Divorce And Loneliness II – Coping

The loneliness that you feel after a divorce is truly a mixed blessing. As painful as it is to endure, it is also the fertile ground in which you heal, grow, and in the end become a much stronger person.

Divorce and loneliness is never easy to deal with. As much as you may want to be a part of the world around you, you are cut-off from it and separated by much of the pain you are experiencing. You are alone in your own wilderness of the soul and it is in that wilderness that you have to travel through to become healed, whole, and happy once more.

Working on yourself during this time is the best thing that you can do. The pain, loneliness, heartache, disappointment… all of that creates an opening in your life for growth that is unique.

When I was going through the divorce process several years ago and subsequently divorced, I discovered two things. 1. I had neglected my spiritual growth for many years during the marriage and I was starving and thirsty for knowledge. 2. The divorce, the time before, during, and after was actually an open window for me focus on my own growth and myself and I knew intuitively that opening had an expiration date, so I had to take advantage of it when I had the chance in order to gain the most benefit.

As part of my strategy to cope with being alone and the loneliness and everything else, I consumed if not outright devoured any information that I could get my hands on. I studied copious amounts of divorce and divorce recovery books, read forums online and even attended support groups. Reading and hearing about other peoples experiences helped me to learn more about relationships, what goes wrong in relationships, and what happens after the death of a relationship as well.

That was only one aspect of using learning to cope with my divorce pain and loneliness. This was merely the ointment that was used to sooth the pain of the situation as it was in that moment. In conjunction and parallel to all of the studying about relationships, I also dove headfirst into learning about me, my life, and how the world works.

This was a deeper root cause analysis where I looked at my history, my issues, and my baggage. It was not contained to the failed marriage but rather, it was a study of my entire life. I looked at all of my bone-head ways of dealing with life and things I had done, how I reacted, etc, and strived to learn how to do better. I read Castendea, Chopra, Robbins, Tolle, Millman, Bly, and Keen, to name a few names. And if I had to choose I would say that it was the Toltec teachings that I read from Casteneda and Don Miguel Ruiz that resonated the most to me in both dealing with the divorce, the loneliness, and with myself.

In the end, taking things further, I went back to school to get a masters degree in counseling. That two and half year program on top of everything else that I was doing was a major learning opportunity for growth and development.

Your divorce pain and loneliness creates a massive vacuum in your life and coping with it via learning about yourself and the world around you is the most positive thing that you could possibly do. It will not cure everything instantly but it will distract you in the moment and will nurture your being in the end.

Divorce and loneliness will create havoc on your health and well-being. You might eat too much or not enough. Chances are if you have predilection for consuming alcohol, your consumption will increase to help deal with the pain. The depression that comes with it all will suck every ounce of motivation out of you to get out and exercise that you might have. Not only does the experience take you down the road of emotional and spiritual ruin, it will devastate your physical health as well.

When I got divorced, I was overweight. Not obese, and by most standards I was still healthy but I was not at my best. Just as I had ignored feeding my brain through my marriage, I had also neglected the taking care of my physical fitness. I had always been a runner and as a coping mechanism, I began again. When you are alone and feeling lonely, sometimes being alone just does not make sense to you. When you go out for a run, which most people do alone anyway, it fits in a way. It makes more sense being out running a few miles on a trail by yourself rather than sitting at home alone on the couch does it not?

The running career that I resumed because of my divorce is still going strong and is a part of my live every day. I credit my divorce and having to learn how to deal with it for much of my personal growth, but I also fully recognize it as the beginning of many successful years of running and racing and am a much better person for it. If I had never been divorced or had that experience, I would have never, ever, ran the Leadville Trail 100 Run more than likely, and now I have five finisher buckles on my mantle. The pain of my divorce and that experience is actually the core strength that still makes me a half-way decent runner.

Increasing your physical activity has the added bonus of fighting depression. When you exercise large muscle groups, as in your legs, your body releases a whole lot of natural feel good chemicals into your blood stream that will boost your overall sense of well-being, which is exactly what you probably need.

Taking time every day to do some serious and structured physical activity will not only eat up the time that you would otherwise spend alone, but it will pay huge dividends in keeping your mind and body sound through the healing process so that you are better off as you travel through the healing and after.

If you do not take the time to learn how to mange the pain of your divorce and the loneliness that comes with it, in the end it will handle you, and not gently, I might add. Your loneliness and pain, that destruction of your life will create a huge crater and it is in that crater that you can create a completely new life for yourself if you choose to do so. Feed your brain, nurture your soul and your spirit, learn, learn, and learn, as much as you can. It will not only distract you but also help you to grow into a stronger and more aware person. After looking after your internal needs, focus on your physical needs. Try to lose weight, or gain weight even if you have to. Run, go to the gym, swim, ride your bike. Get out in nature and feel the sunlight on your skin. Heal your body as well as well as your heart.

There are many ways to help cope with divorce and loneliness and this only touches the surface and what worked and still works for me to this day. If you have any other ways that help you or if this article has helped you, please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado


  1. […] * There is a second part of this article entitled Divorce And Loneliness II – Coping which you can read here. […]

Speak Your Mind