on getting a divorce in your twenties

this post was hard. really, truly, unbearably hard. but i know i'm not alone in this, and i know it sucks. so here are just some personal bits of advice on going through a divorce. if you want to chat more, shoot me an email at hello@literally-everything.com. i'd love to chat.

it's probably not a surprise by now, but last year i went through a divorce. if you're new here: hi, i'm alex. i'm 29 and last year i got a divorce. getting a divorce is alienating enough, and going through it in your 20s feels extra hard. watching friends develop new relationships, get engaged, get married! and there i was, watching my relationship fall apart.

it wasn't easy, and i don't love dwelling on it, so this is probably the last time i'll talk about this on here. but i wanted to provide a bit of advice. because maybe you're going through it too. or your long-term relationship is also crumbling. i don't know. i just know i searched high and low to find women who went through the same thing to find proof that i'd be ok. that i made the right decision. that i wouldn't die under the weight of sadness, being alone and (to be completely honest) embarrassment. and i want you to know you won't either.

if you get a divorce in your 20s*:

you will feel like absolute garbage. you may feel like garbage because you're sad you broke someone's heart. or someone broke your heart. but regardless of who did what, you're going to feel like shit. it's going to suck.

you will want to be alone. so alone. you will feel alone in a crowded room. because you're sitting on a secret. people will ask you about him or her, and you'll clam up. you'll want to cry. you'll come up with a lie because neither of you are actually "doing really well, thanks!" you're dying on the inside. but they don't know that. and happy hour at the bar by your office isn't the place to tell them.

you will find solace on the floor. this can be the literal or proverbial floor. you are hitting rock bottom (of some sort). i spent a lot of time on my bathroom floor. the floor of my shower. the closer i was to the floor, the more grounded i felt and the less echo-y my tears sounded. i knew i was making the right decision, that this was best for both of us in the end, but i still was at my bottom. i deserved to be on the floor (or so i felt).

you will do some thing too much. you will drink too much. you will eat too much. you will exercise too much. you will not eat too much. you will go out too much. you will stay in too much. something will be of excess that isn't necessarily good for you but at the time it feels good enough. it's ok. just don't make it a habit.

you will lose some friends. this inevitably comes with ending relationships, but this one will feel tougher. there are people they will need more, and you're going to have to let them have those people. there are some people who you'll both be able to stay friends with, of course. but you will have to say goodbye to some people. and it will suck.

you will keep the friends you need. the friends who will pick up the phone in the middle of the night? who will let you sleep in their bed? those are the friends you'll keep. they're the ones you'll lean on, and who you'll buy dinner for when this shit is over.

you will get mad. even if it was the most pleasant divorce ever, you're going to get mad about something. you're going to be petty and get annoyed and that's ok. having emotions is ok.

you will make new friends. this one is tough because you're going to have to explain this thing about you to them. and it'll feel awkward. but you'll find out that people don't really care. and if they do? fuck 'em. you don't need them. because if they're really your friends, they'll only care that you're ok.

you will celebrate. you will find a group of friends who will take you out to your favorite bar for your favorite cheap beer to celebrate the finalization of your divorce. because they get it. and they love you.

you will be ok. you won't be ok all day every day, but you will be ok. you will smile, you will laugh, and you will find love again. because you're going to love yourself for who you are, not who you were with someone else. you will be ok because you are beautiful and resilient and strong as hell. you will be ok because you don't have a choice. you have to make it through. you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other. you will be ok because your friends will make sure of it. you will be ok.

*obviously these are not absolutes. everyone is different. duh.

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