I woke up feeling like shit. The taste of last nights alcohol still on my tongue. Not that I enjoyed the drinking, but it was easier than sitting alone with my thoughts – drinking seemed like divorce help that at least worked in the short term but I knew it was very bad for me too. It was late, I forgot to set the alarm, I knew I was going to be late for work but it hardly seemed to matter, I didn’t want to get up, I just wanted to keep sleeping. I couldn’t get back to sleep either though because the brain started revving up and the thoughts started coming in. Not about what had happened with the divorce or what could have been, the thoughts were now of how I was going to deal with everything. How could I explain things to my kids, how could I be a good father, how could I keep my finances in order, what happens if I break down again … how do I keep juggling all these balls when I cannot even get out of bed!
This is not just a story. This is something that happened to me one day shortly after my divorce. I was not so much depressed that day as I was overwhelmed by everything and had no clue on how to proceed. This is something I realise is common with a lot of men though, and can be a major problem for men after divorce as it creates chaos and disorganisation. This in turn brings more problems, more depression, more anger at the cause of all the troubles (the divorce) and the cycle becomes worse and worse. I know – I have been there.
Divorce Help For The Overwhelmed
So what can be done about this? The first thing to realise when it comes to feeling like everything is too much is that it is not the divorce, it is not the terrible emotional turmoil, it is not he kids, and it is not the finances. This is about organisation. This is about putting things in their place both physically and psychologically. This is something separate but parallel to all of the terrible pain you are suffering that if handled right is a boon for your mental state, and if done wrong spells disaster.
The most difficult thing is to realise that organisation of your time and mental thoughts is not tied to the emotional turmoil. While these things can make you less motivated and able to cope, it is possible to be grieving for the loss of your marriage and still retain a system to make sure things do not overwhelm you.
How to Organise For Divorce Recovery For Men
There is no perfect way to deal with this issue as everyone find their own systems that work, and everyone has their own circumstances. There are however a number of very helpful tips you can use to make sure you get the most out of this article. I hope that you will take as many of these ideas as you can to be able to keep everything on track. It will not solve the depression or anger or whatever emotional anguish you are experiencing. It will not bring your kids back to live with you. It will not stop you from having to pay child support or alimony. What this do is make sure these things do not get worse – and give you the time, energy, and in many cases money to be able to deal with them properly.
- Write things down – This is an essential skill because there is so much going on in your head that things get lost unless they are written down somewhere that you can see them and act on them. Get into the habit of creating to-do lists if you do not do so already. The way I used to do things was to leave post it notes on the fridge every time I needed to remember to do something. I would take them off and throw them in the bin when I did it. It felt good to crush the paper and chuck it to be able to move on from that task.
- Learn To Prioritise – We all have a tendency to make mountains out of molehills sometimes and give too much time and effort to small matters that are not really that important. Prioritisation needs to be structured and often brutal to be able to achieve everything that you want to do in your days. The basic premise seems easy, to do the big things first … and big does not mean the longest tasks either – it means the most IMPORTANT tasks, or tasks that need to be done NOW. I quite like this video by Steven Covey of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People fame which illustrates this with a metaphor about big and little rocks:
- Give Yourself Time To Grieve – Going with the theme of rocks, this is actually a big rock which is why it needs to be discussed. Some guys try to make the grieving process something unimportant, something to be avoided, something to be put off til later. Going through the process of gradually letting go of your old life and embracing a new one takes time, and can often take effort and for you to go out and do things to help this process. You need to make sure you do have time to be alone, have time to be with friends, have time to work through the issues. It is an acknowledgment of the pain and hurt and a way to creating a positive path forward as well. Make sure to keep this in your daily and weekly plans!
- Reward Yourself For Good Time Management – Creating a change of habits requires a few things such as consistency, planning, positive and measurable outcomes, and a sense of being rewarded for these things. The outcomes are rewarding and is what usually helps people stick to new and better routines, but to help speed these things along rewards to yourself help signify in your mind that it is a good thing to continue doing (at a subconsious level). When you keep good organisation and you keep everything in order make sure to reward yourself with something nice. It might be as simple as a beer at the end of the day, to buying yourself something small (do not go over the top it never helps).
- Create a Budget – Even if you think you have your finances sorted in your head, sitting down and creating a proper budget can help you solidify this. You might even find savings where you didn’t think you had any, or find problems you might have glossed over.
Structure helps in so many ways for men after divorce, and I hope this was useful divorce help if you are struggling to keep everything together. I actually highly recommend Steven Covey’s books and videos about the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I do not follow them all myself but it is a great course that does make an impact on many people. For more help on dealing with grieving after divorce and all the emotional turmoil I strongly advocate looking at Kyle Morrison’s Men After Divorce eBook as well.