Divorce Advice: How to Get Over Paralyzing Fear
In this follow up article, excerpting highlights from her interview on Progressive Radio Network, SAS Cofounder and divorce coach Kimberly Mishkin offers divorce advice to women who are thinking about the frightening steps to divorce.
Why is divorce so scary? Each of us has our own unique set of fears, but for so many of us, it’s the time we feel that we’ve lost while being unhappy. Life’s too short, and we know that we will never get any of it back. We made choices, and they led us here, seeking out divorce advice online and looking for connection wherever we can. And while there’s solace in knowing you’re not alone, there’s a certain kind of pain in it too. You’re not special. Your grief, your loss—it is yours, yes, but is one that’s shared, too, by so many. Instead of resisting that pain, though, we recommend you lean into it.
The fact that you’re not the first person to experience this particular pain means that there are plenty of people you can turn to for divorce advice. There are smart, strong, and savvy shoulders out there for you to lean on. There are people who can help you face your fear, stop overthinking divorce, and take the leap.
Jack: How do you address it when people feel fear? You can’t say, “Get over it.” So how do you balance the fear and getting people to take action?
Kimberly: Actually, we sometimes use the acronym, “ACT.”
The first thing you need to do is get somebody to be your ADVISOR, a divorce coach or therapist, for instance. We recommend you talk to someone who is a professional, but if you can’t afford a coach, it could also be someone like an HR representative at work or the guidance counselor at your kid’s school (someone who has given people divorce advice before).
In the first stages of divorce, your attorney might be able to point you to other resources. But no matter what, you absolutely need an advisor. You need to talk about your divorce out loud. You need somebody to give you feedback. You need somebody to help you think it through. You need a professional with tried-and-true divorce advice you can trust on your side.
It’s just impossible to do it all in your head, all on your own.
Jack: You had an advisor?
Kimberly: I did. At first, I wasn’t telling anybody at work, and it was torture. I had compartmentalized to such a degree that I was a totally different person at work than I was on the weekends.
It was exhausting and the anxiety started to come out of my pores. I was getting injuries or I was getting sick every other day. The anxiety was literally eating me up inside until I had to reach out and get some help.
You need an advisor. You need somebody you can trust, somebody you know is genuine—who doesn’t have a personal stake in this, somebody who can be objective.
The second thing you need to do is COLLECT INFORMATION.
C: Collect Information
Start collecting information from anywhere you can. In New York, especially, there are a ton of free workshops, but there are also free online resources, downloadable pamphlets, and E-books. There’s a wealth of information and divorce advice out there—you just have to start looking for it.
Most people fear the unknown more than anything.
Kimberly: So, the more you collect information and educate yourself, the more the fear will start to subside because you’ll understand what you’re looking at and what the realities are.
And the third thing is to TAKE STEPS. Just take baby steps.
T: Take Steps
Start a journal. Get a bank account of your own. Change the locks if your spouse has moved out. Call a friend and make plans for once a week.
The key is to do something different—take one tiny step, which will lead to more steps that take you on a journey to divorce recovery. Once you get that momentum going, you will feel real change happening.
Whether you are considering a divorce or already navigating the confusing experience, one thing we see making a significant difference for women is the conscious choice to not do divorce alone. Since 2012, smart women around the world have chosen SAS for Women to support them through the emotional, financial, and oft times complicated experience of divorce.
SAS offers women 6 FREE months of email coaching, action plans, checklists and support strategies for you, your family, and your future. “A successful divorce requires smart steps, taken one at a time.” – SAS for Women