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“Have you gotten Covid yet?”
It’s a common question over two years into the pandemic. Whether it was at the beginning, long ago in March 2020, or one of the newer strains such as Omicron, or B2, it seems like many of us were convinced that as long as we received our vaccinations and booster shots, getting Covid would be manageable.
I thought so too until I caught it.
I’m writing to you three weeks into coming down with Covid, and although I’m getting better day by day, I’m still not myself.
The coughing won’t stop. Not gonna lie—last night, I pissed my pants coughing so hard.
Despite a good night’s sleep, I’m still pretty tired most of the day.
And there’s still this annoying nose congestion that is making it hard to smell all the great things I usually take for granted, like good coffee and freshly baked bread.
But dealing with something I thought I’d adequately prepared for with masks and vaccinations has got me thinking about the work I do as a divorce recovery coach.
So for this week, I want to share with you what this damn Covid is teaching me about divorce recovery and what I plan to incorporate into my own clients’ divorce recovery plan:
Lesson #1: Despite taking all the precautions, some things may be unavoidable.
When life feels like that, it’s a sign that something needs to change.
Despite the vaccinations and masks and avoiding places with lots of people, my ass still got Covid. And recovering from it means that I’ve had to make some changes in my life in order to heal.
I had to slow down to rest.
I had to be more selective of how I spend my time.
My life needed to change in order to move ahead…past this icky Covid stuff.
In that way, getting out of your divorce rut is similar to Covid recovery.
You may think you’re doing everything right in order to move on. You are probably “checking all the boxes” in your life and following divorce advice, but you’re still feeling stuck and lonely, like life is passing you by.
Finding more boxes to check won’t get you unstuck after divorce.
If what you’re doing is not working for you, it’s time to change it.
Lesson #2: Ask for help when you need it. But understand you play the main role in your recovery.
I found out that going about my business as usual wasn’t going to cut it to recover. I needed to change what I was doing to recover from Covid as quickly as possible. So, I had to block out most of the day to sleep.
I had to cancel a few online things I could have muscled through, but a sick Martha would not have benefited anyone. I too had to exercise the boundaries I’ve been preaching about to you all. Because I knew that if I tried to soldier on, I’d only prolong feeling bad.
So, what does that mean in terms of divorce recovery?
You have permission to change your schedule when you need to make changes. It’s necessary to change your behavior when you need things to be different.
And it’s okay to ask for help.
With Covid, I needed the grocery delivery and DoorDash to deliver what is now a meth lab’s worth of cold and allergy medicine in my house. You can outsource things when you need to.
So if you’ve been divorced for a while and seem to be stuck, just waiting won’t change how you feel.
But getting outside help will.
And paying extra to feel better and focusing on yourself is the investment you cannot afford to not make.
Lesson #3: Playing the long game is critical to recovery.
When I got this stupid thing, I thought that I’d have the sniffles for two days and I’d be back in fine fighting form.
I was a double-vaxxed and boosted woman from the mountains. My friends call me “the General.” I had a pain tolerance so high that I didn’t need painkillers after my fallopian tube removal or a recent sinus surgery. So I thought I’d be over Covid quickly.
But none of that sh*t mattered.
So, here I am, well after I first tested positive, and I’m still navigating the incessant coughs. The constant fatigue. The feeling of malaise.
Here’s what I am learning from it. I have to use this time to slow down, rest, and take better care of myself. Giving myself time and compassion, but being proactive in taking care of myself.
Much like an unexpected illness, recovering after divorce is going to take time.
But it’s also going to be your wake-up call.
To put yourself first.
To make yourself a priority.
And to examine some of the patterns that no longer serve you.
Even if you’ve evaded Covid or have recovered from it, I’d invite you to treat this message as your wake-up call. And ask yourself the following:
What changes do you need to make right now to get the life you want?