Many well-meaning friends tried to give me advice during the process of my divorce: Take care of yourself, exercise, take up a hobby, get plenty of sleep… Yes, all smart in theory, but unrealistic in my opinion. Divorce is a full-time job with constant documentation, preparation, and endless emails and calls to the attorney. Factor in kids, a house, and work, as well as a dramatic decline in income, and all the stress resulting. How exactly is one supposed to sleep, find time and money for the gym, or take up art classes? Not a chance!
I have a friend who is going through a similar situation with her husband now and I want so badly to comfort her and to share what I have learned. While some of our experiences may be different, the daily challenges, the anxiety, and the uncertainty is the same.
My friend and I also share a love for country music, I just discovered. As I have said before, country music is real life and always relatable, no matter what your struggle. There is a song full of wisdom for every occasion. So I’d like to dedicate one of my favorite songs, “People Are Crazy” by Billy Currington, to my friend as she embarks on the most tumultuous ride of her life.
The chorus says it all: “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.” This is how I break it down:
1. God is great…
Throughout my ordeal I have found comfort in my faith. I suggest praying to whatever gives you strength. Scream and admonish that same Being if it helps. Meditate if that’s your thing. Just find your Source and latch on because divorce (insert any other life-altering event) is easier with a deity by your side.
2. Beer is good…
Yes, beer is good, but I prefer an occasional glass of Chardonnay in the rare evenings I am without children. Drink responsibly if it eases your stress. Feel free to substitute chocolate or whatever else brings you joy. Clean obsessively if it is constructive or ignore the house entirely if you can. Try to find humor. Help others in need; it will benefit you and them. Find a friend who can boost your ego—perhaps a friend with benefits. Just be grateful and take pleasure in small things in life.
3. People are crazy…
I can confidently say that I snapped a few times during the divorce process, like the time I screamed, “This is not Afghanistan!” at our judge during proceedings or when I asked the opposing attorney how his sex life was in response to an inappropriate question he asked me. You will lose it a few times, too, and that is to be expected. Recognize that you will make mistakes and try to limit the self-criticism. Stop and inhale deeply and often. Find a way to get out of your head. Focus on your children, because they are why we continue to rise every morning. Cry when you need to. Accept help from others. Remember that everyone has issues. And know that there will be plenty of crazy on the other side as well. Try not to win the crazy contest, though. He or she is hurting, too.
Finally, accept that life is going to suck for a long time, until it sucks a little less one day. Order pizza without the guilt on the days you are too exhausted to make a proper meal for your children. Try not to be too disappointed when no one is there for you. Know that this is not the rest of your life.
And when the sun begins to reappear, be sure to dedicate a song to someone else in need because God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.