Think back to before you or your spouse decided to file for divorce. It doesn’t really matter whether you were the leaver or the left. This works with either.
You may have found yourself in a state of denial. If you were the left, you might have kept telling yourself that it’s not really happening; that she’ll be back, she’s just going through a phase.
If you were the leaver, you might have scolded yourself for going through with it; for deciding that the best course of action was to break up the family rather than deal with the issues.
In either situation, you step out of yourself and refuse to believe the gravity of the situation. Instead of letting your emotions out, you hold them in. You find it difficult to feel. Anything. Anger, betrayal, sadness, longing. You’re just empty.
Millions of people throughout the world go through it each year. Rather than facing tough emotions once the divorce papers are on the table, they retreat inside of themselves and find strength in cold, emotionless emptiness.
It can, for a time, be a good thing in that it gives you time to think and prepare for the turbulence ahead. However, it’s also quite hard to shut off, and if you are unable to find a way, then it could condemn you to a withdrawn life of depression. One that’s void of anger, but also void of love, passion, and belonging.
You Have To Learn How To De-Program.
We know it feels safe being closed off in an emotionless bubble, but it really isn’t. Depression is more than feeling sadness. Sometimes it’s feeling nothing at all. And regardless of which form it takes, it can lead to long-term mental and physical health issues. Here are some steps you can take to escape it today:
Talk to someone you trust: It can be a therapist or an emotionally supportive, non-judgmental family member. Just find someone you can confide in. The more you talk, the less that rigid robot exterior will hold firm.
Help others: To see the good in the world — love, passion, happiness, cooperation and camaraderie — you need to prove to yourself that it still exists. Step out of the metallic emotional trappings and learn to empathize again. Helping those in need can be uplifting, both to them and to you.
Find your safe place: The journey back to humanity has to begin somewhere. We recommend making time for the pent-up emotions that you’re feeling. If you need a good cry, go where no one can see you and do whatever it takes to get those tears out of you. If you’re angry, head to the gym and wail on the heavy bag for an hour or two. Do whatever you can to trigger your emotions in a time and place that you can control.
Even after the divorce forms are final, you can still feel like an emotional prisoner. Do what you can to de-program in healthy ways, and you’ll soon stop feeling like a robot and start feeling like the human being that you are.