others to share what Divorce Journey DIY Therapies they have delved into.
These therapies are how I made it through all the ridiculously challenging parts of transitioning into single parenthood: logistics, finances, parenting plans, family court and more. I look at the list of what I immersed myself in and WOW. In looking back, I certainly feel I needed to dive in head first - into the deepest of waters. I knew I needed to heavily bolster myself - I needed to heal, I needed to feel EMPOWERED. I knew that by putting the oxygen mask on myself, my children would also learn skills to be fully armed in times of adversity, while benefiting from all the grounding adventures I was bringing into our lives.
At the end of every Blog Post, I will include a list of books and items that I used on my journey. I highly recommend them to help you through yours. To make it easy for you, I have included links on Amazon.ca .
My goal is to focus on each DIVORCE JOURNEY DIY THERAPY individually - with probably a few for each blog.
First let’s start from the beginning….
THE DIVORCE JOURNEY BEGINS (A.K.A. THE DIVORCE DOG)
When my "then-husband" took me out for coffee (which he didn't pay for) to tell me that he "did not love me anymore and was moving out," I had no idea that within a short time I would be so very grateful that he had "dumped me." The person I am now is very different from who I was before that marriage ended; a much happier version. The journey has been amazing, difficult, exciting, frustrating and mostly full of incredible learning.
Back to the "over coffee goodbye,” at the time I had chronic pain and much fatigue from fibromyalgia. I had just sold a vibrant business, which I had built from scratch, in order to take time off to get the rest my body needed (doctor’s orders). I knew I was very unhappy in my marriage, but was too scared to end it myself as I was not sure how I would be able to physically take care of my two children. My son was then 5 1/2, my daughter (from my first marriage) was then 17.
After I called my mom and my lawyer, I called the dog breeder. Although we had an Australian Shepherd, I knew my son needed a puppy of his own in order to get through what was to come. Years later in my Family Mediation Course at York University, I learned the term for getting that puppy was "the Divorce Dog"; unconditional love and a huge distraction. Actually, just what we all needed!
Note to reader: The divorce from my daughters' father had been extremely amicable. Somehow I thought this time would be the same. How that pendulum did swing and instead of mediation, I spent years working with my lawyer being in family court multiple times, truly years of divorce logistics misery. Not what someone with a chronic illness that is triggered by stress needed.
Eleven years later, my son now lives with me full time and my daughter is in Boston with plans to return to Toronto in the next few years. We have 4 dogs that are our "family" along with a slew of other pets and a house filled with plants. I am able to manage my fibromyalgia to the point where I barely feel it. I am fully married to myself. I make sure to fill every day with JOY for both me and my children. My hope is that the upcoming blogs on my DIY Therapies will help and inspire you to find your path to a healthy and joyful daily life.
FOR EASE: EVERYTHING LINKS TO AMAZON.CA
If you use Amazon.com, I am hoping you will easily find them there, or similar ones
It is a pleasure to be an Amazon Affiliate
My Favourite Items
A very quick and easy way to make a huge change to your home with very little cost output- make any room magical, warm and cozy
I like the chewable type; used to "calm me down" when tension got high. Check with doctor if taking other medications
I use this every single day to add the smells of essential oils to my home. I walk in the front door to the oils diffused throughout the house to calm me , invigorate me, to let me know that my home is my sanctuary.
I choose the ones that smelled good to me , along with researching which ones calm and relax, and others that are uplifting. This variety pack helps to find which ones you prefer.
My Booklist for this Blog (each Blog will have it's own booklist)
They encompass the spectrum from an AMICABLE to HOSTILE situations.
For your convenience, all books are listed through Amazon.ca
It is a pleasure to be an Amazon Affiliate
Taking the High Road by Nailah Shami
For the challenging divorce where it feels like a "life sentence". This book will shift that if you really do the work. It was the first book that got me moving in a positive direction.
Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen
Everybody should read this book- going through a divorce or not. It's also the book to read if you are considering separation. You will learn very good skills from it that will help you wade through all the difficult conversations
Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court by Justice Harvey Brownstone
Brownstone, a well seasoned family court judge, goes over all the reasons to work as hard as you possibly can to stay OUT of court. But, he also acknowledges that sometimes you do NEED the court system involved and how to navigate through it.
Does Wednesday Mean Mom's or Dad's House by Marc J. Ackerman
A great book to help your children as your family transitions to a two home family. Great tips and insight.
Children Come First by Howard H. Irving, Ph. D.
Keeping the best interest of the children in mind, Irving gives insight on how to keep this your focus.
The Healthy Divorce. By. Lois Gold, M.S.W.
Keeping it as healthy as possible should be the goal for every divorce, even with the inevitable challenges. For those couples who can both keep the focus on an amicable family transition, this book is very helpful on guiding you through it.
Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships by Diane Vaughan
For anyone and everyone going through a separation and divorce, Diane Vaughan is brilliant at explaining the possible emotional processes. It will give insight into what you are going through and into what your partner is going through. Knowing where each of you are at and experiencing will only better help with decision making.
Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Some with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy, LCSW and Randi Krege
I cannot express how important this book is for anyone going through a separation from someone with a challenging personality!!!! Read it and then READ IT AGAIN!!!!! And then, every few years, READ IT AGAIN!!!! This book along with Taking the High Road (first up there in my list) got me to the happy place I am today, along with my understanding the skills I needed to make sure my children found their happiness too.
MORE TOPICS TO COME
UPCOMING TOPICS FOR THE D0-IT-YOURSELF THERAPIES SERIES
-Filling My House With Love
-Giving And Receiving Emotional Support
-Taking Care Of Business
-Make Art Now
-Every Day Nature Therapy
-My Pinecone Therapy
-Dreaming Of My Homestead Farm
-COOK, EAT, LOVE
-Swimming My Way To Sanity
-In Search Of Sleep
-Family Dinners- what you never knew
-Holding Down The Fort
-Thank You For Dumping Me
DIVORCE PROCESSES SERIES
UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONAL ABUSE SERIES
AMICABLY RESOLVING AND CO-PARENTING SERIES
HOSTILE AND EMOTIONAL UNSAFE INTERACTIONS SERIES
NARCISSISM AND HOW IT CAN AFFECT DIVORCE SERIES
Wishing you all the very best with your Divorce Journey