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Therapist Corner: The Best is Yet to Come

Hello! My name is Carolyn Garrett, and I am a therapist here at KITM. It’s December and the end of the year is upon us. Time for family, friends, holiday cheer, stress, anxiety, depression, and family drama. Let’s be honest with one another, not every family has stress-free time during the holiday season, especially families going through divorce/separation for the first time or after many years of divorce/separation. During this time of holly jolly vibes, let us remember our emotions do not take a break during the holidays and automatically switch to happy vibes. We are human; we have needs/wants, and our voices matter-even if our voice is sad, depressed, anxious, and not the happiest.

Going through a divorce myself, I remember those holidays vividly when I felt out of place with other members of my family that were still coupled and living seemingly happy, healthy marital bliss. I felt like I was constantly in transition and rarely settled during most holidays for the first year or two post-divorce. It is natural for us to feel lost during those first couple of years. Give yourself time to re-group, grieve, process, and heal. Give yourself permission to move forward when the time comes. Do not let the past relationship you had and the ending of that relationship define your future. Sit in the pain, let it make you stronger, wiser, and more aware of future relationships, establish healthy boundaries, use your voice and ultimately create a new life with someone. This is your opportunity to change your course.

You get to decide which way to go, how to get there, and where you want to be in life. Post-divorce, I decided to get my master’s degree in counseling, bringing me here to KITM. I’m happy to be part of this organization and help others ride the emotional wave of divorce/separation. You can, and you will be a better human because of this process. My divorce does not define me, and I am not defined by my past relationships. I altered my course, rode the emotional wave of divorce, and can say that I came out on the other side a better human. Your children will notice your new self during and after you ride the wave of emotions during your divorce. You get to decide how you are perceived during this process as well. Not everyone will understand what you are going through or what you need from them. Let people talk; let people assume. You can only control your emotions and reactions to others, especially your co-parent and other family members. Let this be the year you alter your course, adjust your sails, lean into your wave, and ride it all the way to the shore. The shore is where life begins again. I wish each of you an emotionally present, aware holiday season full of growth and renewal. Here’s to the new year and new beginnings!

Carolyn Garrett, MA