By: LAUREN DITTLE
I found myself newly divorced. Then I made the decision to be totally sober for it.
I wasn’t even drinking a lot when I decided to quit alcohol last year. I remember it had been a month or more since I’d last had a drink, and I sat on the dock of my childhood lake home with my mom around the 4th of July. We both had a spiked seltzer and I realized the drink just didn’t *DO* anything for me anymore.
I briefly felt a tiny buzz, then got tired, then noticed my vibration totally lower.
“Why am I even doing this?” I asked myself.
I had been on this mission of gaining consciousness, clarity, and deliberately raising my frequency … So why would I be consuming something that literally poisoned, dulled, and weakened me?
I decided to jump into the 75 Hard challenge right after that, so that was the last drink I had for several months. (The challenge says no drinks, sugar, stick to a nutrition plan of your choice, drink 1 gallon of water, read 10 pages of personal development, and do two 45 minute workouts one of which has to be outdoors .. each day, for 75 days. Apparently I was in the mood to kick my own ass. It worked.)
To be clear, I would not identify as an alcoholic before giving up booze.
But in the past I have definitely numbed myself with drugs, alcohol, crappy relationships, overbooking myself, you name it, to not feel the hurt of what was really going on inside.
Finding myself newly divorced and living on my own, co-parenting my young children in February of 2021 would have definitely been an understandable time in my life to have wanted to numb out and not think about the pain and disappointment. It was deep, dark winter in Minnesota for heaven’s sake.
But since I had already been on a healing journey beginning a few years prior, I was repelled at the thought of hiding these intense emotions.
It’s like that part of me had died. I wanted to feel it all, I wanted to walk through the fire. I wanted to get it out … to get it over with. Which isn’t as clean-cut as we’d like, but there are absolutely PIECES of that pain we can “get over” and leave behind.
I toggled between joy and bliss while I had time with my kids, freedom and self-care during time with myself on my best days / hours … and guilt, anger, sadness, resentment, and self-pity on the heavier in-betweens.
I know it can seem crazy to cut off parts of your past while going through a big life transition, especially something that was a crutch before.
But what you will find on the other side is your TRUTH. Your baseline. Your authenticity. Your connection with your higher power.
Because numbing, dulling, and kicking the pain down the road for another day is really not doing anyone a service. Not you, and not your loved ones.
You are here right now reading this because you were made for more, and you know it. So if you are going through a similar season, know you’re not alone, it’s SO possible to come out ahead on the other side. Read on to see how I did, and continue, to do it.
Here are my best take-aways from going through a divorce, sober-like:
1. Feel it. All of It.
When we are out of our bodies, we are literally blocking these feelings. You’ve heard of cold-hearted, closed- hearted, etc? Literally the heart chakra is energetically blocked and not allowing the feelings in, trying to protect usfrom the pain. But by staying closed and it is doing the opposite and NOT allowing love in or out.
So hit the floor, cry in the car, let all of the emotions flow through you and out of you … do not let that energy stay stagnant. Stuck energy creates physical pain and bodily issues!
Know that your emotions are just a part of this human journey, they are not good or bad, they just ARE … and how lucky are you to get to feel these things??? Dragonflies or lizard probably don’t get to fall in love or have these experiences, so consider yourself lucky ;)
When we are out of our bodies, we are literally blocking these feelings. You’ve heard of cold-hearted, closed- hearted, etc? Literally the heart chakra is energetically blocked and not allowing the feelings in, trying to protect us from the pain. But by staying closed and it is doing the opposite and NOT allowing love in or out.
2. Get yourself a daily practice,
Having a morning and evening ritual will set you up for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness. We are all different, but what works amazingly for me is a workout (weights or yoga!), meditation, a quick journal session to see what needs to be cleared or what is coming through.
Other healthy habits to really engrain the showing-up-for-yourself vibes could include prayer, reading, healthy breakfast, or being in nature right away. I highly recommend keeping your phone, especially social media or email off for the first hour or more upon waking!
If you’re one of those who want to take your journaling to the next level, my mentor and I created this 3 month tool. In the front are our best healing tools (which helped me through my divorce, and continue to this day, btw), and then we have 3 monthly check-ins and 90 daily connections. The Daily sheet takes me 5 minutes and gets me super plugged in, full of gratitude, self-awareness, and abundance!
3. Choose your Community Wisely
We’ve all heard about the 5 people we surround ourselves with, right??? We take pieces of each of those and kind of “become” like them … so after my split, I basically cocooned. I relied on a select few neighbors and friends to help me and the kids out. But I had to say NO to a lot of lower vibrational people in my life too. The ones who complained a lot, who had a victim mindset, who pitied me and were painting worst-case scenarios. I just did not have the energy to combat the negativity in my life, and this is something that is still serving me. To know when hanging out with someone is a “hell yes” or a “hell no” is imperative. Stay true to your own guidance system and you will find your people!! Quality over quantity definitely applies.
4. Do What You Love
Get to know yourself again!! Chances are, if you’re going through a divorce or break up, it’s been awhile since it’s just been YOU. Especially you, mamas!! Here is a new chance to get in touch with your inner child to see what she loves to do again!! Draw, sing, dance, paint, write, move, cook, garden, build …. Tap into your creative sacral chakra / inner Madonna and EXPRESS yourself! Have so much fun with this. If you need permission to play, consider it granted.
I got myself an iPad and taught myself how to draw digitally :) It’s a great funnel for the creative energy I have as an artist! I have digital downloads of yoga / mantra prints and created an affirmation deck as well which helped me stay busy with positive projects.
5. Keep Learning, Keep Healing!
As a self-proclaimed self-help junkie … I have always eaten up all the books, podcasts, teachings etc. Pick some great mentors that resonate and keep growing! This will help get you out of funks and those darker days. (However … let’s not do what’s called spiritual bypassing and pretend everything is rosy when something needs to be addressed, mmmkay? Go back to #1 for those times, they are crucial for true transformation.)
Books that helped me through this time -
Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst to an Extraordinary Life by Debbie Ford
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
And I could not have jumped through this crazy time with such grace and dignity without my mentor. Investing in yourself and a mentor that you click with is CRUCIAL!! With her help I was actually teaching workshops on peaceful divorces just months after my own split.
Now I personally offer 1:1 private coaching and occasional group sessions to help others create their own fabulous, expansive, limitless next chapters!!
This life is as good as you allow it to be.
If you feel it’s your time to go after what you truly want to do here on Earth, please get in touch. I would love to get to know you!