I love some self-help.  Because if you can’t help yourself, who will?  A good friend recommended a book to me last week called “Moving On” (click here to see/buy it on Amazon), so of course I ordered it immediately and it just arrived in the mail yesterday.  Upon first glance, it looks like a cheesy written-for-girls book with little paper hearts on the cover.  It even has a tag line that reads “Dump Your Relationship Baggage and Make Room for the Love of Your Life.”  But once I realized that it was written by the  two men who founded The Grief Recovery Institute, I started to have a little hope.  The book says it offers the solid strategies you need to effectively mourn the loss of a relationship, while opening yourself up for real love in the future.  Sold.

I read the first three chapters last night… enough to know that this little paperback is going to be extremely helpful for me.  The first thing it covers are the six myths about sadness:

Myth #1:  Don’t feel bad.
Myth #2:  Replace the loss.
Myth #3:  Grieve alone.
Myth #4:  Time heals all wounds.
Myth #5:  Be strong.
Myth #6:  Keep busy.

Each section is written about in length, so I won’t even attempt to go over them here.  It basically says that we are taught to deal with sadness in an unhealthy way from the time we are infants.  It’s OK to express happiness, but it’s not OK to express sadness.  We are also taught unhealthy ways to cope – instead of dealing with the emotions as they come.  The book suggests that the feelings we have in reaction to events that have emotional impact on us are not forgotten, no matter how we try to cover them up.  If they are not forgotten and not communicated to someone else, it’s likely that we are somehow storing the memories of those feelings inside our bodies – thus the emotional baggage that is likely to ruin future relationships.  And nobody wants that.

The next chapter talks about STERBS (Short-Term Energy Relieving Behaviors), and without even knowing it I’ve already participated in a few to “push down” my own feelings of pain.  Here’s the STERBS list:  food, alcohol or drugs, anger, exercise, sex, fantasy (music, movies, TV, books, computer), isolation, shopping and workaholism.  Even though I’ll take exercising too much over eating too much any day, it’s still not healthy to use any of these things to mask emotions.  Tonight I’m getting to the chapters where it talks about how to work through the feelings of sadness, so I’m excited about that.  🙂  I’ll report back tomorrow morning on what I learn this evening.  But so far I give this book a big two thumbs up.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet on my blog, but our divorce is going to be final this Friday morning.  We have to appear in front of a judge just to confirm that it’s what we both want… then it’s over.  I think this waiting phase has been the worst part because you feel like you are still attached in some way, even though we’ve both moved on.  It’s a terrible limbo land that I’ll be glad to depart from.  I am now focusing all of my energy & time on healing so I can be an emotional rock star for my next relationship, and most importantly for myself.  😀

Moving On