During the past 35 years, I have treated hundreds of men and women who have gone through divorce. Even if your marriage may not have been a good one, and even if you were the one who initiated the divorce, the process is almost always extremely painful and traumatic for everyone.
Divorce marks the end of your hopes and dreams of spending your life with someone whom you once loved, and who once loved you. Most people find themselves on an emotional roller coaster ride during and after divorce. And, like a death, people tend to go through various difficult stages: depression, denial, anger, blame, self-blame, why me, and finally acceptance.
Be Good to Yourself
Initially, you may need to force yourself to take a walk, join a gym, or plan an outing with friends and family, even though this may not be something that you feel that you really want to do. No need to be stoic. This is a time for you to take care of yourself. I suggest that you try and do something nice for yourself every single day—something that you can look forward to. It may even be a decadent cookie. That's one cookie, and not a whole box.
Your body is stressed and needs extra sleep, regular exercise, and good nutrition. If you suffer from insomnia, why not try a natural remedy? If this doesn't help, speak to your doctor about other short-term remedies. Give yourself permission to express your feelings. It's never a good idea to keep your emotions pent up. Doing so takes its toll on your body and psyche. If you find that talking to friends and family is not sufficient, do yourself a favor and find yourself a good therapist who can help you deal with your loss and also support you in starting a new chapter in your life. Group therapy may also be an option.
Asking for help is always a sign of strength, not a weakness. You don't need to do all of this on your own.
Dos and Don'ts
Eventually, you will need to understand what went wrong in your marriage. It is very easy to blame your partner. But those of us who have been through divorce need to take responsibility for our own part and take an honest look at the role we played in why our marriage failed. What I would not do is drown your sorrows with alcohol, drugs (including over the counter medication) or food. And realistically, expect to have some very difficult days and nights. This is normal. There is no quick fix.
The good news is that there is life after divorce. And you should not give up hope that, someday (if you choose), you may very well meet a special person and fall in love again. However, this is not the time for a new relationship. Studies show that it takes a minimum of one year to go through the mourning process. Once you do this, you will be emotionally, psychologically, physically, and sexually available and ready for a new beginning. Rebound relationships usually don't end well. So take this time and focus on yourself. There will be plenty of time for dating.
And finally, don't make any major decisions until you feel that you are on an even keel. I promise you that each day will get better, and that there is life after divorce.