Sunday, March 18, 2012

Breakup 101, Episode 3: Use the internet to expand your divorce support network

You know that saying about raising kids, "It takes a village", blah blah blah? Well, getting through the pain of a breakup (and then for some, the entirely draining process of divorce) could very well eat you alive if you aren't careful.  To start over wonderful and move on to bigger and better things, without losing your marbles and/or becoming poisoned with bitter, you are going to need a very large and multifaceted support system.

It takes a village to raise a child. Likewise, it takes a village to survive a breakup. 

To be truly honest and off-the-wall real with you here (there's no sugar coating this, despite my over usage of the word "wonderful"), you're going to need a mother effin' village, an army (or at a minimum, a protective force field to surround yourself with), a personal assistant, and an infinitely deep well of unlimited strength from which to draw from repeatedly in order to survive the divorce process in a way where you can come out on the other side thriving. (Oh, and a solid pizza delivery service and never-ending supply of red wine will also help too!)

Starting over wonderful is no easy feat. I pinky-promise using my own experience as a testament to how difficult it can be, despite my very best attempts to not get eaten, chewed up, swallowed, spit up or spit on etc.  I've made plenty of wrong turns since leaving the STBX five and half months ago (that's it!?!) and I have found myself lost on occasion, spinning around in circles more often than I care to admit and I have even spent days at a time here and there broken down on the side of the road in despair.

Still, I've somehow made it light years ahead of where I was in the months leading up to d-day, or the day I knew that my marriage was over.

I have my support system to thank for that.

People keep asking me how it is that I am surviving, let alone seemingly thriving these days, and I maintain that it is because I am loved and supported by many. It is because of my support system that I've been steadily moving forward towards achieving that "wonderful" I'm always talking about. I've taken huge strides to get where I am today and the progress I'm making is surely evident, not only to myself, but also to those in my life that love and care about me.

My friends and my family. 

Without them, this experience would have broken or killed me months ago. I would be down and out in a ditch somewhere. Dying. Screw thriving.

My friends and family are truly the rock solid foundation of my support system and I would not be making such positive progress if it wasn't for them. No way, no how. Without their love and support, I would be a hot mess hibernating for the winter in my sweat pants while stuffing my face with chocolate and drowning in my own tears of sorrow.  

[So, I hope that any of the aforementioned loved ones remember that as they read what I am about to say next!]  

Despite having such a solid support system, in the weeks and months leading up to d-day, I started using the internet to reach out for other areas of "support" because I was still in super-stealth-mode about keeping my marriage difficulties under wraps.

And, thank God I did.


Not only did I find less biased and more knowledgeable support (again, no offense friends and family) by expanding my resources and support system (er, network?) via all the wonderful that is the internet, but I also found a niche that I now call home within which I am reinventing myself as I go through the most challenging experience of my life.

Building upon my rock solid support foundation of friends and family through use of the internet, mostly via social media, blogging and the like, has been a pivotal resource on this journey towards wonderful. A resource so profound, that I think anyone involved in a breakup, separation and/or divorce should tap into at least one aspect of the support system available via the World Wide Web (does anyone even say that anymore!?!!). If internet exploration through a breakup or divorce does anything at all for you, it will be that it gives you useful perspective you may not have otherwise found through sole reliance on friends and family. Remember, if they love you and are invested in your real life, they are biased. End of story!

Online support groups:  I'm part of an online mothers group via Facebook that was founded as a spin-off to a birth group at babycenter.com.  All of us in the group have babies that were born in August/September of 2010. I was part of the group long before my marriage really started to crumble and, since the group is a secret group only viewable on Facebook to those actually in the group, it became my safe-haven sounding board for airing my dirty laundry in the last few months of my marriage.  The girls in this group have become my life boat and many of us are such close friends now that we even talk on the phone and have real-life visits with one another with/without our babies. It is fantastic! In fact, every mom single or not, going through a breakup or not, should have a secret online mom's group to dish with on a regular basis. Go get in one now and thank me later. Great places for this are, again babycenter.com or facebook.com, and a great divorce-centered resource for women can also be found at firstwivesworld.com.

Breakup/Divorce Blogs: Read as many of them as you can, and if you are unabashed and courageous like me, start one yourself. As I've admitted previously, I stalked divorce support blogs and the like when I was contemplating leaving my marriage. I thought someone out there in the blogsphere would have all the answers that I was looking for at the time. I was wrong about that part due to my own desperation to get out of the hell that I was in, but through reading what others were/are going through on a regular basis, I've found a certain comfort that I just can not seem to find anywhere else. None of my friends have been through divorce and the family members that have are so much older than me that their experiences are irrelevant and often not all that helpful for advice purposes.  Some of my favorite blogs may be found here.

What about you? Do you use the internet as a valuable resource in a way where you could go so far as to say that it is an intricate part of your support system? 

3 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post, my friend. Chock full of information for those just going through divorce, with information, support and advice. You are coming along so far, I am so proud watching from afar (er, not even that FAR literally though! We must get together - side note). Thanks for including me in your list of reads too, I appreciate it so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We totally need to get together. Did you see that I changed the date of my divorce party? I know you couldn't come this past month but maybe you can come now? I'll resend the invite!

      Delete
  2. If you have come to the decision that divorce is the solution for you, your next step should be to familiarize yourself with your state's divorce laws.
    divorce support

    ReplyDelete

Have something insightful or intelligent to contribute? Please do. A diverse variety of comments ranging from praise to criticism are welcome here, so long as we all play nice and refrain from hostile hate compounded by ignorance.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...