Divorce, separation, breakup. Whether you're the one who initiated it, or the one on the receiving end, going through it remains a very difficult life transition.
The end of a relationship is not something we plan ahead or hope for usually, and there's often an element of surprise attached to it, whether you saw it coming or not.
If you are in the process of separating, or divorcing, my heart goes to you. If you are the one subjected to it, here are 5 things you should know about this stage that I hope will help you normalize your current experience and help you get through it with a little more ease.
1- You will go through a roller coaster of emotions
One moment you may feel enraged and you may want to destroy everything that reminds you of your partner. The next one, you may miss him/her/them incredibly. Then, you may try to bargain with yourself: "If I could talk to him again, if I hadn't done or said this or that to her, if only they gave me a real chance..." Sometimes all these emotions will hit you at the same time, which may feel very confusing. This is normal and to be expected. Your mind and your heart are fighting against the reality of the situation.
My advice to you is to let yourself feel whatever emotions come up, and stay away from the "should feel". You're not supposed to feel one way or another. Grief is a messy process and we all go through it in a unique way. So, next time a wave of emotions comes up, remember that it has a beginning and an end.
2- You will go through the stages of grief in no order
Grief is not a structured and organized process. Even though you may have heard of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief, these are just a road map, not a box in which everyone who goes through a loss fits. You may spend more time in the first stages (anger, denial, bargaining and depression) at the beginning, or you may not. You may go from one stage to the other within seconds or days. Acceptance may come in small bites here and there, or as the final piece of a long journey.
Also, not everyone who grieves goes through all of these stages, and that’s okay: you do not have to go through each stage to feel better.
Remind yourself that you are unique, and so is your process.