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After the final papers are signed, we enter the stages of divorce recovery. Some experts call the first stage the Initial Shock and Awe, but I believe women fall into one of two categories: The Hummingbird Stage or The Honeymoon Stage.

Hummingbirds are women who are frantically trying to figure out what to do. They flit back and forth from job to job, they move from place to place and they start dating way too soon – traveling from relationship to relationship.

Just like hummingbirds, they are constantly on the move and can’t find a place of contentment. In a few months, they wear out and hit the wall. Usually some type of depression soon follows.

The Honeymooners are women who have been living in toxic relationships. They are so relieved to finally be away from the negative talk, the batterings and his addictions – they feel like new women. They experience a new freedom and feel as if they can finally breathe. In a few months, they’ll hit Stage 2.

The Finding BalanceDivorce-Cannot-Change Stage: This is the time when we fully confront the pain and acknowledge the damage divorce has done to us. The shock has worn off. The honeymoon is over. This stage involves the longest period of time and it depends on how we handle it as to how long we stay at this stage.

We can become professional victims and always expect the worst from life. We can distrust any man and refuse to let go of bitterness. We can remain stuck in the pain.

Or … we can learn how to grieve in a healthy way, march through the pain and accept that divorce is now part of our history but it does not have to define us.

It is our choice to decide if we stay in the Finding Balance Stage or if we move on to Stage 3.

The Phoenix Stage: A new person arises out of the ashes. We may occasionally feel the grief and we will experience triggers, but we can also gain control over life and move forward.

We learn how to be alone without feeling lonely. We find a new confidence in our identity as a “Single Woman” and we stop telling the divorce story.

The Phoenix stage is where we gain independence, we make wise choices and we stop trying to comfort ourselves with a gallon of ice cream.

Whatever stage you are in, give yourself grace and take care of yourself. Remember God has a good plan for you and He will help you make it to the next stage.

Aim to become your very best self.

©2014 Starting Over Single