Wednesday, January 7, 2015

we go together...

I’m just a girl who can’t say no… to a support group! There’s comfort in a crowd and it’s there for the taking. Not to capitalize on anyone’s misery, but there’s a certain consolation that comes in knowing you’re not alone... and that other people have it way worse than you. When breast feeding caused excruciating pain, when it made me wince and cry, when my nipples looked like beet-red raspberries, I joined a breast feeding support group and left every meeting feeling like maybe I didn’t have it so bad.

When my ex and I went from “It Had To Be You,” to I guess we’re through, I didn’t just join one divorce support group… I joined three! The first was at my church… the same church I’ve attended since I was six years old. We were a band of about five men and five women. At the helm, measuring 4’9” on a good day, stood Sister Pat, a sweet-hearted nun in her 80’s who no doubt spent the duration of the hour-plus meeting thanking God that she listened to His calling. We were a precious bunch of broken hearts, each wanting to vent, to ask why, to be understood, and ultimately, to heal. While I did do a bit of all of those things, I wanted a leader who had walked the walk.

Rob Kaufman’s Divorce Dialogue was a bigger, badder, bolder group. We were the pissed off, the cynical, the cheated on, the bitter, the fooled -- men, women, all ages, all professions, all stories. Admission cost $35, plus an appetizer or dessert. In return, we got to spew. Each week was a potluck potpourri and we never knew what would be brought to the table, literally or figuratively. I listened, I learned, I shared, and I grew to accept that my once perfect pathway had irreparably cracked and would wind in ways I never dreamed imaginable.

The third group, Divorce Detox, was more of a class, an 8-week course covered by my health insurance, complete with a text book and homework assignments. Six to eight of us would gather in a Shabby Chic-esque, comfy white-couched office. We listened to the leaders’ stories, and absorbed their advice on how to pull out of the muck. For me, it was a respite. It was a time where I was on lockdown, forced to deal with my myriad of emotions, forced to get over it, stop stewing, invent a game plan, and start singing a new tune.

Each group worked. I left every meeting standing a little taller, feeling a little more hopeful, and knowing that I wasn’t alone. Even during times when I felt like I was floating down the “river of despair,” I knew I was squished in a really big boat with a lot of people doing the exact same thing… and the best part was, we were all still afloat!