And the lost heart stiffens and rejoices in the lost lilac and the lost sea voices, and the weak spirit quickens to rebel for the bent golden-rod and the lost sea smell. ~ T.S. Eliot
A Sea of Change: Divorce and Identity Crisis
Looking for Mooring Lines
Two months had passed since my estranged husband moved out of our home after 26-years of marriage. I existed in the hazy fog of divorce, unable to focus on anything and my thoughts were all over the map. I had no personal compass, and my new life did not come with directions. Every minute of every day felt like a huge question mark. The ground beneath me was not stable. I searched desperately for an anchor. I’d never felt so lost.
A Lighthouse in the Distance
You pretty much wake up one day, and everything in your life has changed. We, women, define ourselves primarily by our relationships and our homes. If you’re in mid-life and your children are leaving home at the same time your marriage is ending, you may be thrown way off course. The two things you knew that you were, a mother and a wife, are changing.
If you devoted your life to being a stay-at-home mom, you might experience an even deeper identity crisis.
It may take some time, but soon you’ll come to a critical realization: YOU STILL HAVE YOU.
But, who are you, you ask? Knowing that you can count on yourself can be both reassuring and perplexing. You’ve been immersed in the world of your children and ex-husband, so even the most basic questions about yourself can feel foreign with answers unknown.
NOW is the time you get to explore, read lots of books, remove labels you or others put on yourself that don’t fit, redefine your passions and goals and go about setting a new course for your life.
Be kind to yourself on this journey as there are no maps and no instructions.
Hitting Land: The Beginnings of Self-Discovery
Learning about yourself and who you are today, and how you go about creating this new life of yours is truly a step-by-step process, one day at a time.
It’s a journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of grieving the end of your marriage. There will be moments of pure excitement and joy contrasted with moments of deep sadness over the letting go of a life that is no more.
At times it might feel like you’re trying on different sizes of shoes until you find the right ones that fit.
You may be experiencing new things like eating foods you didn’t like before, dating again, taking risks and exploring beyond the limitations you might have set on your life before the divorce.
As you become more sure of yourself, you’ll push beyond old boundaries and begin to open new doors.
Home at Last! I’m Found
Do you ever stop growing, evolving and changing? Your life can have many chapters and seasons.
It always seems to take a trial in life to help you realize your greatest opportunities for transformation. You will find you’re always “home” when you are your anchor. Home is not a destination, but a place found within. Once you know who you are, honor yourself and acknowledge and live an authentic life, you’ll never feel lost again.
Jamie Daniel-Farrell, MS, LMFT went into the field of clinical counseling to help others going through the journey of divorce recovery.
If you’re going through a divorce and could use help and support, please feel free to give me a call at 805-444-4968. I offer specialized counseling services offered both in-office and online, as well as support groups and workshops.
Divorce is a journey best not traveled alone. Please seek out healing communities in your area.