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  • Danielle Callaway

A Journey To Healing: Life After Divorce

Too many times people experience, to me, one of the most heartbreaking experiences alone. Bystanders sit back not knowing exactly what to say or how to help while you figure out how to "detach" yourself from someone you vowed to spend the rest of your life with. How do you stop loving the very person you couldn't imagine your life without?

Since the beginning of my divorce process, I wanted to share my experience. Not to "tell it all," (even though I could write a book) but to to document the path and journey I was going to have to take to becoming whole again. I wanted to share some of my darkest moments to my biggest triumphs. I wholeheartedly feel like my experience was not just something I had to go through, but moreso a life experience that would shape and mold the person that I was becoming. Through my experience, I wanted to shed light on something that is not talked about enough..... HEALING.

My story is SAD, to put it simply. I fell in love at 17, got married at 23, and had 3 beautiful girls. I really tried to make my marriage work. After years of putting in my all: praying, crying, hoping, wishing, and settling; I was finally "smacked" in the face with what I feel to be the worst thing that can happen in a marriage. I threw in the towel, waived the white flag, I gave up. (Not because I no longer loved my husband or I didn't want our family.) I HAD to go because staying meant compromising too much of myself!!

I am not gonna lie, going through this process left me heartbroken, devastated, and the feeling of not being whole. I cried everyday in the beginning, sometimes all day. I couldn't sleep. I replayed the 23 year relationship over and over again in my head trying to figure out why this happened to us/me. However, I did not feel like a failure because I know that I put my ALL into this relationship, this was just a place I never wanted to be. Yet, here I was. What now? How do I do this? How do I move forward? How do I live this single life? So many questions, but there was really only one answer to start with. HEAL.

I knew that I had to heal and process everything that was happening. (My marriage kind of ended abruptly. I called it quits while we were actually on a "date." Whew!! I left home excited to hang out with the hubby and came home knowing we were done.) There were no weeks or months build up to this. No hating each other inside the house (at least not on my part), but there were things throughout the years that were red flags that I chose to ignore or I chose to forgive. So this was a lot....a whole lot to process.

Having gone to school for counseling, there were always things playing in the back of my head (the stages of grief ~ this was a loss/death of a marriage, hurt people hurt people, things I would say to a client going through the same situation, etc.) I knew I needed counseling. This was my first step to healing. I was in therapy within two weeks of being separated. I will never forget my first session. This was my very first time meeting my therapist and the only words that I could say was "I'm getting divorced." Then I cried. I cried and cried and cried. I cried the majority of my session. I couldn't get the story out, I couldn't discuss my fears, I couldn't do anything but breakdown. This was a safe space. My safe space. At the very end of my session, I summed up in 3 sentences why I was getting a divorce and I will never forget her response. She said, "Now it's time to heal and you have a choice to decide what that healing will look like."

I left that session feeling a lot lighter. Even though there was not many words said by either of us, I felt like I cried a ton of tears. It was a release. I felt a lot better. I could now see a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. In those moments I knew my next steps were very important, crucial to my healing. I knew I wanted to come out of this journey stronger, happier, at peace, not bitter, whole, and ready to love again. This dark tunnel was my journey, my journey to healing......


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