Accio happiness! 2016 Divorce Recovery Edition
April 24, 2016 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Recently divorced, I filed. Having so much trouble dealing with how I lost financial security, a decent place to live and general happiness. Looking for help/ideas on how to recover and want to go on through life. There are days when it's dragging me over gravel to get up and get going. Sidenote, treated for Bipolar I and medicated. Likely going to adjust. Seeing therapist.

What can I do to build my confidence again?
Is there something I could/should read about recovery from divorce?
Is it normal for the person filing to hate themselves for doing so? (My wife has moved on to something bigger and better, I've been told. Ouch)
I had a rebound, but I'm more hungup over her than my wife... ex-wife... whatever.
I want to meditate but can't figure it out at all.
How can I make myself leave my crappy apartment?
Everyone tells me to get a dog, but I really don't have the money and know how much care dogs need. I could give all the love in the world, but that doesn't cover shots etc.
I had a very traumatic depression induced event last year and spent time in a hospital. I got out and got a tattoo one inch from my wrist that I'd love to hide but it's in a weird non-watch covered location.

I think I'm asking you to solve all my problems. So... solve!
posted by Draccy to Human Relations (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How can I make myself leave my crappy apartment?

By leaving your crappy apartment! You can either schedule activities to get yourself out there, or just go out. A destination would be fine, perhaps just going to a coffee shop to read a book for an hour. Make sure you do this on a regular schedule. Maybe 2 nights per week, you schedule yourself to somewhere, anywhere, outside of the apartment. Don't wait to be motivated, just get out.
posted by xingcat at 5:51 PM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Volunteer, with/for animals if that's something accessible for you. If not animals, something that you think is important, like a social issue (education, literacy, health, art experiences, just some examples) or your local community.

Even if you can only volunteer two hours a week it can make a big difference, it will get you out of your crappy apartment and involved with all new people. Along with helping your social challenges right now, volunteering can be really meditative and affirming, because you're being useful and valued for yourself exactly as you are.

You might run into some roadblocks, like having to take orientation classes that are only scheduled two months from now or other problems that folks with executive function issues (hi!) have trouble handling. Go ahead and schedule those orientation classes or get started on that paperwork and then look for one-off volunteer opportunities happening right now. Handing out water during a marathon? Cleaning up an empty lot in your neighborhood? Being an able body at a food bank to help carry things and break down boxes? There are lots of chances for people to show up and help everywhere.
posted by Mizu at 5:57 PM on April 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

Yeah, be rigid with yourself, but also set achievable goals. It may feel stupid and formulaic, but what worked for me post divorce was out at least two weeknights and not alone on any weekend day the whole day. is a godsend, if it is active where you are.

Regarding the dog, I'm currently fostering. The organisation pays the vet bills and I pay the food. Something to consider while you get yourself together if you think you can take the responsibility to care for him/her.
posted by frumiousb at 5:59 PM on April 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

It's okay to feel crappy. I mean it doesn't feel great, but it makes sense to feel crappy after a divorce and a rebound. Be patient with yourself, take care of yourself and let yourself grieve.

Leaving your apartment - it kind of depends on what motivates you. For me, peer pressure does the trick. Scheduling things with friends, signing up for classes, promising to volunteer, etc. If you like to sing, joining a choir is a good move.

Building your confidence - it will probably begin to return on its own as your crisis passes. However here are some tips.

Meditation - it's hard to say anything about this without knowing what you have tried and why you feel it's not clicking. That might be another

Dogs - if you feel drawn to spend time with dogs or feel it might be helpful, sometimes shelters need volunteers to walk them. I've known people who logistically couldn't have a dog who would volunteer at a shelter and build a relationship with a specific dog they saw regularly.

I'm sorry you're at a low point. I hope things get better for you soon.
posted by bunderful at 6:51 PM on April 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

When I got divorced, live music was my salvation. Don't know. If that's your thing, but getting out once or twice a week to see bands at local clubs was huge for me. Open Mic nights might be good because they're often cheap or free. Exercise is good too. I find that can work like mediation for me. I know it's hard to motivate sometimes, but I always find it rewarding when I do get out. What about free cultural events? I know a lot of museums have free admission times. Good luck! I know from your past questions that this has been a hard road for you. I'm available by memail if you need to chat.
posted by SobaFett at 7:22 PM on April 24, 2016

How far away is your grocery store? If you're not getting out, anything under a mile is walkable. It's good exercise, especially if there are hills and you have a taste for milk by the gallon.

Long story short, if there's someplace you regularly visit by car that is close enough to walk, start doing that.

Don't forget to go to bars, galleries and movies.
posted by rhizome at 11:59 PM on April 24, 2016

Been there and it's tough. What worked for me is long walks, losing some weight, and treating myself. I'm not sure about getting a pet. It can help with the loneliness but it's also a big responsibility at a time when you're probably just trying to keep your own head above water.

Good luck! I've never been happier or healthier than I am a year after my separation. Marriages end for a reason and it sucks but it's probably for the best.
posted by The Hyacinth Girl at 6:41 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

How can I make myself leave my crappy apartment?

By having something to look forward to. For me, it's getting out in nature. Going to a lakefront park, walk in the woods, whatever. Nature is proven to be calming and for me it puts things in perspective - there is so much out there in the world that has nothing to do with me or my problems. Squirrels and birds don't care. Walking meditation is a thing and is often easier for beginners than sitting meditation.

Don't think about it, don't make plans, just get out and do it. Shower as soon as you wake up, throw some clothes on, and get out the door before you have time to get anxious about it. Don't sit down to check your email, don't sit down for any reason except to tie your shoes. Bring a snack bar so you don't even need to sit down for breakfast. Get in your car or bike and just drive/ride away. I'm not familiar with your area but it looks like you have a national forest about 3 hours away? Camp if you have the equipment (or rent it). Sitting next to a campfire and looking up at the stars heals a lot of wounds.
posted by AFABulous at 7:56 AM on April 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Gym. Volunteer. Community college classes. Sierra Club. History round tables. Toastmasters. Square dancing. Contra dancing. Library. Church. Just get out, but don't go out expressly to meet someone. That will come in time once you learn to enjoy yourself while pursuing your chosen activity.
posted by PJMoore at 8:03 AM on April 25, 2016

You have my condolences for your troubles. I applaud your recognition of the need to get out of the house.

One of the themes of the 9 previous posters is to make a schedule. The schedule forces you to leave your apartment for the activity. Activities where there's a schedule included the following:
+ Bible study (many groups socialize for about 30-60 minutes before reading+discussing so it's kind of like a Bible-centered social group. You'll make new firends too.)
+ Toastmasters, Sierra Club, Democrat/Republican club, bike club (you don't have to be fast b/c there's usually a slow sub-group at each ride), Civil Air Patrol, Coast Guard Auxillary (they need people w/o boats too), Big Brother/Big Sister, learn-to-read volunteer, police auxillary, etc. meet regularly
+ Do you play a instrument? Community orchestras and concert bands take all comers, even if it's been several years/decades(!) since you last opened the case. Pawn shops always have student models really cheap to buy.
+ community garden -- not only do they meet regularly, but your plants need regular care. Even if you're a novice/brown thumb, there's always someone eles in the garden for guidance.
+ USO, Red Cross, NOAA, FEMA
posted by dlwr300 at 8:36 AM on April 25, 2016 [2 favorites]

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