I filed for divorce in June 2010. By the time I was sitting in my attorney’s office, asking to file the papers, my marriage had long ended. I remember feeling relief. I was at a much different place than when I was lying in my bed at night, crying silent tears, and watching the tragic scenes from the movie reel of my marriage unfold in my thoughts. It’s the grieving process leading up to the actual filing for divorce that is painful heartache. As melodramatic as it sounds, there is no doubt that watching a marriage die is equal to watching the death of a dream.
Right after my divorce was finalized, I had a divorced friend pull me aside and tell me that I needed to practice saying, “I’m divorced,” outloud, until it ran off my tongue effortlessly.
“Why can’t I just say, ‘I’m single,’ when someone asks me if I’m married? Why do I have to use the d-word?” I whined.
“Because you have a kid…hello?? Do you want people to think you have a ‘baby daddy’ or an ex-husband?”
I got the point.
As strange as this may sound, I was glad I had practiced this. It was like an automatic pilot light that came on every time someone asked me about my child’s father or assumed I had a husband. In the beginning my voice would quiver as I said it. Not because I was sad I was divorced from my exhusband… But mostly because I was sad for my daughter that she had parents who were divorced. It was hard for me to process how different our childhoods would be.
At first I also felt extremely conflicted about people not knowing WHY I got divorced. I didn’t want people to know the gory details, yet I didn’t want them to assume that a divorce was a “normal” part of my value system. I found myself wanting to say things like, “I’m divorced, but I have a REALLY, REALLY good reason for getting one…like, really good. Like, so good that if I actually decided to tell you, you would totally ‘get it.'”
But more often than not, that automatic pilot light thankfully just spat out the two word mantra, “I’m divorced.” And as horribly awkward as it was for me to say it in the beginning, as I gradually grew into myself, so to speak, the words felt natural to me. When I began to accept the choices I had made and took full responsibility for them, those words came easily.
But I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t eat very well for awhile. I sometimes didn’t eat at all. But when I finally started to nourish myself, eat healthy, and work out, I got into the habit of making a smoothie. And that’s today’s recipe– the “I’m Divorced Smoothie.”
“I’m Divorced Smoothie”
1 frozen banana
3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter
That’s it. But it has my three favorite things: chocolate, banana, and peanut butter.