Thank you to Kristin Canning and Women’s Health
for allowing me to share my biggest regret about my divorce:
‘I WISH I’D BEEN KINDER TO MYSELF’
“I got divorced when I was 47 after being married for five years. I had been traveling in Asia with my husband and writing about it for my website, and after the divorce, I moved back to Los Angeles to start fresh.
“When I got married, I changed my name and moved across the world. I was so all-in that when it didn’t work out, I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?!’ You never imagine that it won’t last. I felt like a failure and I was so sad. I joked to friends that I lived in Sucksville and it seemed like those feelings would never change or end. I felt shattered. I kept thinking, ‘If I had never met him, I wouldn’t have had to get divorced,’ or ‘If I hadn’t needed him, I wouldn’t be in pain now.’ I was living my life backwards.
“It took a while, but eventually I started to heal. I read Supersurvivors and it really resonated with me, and helped me realize I needed to forgive myself and stop fantasizing about changing the past. My favorite passage reads:
‘Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could be any different…Forgiveness means breaking the psychological ties that bind you to the past, giving up the quest to change what has already happened…Rather than dwelling on the past, she found herself asking the hopeful and forward-looking question “What now?”‘
“Now, I’m thrilled with my life, and I understand that getting divorced sucks, but being divorced can be great. My one regret is that I wish I hadn’t been so hard on myself. I would call my old self and say, ‘I know you live in Sucksville, but it will get better.’”—Lisa, 50
“Suffering is real, but resilience is also real. It is an incredible and encouraging fact about human nature that, contrary to popular belief, after a period of emotional turmoil, most trauma survivors eventually recover and return to their lives. They bounce back….Their stories betray their utter humanness—their stumbling and their grasping as they wrestle with the fundamental questions we all face: Who am I? What do I believe in? And most important, how should I live my life?”