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What Getting a Divorce at 27 Taught Me About My Mental Health as a Whole

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Who knows about the timeline of life? Where you are supposed to date someone, get married, buy a house, have kids … all before you turn 30? Well, here I am at 30, divorced, living in a rental, decided not to have children and still learning who I am as a person.

I found that I had gotten so caught up in this silly timeline that I forgot to actually focus on what truly matters. I thought I was heading in the right direction that was “normal,” but I ended up having a traumatic psychotic break which, in turn, lead to me getting a divorce at the ripe age of 27. As embarrassing as getting a divorce at a young age was, I don’t regret anything because of all that I have learned from this intense journey.

So many things lead up to the divorce. I thought I had my life under control, but the truth was I didn’t know myself well enough to know what the hell I was doing. I didn’t understand my own core values well enough to make all these heavy life decisions like getting married, buying a house or having kids. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted kids, but that was on the timeline because that is the way of life! You’re supposed to have kids, right?

It took me a long time to realize that my mental, emotional and physical health should have always been my priority. I also learned that building core relationships and keeping them healthy is really important. From this divorce, I learned to focus on the true things that bring happiness to life. To forget about social norms, and what is to be expected of you at your age. To let go of negative people who disrupt who you are and your goals as a person. Surround yourself with people and hobbies that contribute to your mental and emotional health, which includes finding a partner who is supportive through all your mental health struggles.

There are so many things that matter now at 30, that did not seem as important back in my married life. I was so young and naive that I fell in love with someone before loving myself. I was committed to these life milestones without actually putting in the inner work to make the steps of life sturdy enough to hold myself up. I let myself build up for years before exploding in a mental health crisis because I didn’t pay attention to what my body and soul truly needs to stay healthy.

The timeline of life can blind you to what’s truly important, so be sure to pay attention to who you are and who you are becoming. Are you proud of that person? Because I wasn’t, and now that I’ve gone through this traumatic event and learned what I need in life to stay stable, I’m ready to accept myself and move forward.

Photo by Candice Picard on Unsplash

Originally published: January 30, 2020
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