Betsy Chasse: 5 Steps to Detox from Divorce

Healing from a break up takes time and patience.  Two things I never seem to have, but am learning, thanks to, well, a break up!

A little over a year ago my marriage ended. After the shock wore off, which for me lasted about 3 weeks, I did what I usually do- research.

I like instructions. I like to do lists. I like to have a plan and I didn’t seem to have any of those for dealing with the hurt and betrayal caused by my divorce.  I wasn’t surprised that I got divorced. I think I saw that coming. But even so, it didn’t hurt any less.

There were plenty of books and I read a couple, but who has time to read every book! I felt overwhelmed by all the information and advice coming my way. I was angry with God, I was angry at anything “spiritual”. I didn’t want to hear another person tell me to mediate on it. I just wanted someone to take my hand and lead me out of the tunnel of darkness I found myself in. When everyone around you thinks you’re the leader, it’s hard to find someone to follow. It’s especially hard to follow when YOU THINK you’re the leader.

During my research, I came across an article written by a couple of therapists who had a program called Divorce Detox. Well right off the bat, I liked the name.  It had a sense of humor and it was pretty right on. I mean we detox from toxins in our body right- why not detox the emotions.

So I checked it out.  Amazing how the universe seems to deliver right what you need when you need it. They had a session starting right away and I jumped at the chance to join. It wasn’t until after jumping that I realized I was going to have to sit in a room with a bunch of people I didn’t know and spill the beans on my life, my marriage and ME! I had never done that with my friends- let alone a bunch of strangers. Vulnerability was not my strong point.

I almost backed out, out of fear of being exposed as the horrible person I felt I was.

I was amazed, instead, to find a room full of loving people who understood my pain, my hurt, my anger and who loved me, even if they didn’t “know” me. Well they sure got to know me, and I still talk to them today, a year later. They gave me the greatest gift I have ever received (except for my children). They gave me their ears and their hearts. For the first time I sat in room and didn’t feel judged, I didn’t have to impress or be smart or funny. I could just be me, and begin to find me again.

I found someone to lead me, or I should say a group to lead me.  I found a to do list, I found someone who gave me some really easy straightforward steps to lead me toward the light.

I also learned that healing is a process, which takes time, and I have given myself the time. A year later I still feel sad, I still feel fear. But I have my little detox program to do, just like I detox my body, sometimes you gotta detox the mind.

Here are 5 steps to start that process. They really helped me. I’ve been getting a lot of emails from women – who like me are going through divorce so I thought I’d share.

1. Reconcile your mind and your heart

The mind and heart are often in conflict after a breakup. You may “know” intellectually that the relationship is over but this knowledge doesn’t always align with how you “feel”. This is one scenario where it’s not always best to follow your heart as this can lead you to actions you might later regret. Grounding yourself in the evidence will help you to use your brain so you can avoid saying or doing things that will ultimately hurt you further.

2. Learn how to move through grief instead of getting stuck in it

A large part of recovering from heartbreak involves grieving the loss of what you had. The death of a relationship is a powerful and painful event that can leave you feeling extremely sad and even angry. Ignoring your feelings or denying your pain will keep you stuck in the grief. In order to move through it you will need to acknowledge the depth of your loss and allow yourself the dignity of grieving what you had.

3. Distance yourself from your Ex

A breakup or divorce is different from a death in that you will not want to keep the memory alive. Removing pictures from your home and phone, unfriending your Ex on Facebook, and deleting their information from your contacts are all good places to start. You will also want to stay away from places you went together, or listening to music you shared. Distance does not make the heart grow fonder when your heart has been broken.

4. Put your self-judgments on hold

Wondering what you did wrong, how you could have done things differently, or how things could have been better, different or more in the relationship will drive you crazy. It is easy to fall into a place of self-judgment and self-criticism after your heart has been broken, but you will need to go easy on yourself in the beginning, especially during a divorce. While learning what you could have done better will be important, to heal your heartbreak you will need to practice self-compassion and be forgiving of yourself.

5. Be accountable for your part

When we are hurt by another it is easy to jump to a place of self-righteousness and blame. If your heart has been broken, you are most likely the casualty of someone else’s actions, but you don’t have to live in a victim like state. Taking some responsibility for what happened will empower you to heal, and you will feel a sense of control over how to move forward. You are only in control of yourself.

To find out more about Divorce Detox and Allison Pescosolido M.A., Andra Brosh Ph.D. and the Divorce Detox™  check out the website. The Divorce Detox™ Survival Kit is also really helpful to anyone going through divorce who wants valuable, expert advice.

Betsy Chasse is an author, mom and filmmaker. Co-Creator of the film “What The Bleep Do We Know?!” you can find out more about her at www.betsychasse.net.

Read her new book Metanoia – A Transformational Change of Heart. 

 

 

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Betsy Chasse

About Betsy Chasse

Betsy Chasse is a filmmaker, author, speaker, and mother best known as the co-creator behind the film What the Bleep Do We Know?! Chasse is a featured blogger on IntentBlog.com. Huffington Post and Modern Mom. She has been a featured columnist for multiple magazines and online sites most-recently Select magazine, Common Ground, and Yahoo! Shine. She has written three books, most recently Tipping Sacred Cows. Find out more about her at www.betsychasse.net

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    I would like to add Step 6 – Be Honest with your self about what role you played in the destruction of the relationship. Often times advice tryies to coddle us into believeing that its not us – its them. That it is the other person that has the issue and we are a wonderful person who didnt deserve to be treated this way. Taking time to journal your emotions, then self evaluating if your emotions are based on reality or ego created fictions. I have seen too many people who won't listen to what there ex spouse has said was wrong with the relationship and dont honor the other persons feelings because it doesn align with our perseption of reality. You can't heal what you dont know is broken.

    1. Penny says:

      I agree that knowing the role you played and owning it is critical. Without acknowledging our own role it is pretty easy to slip into patterns and beliefs we've always had.

  2. Melissa says:

    Good advice. I learned all those things, but within a much longer time frame and on my own. I don't know that I would have listened to or acted upon suggestion at the time, but it's comforting to know that even though traveled through the grief very much on my own, I seemed to get it right…eventually.

  3. Betsy Chasse says:

    Hi Chris- I agree with your comment but I think it's covered in #5.
    Hi Melissa- so glad you got there. I'm still working at it. But grateful I had some help alo g the way.

    Betsy