When I was about 10 years old, my parents announced that they were getting a divorce. And, frankly, I was devastated. See, growing up in a nice Christian home with Christian morals and Christian values; having your parents always promise, "Don't worry Hannah, we'll always be together. We love each other." Then to find out that all of that was a lie, a mask, it broke my 10-year-old heart. I remember crying myself to sleep every night the full month and a half that the divorce was dragged out. I went through stages. First, denial. I couldn't believe that this was really happening, that my picture perfect little world, my comfort zone, was crashing down around me. I chose to ignore it. Then, I moved to sickeningly overwhelming guilt. I retraced every step I'd ever taken, wondering where I'd gone wrong. Third was pure, unadulterated anger. I was furious at my parents. I yelled, threw things, hated them. Lastly was when I shut down. I just closed up inside myself where no one could hurt me. And I started an emotional eating streak. I stuffed my face with anything I could get my hands on. I didn't talk, I didn't smile, I just ate and cried and curled in a tight ball on my bed for hours at a time. My grades dropped and my friends distanced themselves because they just couldn't help and I pushed them away.
It's been four years since that divorce, and I've grown up more than I knew was possible. I lost the weight and I have my eating mostly under control, I don't cry myself to sleep anymore, my grades are up, I've regained all my tight friendships. How did I manage this? One day, I remember it clearly, I looked in the mirror across from my bed and saw myself, tears staining my face and my eyes red and puffy and my body bloated and horrid looking. I nearly spat at my reflection because it made me sick to see how weak I had become. That day I started losing the weight and I haven't cried myself to sleep since.
My advice to anyone going through a painful divorce is to look in the mirror. Just sit and look at yourself. You'll see the strong you buried deep down inside and you'll drag it out, kicking and screaming. It won't be easy, but you'll make it. If I did it, you can too.
All my prayers.