Anybody Out There?
All Things Tami
Last week I celebrated my 49th birthday – the final year of my 4th decade on this planet. Birthdays are always a time of reflection for me. This one hit me pretty hard. Especially since I never thought, as a 49 year old woman, I would be divorced and alone.
Scratch that. I’m not alone.
Sometimes I feel that way, and in talking with other divorcees, this is a pretty common sentiment. In reality, we’re not alone. Our inner circles have just been adjusted a bit.
“I’m going to die alone” is a statement I hear from many women when they are first adjusting to life after divorce – especially those of us who are of a certain age. Yes, it seems exaggerated, but it’s a very real fear. I thought that way at first, too. Until I realized just because the people you were familiar with are no longer around, it doesn’t mean there aren’t new opportunities out there to expand your social life.
“We are only alone if we choose to be.”
Unlike social media, adjusting our real-life “friends lists” isn’t as easy as blocking people we no longer want to associate with and clicking the accept button when we want to make new friends. Often, after divorce it seems like it would be easier to retreat into our own little worlds.
We certainly are not lacking in excuses to be alone…
- “He was the only man I will ever love.”
- “His family was my family, too.”
- “I gave up all my friends to be with him.”
- “I’m not very good at meeting new people.”
- “If I’m divorced, no one will want to be with me.”
Now is your chance to update that real-life friends list. And letting go of some of the relationships from our married lives is not only necessary, but also cathartic. You don’t have to feel guilty or explain yourself. Let go of the negative connections and strive to find a new support network that will help you navigate your post-divorce journey.
It’s time to get moving and get back out there. I’m not talking about dating, either. Humans are inherently social – we need those connections. Reconnect with old friends. Join a divorce care group. Join a gym. Heck, you could even join a knitting group! Anything to keep you busy and around other people.
If you are having trouble taking the first step and you feel like being a hermit, cut-off from all humanity is a better fit for you, think about seeing a therapist. Meeting new people isn’t easy. Maybe you need a little help taking the first step. A good therapist can get you moving in the right direction.
Even though my friends and I joke about me turning into the Crazy Old Cat Lady who inevitably trips over one of my many felines and dies in the middle of my living room – only to be found weeks later, half eaten by the same felines that killed me… I know I have enough people in my life to keep tabs on me so that won’t really happen. I hope. And in reading that last bit, maybe I need to quit watching old episodes of CSI and Criminal Minds.
You are not alone. If anything, we are in this together.
A Little Tact, Please
Hey, we all disagree from time to time. But since this is my little universe, I reserve the right to remove comments that are mean-spirited or contain verbal violence. Divorce discussion can get passionate and that's okay. But let's keep it classy and help one another instead of hurting one another. For full details on how things work here, see Rules of the Game.