When you have been the one to create holiday traditions in your family and then all the sudden you are forced to be without your children, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are not met with the same enthusiasm as previous years. It is just a fact of life, especially if you are newly divorced. Difficulty dealing with the situation does not end, but becomes increasingly challenging when the other parent decides to violate the custody arrangement or even worse decides to take the kids during the holidays for an extended period despite communicating that you have plans. Forget jungle emotions, be ready for an entirely new emotional shift.
This shift is called the depression cloud of divorce and it settles in as you near the end of your divorce case. There has been so much hurt and pain leading up to finalization, by the time you reach the end you are completely numb from head to toe (which occurs from a high conflict divorce like mine). Suffering is hard. Suffering without cause is even harder. The person that you once treasured has squandered your love and treated you like garbage for a lengthy period. It happened many times before the divorce; however, when you are a forgiving person you bounce back, and the marriage commitment keeps you grounded. If that’s you, you have a high tolerance for pain like me. When you have a hard heart, you file for divorce which was said in scripture way before my time. God’s word is the only book that acts as a remedy to the human condition.
* There is no way to cope during the holidays, that’s the hard truth.
* You must face the pain and endure.
* You must recognize the cloud of divorce, so it doesn’t consume you.
* You must persevere.
The only way that you can keep things straight is relying on the truth of God’s word.
People are going to disappoint. All people are flawed. You cannot rely on people. People are just a vapor. Accomplishments by people die with them. Inventions by people get used and possibly warped by others after you’re gone. Every hurt inflicted by people on others reflects their heart condition and it is imperative that you do not give them control over you by accepting the blame, because they need a scapegoat.
* Take one day at a time.
* Breathe in and out.
* Be ready for the next wave.
The depression cloud of divorce during the holidays is unavoidable and different for every person. There is nothing that you can tell someone that will suddenly lift the depression cloud. Some will not recognize they are in the cloud until it is too late. Others will see it for what it is and still others may keep the cloud around for a very long time, because that is what they are comfortable with. Change is difficult in either direction. Feigned optimism during depression is also an option – DON’T DO THIS – YOU’LL MISS THE POINT OF YOUR PAIN. Coping during the holidays is something that people will say to gloss over the grave situation that is faced by split, separated or divorced people during a time that should be filled with happy memories. Do not cope. Face the pain and endure. Recognize the cloud of divorce, so it doesn’t consume you. Persevere. Take one day at a time. Breathe. Life is a vapor and the divorce cloud is not forever, be ready for the next wave. The holidays are almost over.
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