Although I wrote a book called, “No One Dies from Divorce,” I’ve had people open up to me more and more about their loved ones who’ve committed suicide.
Being depressed during divorce is quite common. My husband and I had a friend who committed suicide a few months ago, shortly after his divorce. It was heartbreaking, and I in no way wish to downplay the real issue of suicide. However I want to reiterate that divoce itself will not kill you. It’s the depression, mental illness, personality disorders, and loneliness that often accompanies divorce. These are real. But you can get help!
As a divorce attorney, I understand the power of loneliness.
It is the silent creeper that affects every part of your emotional, physical, and mental well-being. Being depressed during divorce is not something most people talk about enough. Sadly, the shame and stigma associated with both divorce and depression tend to silence this important conversation. Divorces have been ramping up during the pandemic. I fear for my clients and anyone going through a divorce right now; I want them to know that this will pass. That there is immense happiness past divorce. That there is love, life, and all good things to come. But when you allow loneliness to creep in, and set you on a path of deep depression, it could lead you to choose to end your life. Loneliness is scary. It’s killing people. But we have the power to make it stop.
I always tell my clients that they should find a therapist to help them get through their divorce.
The clients that are in therapy are so much more able to cope and process the roller coaster of emotions that they experience while going through divorce, especially if there is litigation. And I don’t recommend using your attorney as your therapist. A) they aren’t trained therapists, and B) they usually cost more per hour. A therapist can do wonders for you to get through this incredibly difficult time.
When people going through divorce build a support system up again, including a therapist, they are able to focus on what’s most important in their lives and in their divorce decree. They are able to identify their dealbreakers and prioritize what to fight for and what to let go of when their marriage ends. There’ve been times when I’ve sat through 8 hours of mediation with my client and their ex, having negotiated and come to great compromises on the big things, only to get stuck at the very end in a fight over a small appliance. It’s usually not about the value of the toaster, but about the final realization that things are ending. I get it. But you can get through this, and you will be better for it if you use this trial as a pivot in your life to be the person you’ve always wanted to be but were too busy losing yourself in your marriage.
If you are experiencing continual feelings of loneliness, despair, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts beyond what your therapist can help you with, please call the national suicide hotline at 800-273-8255.
Coil takes pride in giving back and donates her time through the State Bar and takes on Guardian Ad Litem cases, pro bono. She also has a college scholarship and mentorship programs through her nonprofit, the Coil Foundation. She is a motivational speaker and is on a mission to ensure that people feel empowered in their own lives to understand their self-worth and then be able to empower others.
She has a brand new book out entitled, “No One Dies from Divorce: How to Survive and Thrive When Your Marriage Ends.” You can order her e-book here now, and preorder the hardcover book here. For more information, and to download a free sample chapter, visit her author page here.
The Radically Positive Way to Separate
Gabrielle Hartley with Elena Brower
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DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.
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