One of the greatest crosses to bear during divorce is loneliness. Although intangible, loneliness is just as difficult as bearing the burden of an illness. It affects every aspect of your life and carries with it a pain that is difficult to convey to others.
- Don’t fight the feeling of being lonely. Accept it for what it is and do your best to take note of any positive thing that can come from it. For example, if you were previously in an abusive or way-over stressed marriage and bitter fighting was an everyday occurrence, be thankful that today, you don’t have to fight. You don’t have to shield yourself from physical violence. You don’t have to explain to your children, yet again, why the hurt keeps happening. You don’t have to keep track of wrong doings.
- Don’t use a band-aid to make the feelings go away. In this case, a band-aid can be excessive eating, drinking, shopping or working; it can be a sexual relationship or pornography; it can be any type of behavior that is not good for you but presents itself as something that will bring you relief from being lonely. “Band-aids” of this nature normally only cause more hurt and pain.
Focus on someone else. Do you have a sick neighbor that you can shop for? Are there parish events or local opportunities you can volunteer for? You might even consider becoming a Big Brother or Big Sister in your area and help a needy child have friendship, guidance, and experiences they might otherwise never have.
- After you’ve helped someone else, you can still use your loneliness to your advantage: Time by yourself is an important aspect of any healing process. This is the perfect time for reflecting on things like the choices you’ve made, the goals you have and how you would like to improve as a human being, and in your relationship with God.
- Stay connected with God. Pray and ask for God’s grace in your life to carry you through this difficult time. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament provides consolation, solitude and wonderful graces that will sustain you and bring peace.