When you commit to a divorce support or therapy group, you "take the members with you" in spirit when you go into difficult situations. You're never really alone. And sometimes, members will physically accompany you if you need and ask for some extra help. Recently, Maureen (one of my group members) had to go for a custody hearing and told the group that she was scared. Shelly, another group member, volunteered to accompany her to the court and wait for her while the hearing was taking place.
If you can't find a group in your area, you may want to start one. Talk to your local library about using their community room for meetings. Talk to a minister, priest, or rabbi in your community to see if they'd be willing to lead one if you were to act as the contact person. Being proactive about starting a group can help you to feel more in control of your life, which is important in these uncertain times.
Some time away from the group:
Solitude is as important as a group experience at this time. In solitude comes the opportunity (if we're not afraid) to slow down, to reflect, to gain a deeper inner vision of ourselves, our responsibilities, and our needs. However, if we spend too much time alone, we risk believing our inner voices; the ones that beat up on us. A group offers the opportunity to check out what we "learned" in solitude, and to find out if what we've been telling ourselves is true.
One of the best ways to affirm you are growing and recovering is to hear your support group assure you of "how far you've come." In the group you will meet others who are "back where you once were" in the journey, or ahead of you in their healing; some who are ready to begin new relationships, and others who are just beginning the recovery process. Wherever they are, you'll find many common threads as you share your divorce experience with them.
Pamela D. Blair is a psychotherapist in Hawthorne, NY. She specializes in divorce, marriage, and grief counseling; offers support groups; and publishes a newsletter entitled "Surviving Divorce."
Divorce Magazine provides advice and support for those coping with separation, divorce, and remarriage. For more tips and stories, visit www.DivorceMagazine.com.