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Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Divorce Grieving Cycle…

Dear Girlfriend

I know when you are going through a divorce that the roller-coaster ride can ‘feel’ very extreme. It alternates between activity and passivity in the very human and desperate efforts to avoid the change triggered by the divorce.

The initial state before the cycle begins is often quite stable, at least in terms of the subsequent reaction on hearing the bad news. Compared with the ups and downs to come, even if there is some variation, this is indeed a stable state.

And then, into the calm of this relative paradise, a bombshell bursts. The cycle runs as follows:

The Naked Divorce Grieving Cycle
  1. Denial
  2. Anger and Betrayal
  3. Panic and Negotiation
  4. Humiliation, Fear of Failure or Looking Bad
  5. Despair
  6. Loss, Grief and Depression
  7. Space & Nothingness
  8. Acceptance
  9. Responsibility and Forgiveness
  10. Gratitude
Let me explain the stages in a little more detail. There is the initial ‘Shock’ stage which is an initial paralysis at hearing the bad news of the break up, this is followed by…
  1. Denial stage: Trying to avoid the inevitable
  2. Anger and Betrayal stage: Frustrated outpouring of bottled-up emotion
  3. Panic and Negotiation stage: Seeking in vain for a way out. Making deals with ex
  4. Humiliation, Fear of Failure or Looking Bad stage: gradually sinking into a spiral, feeling embarrassed and avoiding seeing people
  5. Despair stage: Realization that something horrible is coming and you are strapped into the rollercoaster with nothing you can do
  6. Loss, Grief and Depression stage: Final realization of the inevitable, surrendering to the grief
  7. Space & Nothingness stage: Once you have grieved and grieved, experiencing loss and pain. There is a feeling of ‘nothingness’ – where you cannot cry anymore
  8. Acceptance stage: Seeking realistic solutions and finally finding the way forward
  9. Responsibility and Forgiveness stage: Taking responsibility for where you may have been responsible for the relationship not working out. Forgiving your ex and yourself for any failings you feel happened during the relationship
  10. Gratitude stage: Transformational experience – learning from your divorce and seeing positives and negatives from the whole experience
Sometimes just understanding WHERE you are and that it is a process and that you will get through it, really helps. The important thing to keep in mind is that although the graph looks linear – you will bounce between the first 6 ‘stages’ many times.

If you would like to see where you are within the Naked Divorce Grieving cycle, take the How Hung up Are you Test. Click on http://www.nakeddivorce.com/How_Hung_Up_Are_You.html to find out more about taking the test.

Till next time, sending you a big hug!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Warning Signs that you are losing control during your divorce…

There are some important considerations to keep in mind when dealing with a life-altering change that is divorce. One of the big confidence boosts after divorce is an invincible feeling that you have survived change. However, it’s very important to watch what you are changing and at what pace you are making those changes.

Case Study: of one of my clients: Mary was often accused by her ex-husband as being boring. He was a very sporty guy and she was frankly a bit of a couch potato. Their divorce was acrimonious and Mary was left feeling that no one would ever want her. Rather than turning to a positive Naked Divorce and getting over her divorce and changing in a measured way, Mary decided to become GI Jane and took on a military fitness course – a highly physical training even though she hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in years. Needless to say she fractured her wrist in the first week.

After Sleeping on it, ask yourself: ‘Is this change measured, healthy, congruent and ethical for myself and others?’   
The moral of the story is that Mary was trying to fix and change being boring in a very ‘crazy’ type of way.
 There is no issue with changing your life, but I strongly recommend adding a caveat to all changes by asking ‘Is this change measured, healthy, congruent and ethical?’

Tips for how to recognize when you are going over the top…
  • You cannot believe what you are wearing, doing, eating or withholding from yourself
  • You’ve become obsessed with your inner thoughts about your ex hearing of the ‘new you’
  • You created the ‘new you’ to get your ex’s attention
  • More than one friend or family member questions your ‘new look’
  • You notice eyebrows rise as you walk in with your new look
  • Your food bill has markedly increased or decreased
  • You sense people are talking about you – perhaps at work and perhaps too much
  • Other aspects of your life are taking second place to the new aspect of you

Are there any drastic changes you are considering making? Notice what is driving you to make these drastic changes and After Sleeping on it, ask yourself: ‘Is this change measured, healthy, congruent and ethical for myself and others?’

WATCH THESE – if concerned, contact your doctor or a good friend today.

Sending you a big hug!