Divorce Recovery Book Club: Chicken Soup For the Soul Divorce Recovery Chapt 1

Those of us who have been through or are going through a divorce know the pain it can cause in our lives.  In some way, I think we understand each other, although the discomfort and length of recovery vary for each individual.   With that in mind and considering we all have something in common, I thought I would start a book club, “The Divorce Recovery Book Club.” I will love it if you read the book with me.  

I have found you can tell your story when you read others’ stories.  You can write about how you feel about what you read and note how their story initiates an emotional response in you or brings up a memory of your personal story.  You should journal the thoughts, emotions, memories, and prayers that come to your mind as you read.  You may also come across ways to move forward that you can incorporate into your life. So, by all means, start a journal.  I will put my journal entries in italics after commenting on the author’s story.

Below is my YouTube version…

Chicken Soup for the Soul/Divorce and Recovery

Chapter 1

A Little Clump of Dirt by Mary Mason

Let’s start with the story that is the basis of her entry…”One day a farmer’s donkey fell into an abandoned well. Terrified, the animal cried for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the animal was old and impossible to retrieve. He realized the well needed to be filled to prevent future losses. So he invited all his neighbors to help him.

They all grabbed shovels and began to throw dirt into the well. At first, when the donkey realized he was being buried alive, he cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s shock, the donkey quieted down. A few shovel loads later, the farmer looked down the well and was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit the donkey’s back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up.

As the farmer and his neighbors continued to throw dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take another step up. Soon everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!”

*In her first paragraph, she talks about the deep constant pain, hurt, and devastation she felt.  She desperately wanted the pain to disappear, and she now understood the “despair that could lead to suicide.”

I can relate to this.  The pain and despair cut so deep.  I felt the devastation emotionally, physically, and even deep into my soul.  I, too, wanted the pain to go away.  I, too, thought of suicide because that would give me control of the pain because I knew I could stop it.  Did I really want to die?  No.  But I needed to stop the excruciating pain. I needed to figure out some way to make it end.

*She talks about her fifteen-year marriage.  She speaks of her complete trust in her husband and that she had no idea this would happen.  She mentions that the wife is always the last to know.

My marriage lasted 37 years.  My husband was a pastor, and I assumed he would live what he taught.  We were getting close to retirement, and I was so excited about the possibilities that he chose to throw away.  There was much I did not know that would come to light.  I believe there is also, much I still do not know and will probably never know, but God does.  And yes, at least in my case, the wife is always the last to know.

*She cried so much she felt she could fill a lake with her tears.  She lost 35 pounds in six weeks because she could not eat.

Mary and I are alike in many ways.  I cried everywhere.  I cried in the car, at work, in the grocery store, in church, in the shower, walking my dog, and even in my sleep.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and realize I was crying.  I went from a size 10 to a 6 in a few short weeks.  I had no appetite.

*She speaks about the ways she was able to keep moving.  She journaled, listened to music, talked to anyone who would listen, and she relied on family and friends.

What kept me going was my faith.  I did not blame God; I leaned on Him.  I held onto scripture, listened to Christian music, and prayed.  Sometimes I prayed silently.  Scripture speaks to the fact that God can hear our wordless groans and understands.  All I had were groans at times, and I gave them to God.  I talked to anyone who would listen.  I shared my story, which helped me process and begin to accept the reality of the situation and begin to move on.

*Mary did make it through.  She gives us a bit of advice based on the donkey’s story. She says, “Maybe more of us should be like the poor little donkey.  Shake off that dirt and stomp it down until you can simply walk out of that deep dark hole into the sunshine.”

“I think we can do just that!”

The story of the donkey and the Well can be an inspiration not only to those of us going through a divorce but to anyone who does not know how to move on.

Please comment if you would like to share your thoughts.

God Bless You on Your Journey!