I could say that it was a shock when my ex-husband sat me down after we got home from doing our grocery shopping at Costco on a nice sunny January day and shared he was moving out that day.  But, looking back it shouldn’t have been to big of a shock, considering the circumstances.

I think the real shock came from the execution of the announcement, rather than the actual event of him leaving.  It felt so weird that we had just gone grocery shopping for the family, put everything away and then he so politely asked me to sit down and said… “Oh, bye the way I am moving out, today.”

Those first few months of separation where such a weird and hard time in my life.  It was overwhelming, gut wrenching, frustrating, unreal and I felt lost.  It was like living in a fog and it required taking one step at a time, making sure I had good footing and then taking the next step.

During this time I was trying to reconnect with the “ME” I knew before us and the brand new “ME” that was being created on a daily basis.

It was a chance to start over and a chance to do what I wanted to do.  

I had been so absorbed in my marriage I couldn’t really identify anything “I” liked to do. So, I went back to my childhood and thought about what I would get lost in doing as a child.  I remembered that I would go to the roller rink every weekend and roller skate all night.  I loved the music, the feeling of gliding across the floor and how it made me feel.

Remembering my love for roller skating, I decided to take up Roller Derby.  I found the nearest Roller Derby group in my area… which was about a 40 minute drive each way and I joined.

I was at practice 4 days a week and when I would come home I would be exhausted and super drenched.  I could literally roll my clothes off my body and throw them at the wall and they would stick… I would be that wet!  Of course, my practice facilities were located in hot like hell, Arizona and was in a huge warehouse with NO air conditioning!  Ohh yah baby… that kind of sweaty!

I signed up for roller derby for the pure joy of roller skating.  I joined because it gave me an out!  

It made me get out of the house and do something in public, where other people were.  It was a way to keep me from being a hermit in my home and feeling sad and depressed!

What I didn’t realize when I joined is that it would give me the strength I needed to push through my separation and coming divorce.  It gave me the strength to push through all the emotional mind clutter and the strength to keep going no matter what.

You see roller derby can be a little tough… OK a lot tough!

I am only 5’0 and was 125 pounds at the time. I was a tiny little pip squeak compared to everyone else! Getting knocked down, shoved, squished and starred down was part of the game.  Every time I took a hit, got knocked down, took a fall or got shoved, I would tell myself, if I can take the physical pain, I can take the emotional pain.  

I knew if I could endure the physical pain of the sport, get up every time I was knocked down and keep on skating… I could do the same thing in my personal life.

I ended up taking a pretty bad fall on my own account… that wiped out my left knee… OUCH!  Hello ER and ugly knee brace.  Anyway, I was only in Roller Derby for a handful of months, but the strength I gained during those months will last me a lifetime.

We are stronger than we think and capable of more than we can imagine.

If you are going through a separation or divorce get back to the basics… find something you love and go do it.  You will find great strength in reconnecting with the things that bring you joy and you just might find a few more pleasant surprises along your journey!

If you have gone through or are going through a separation or divorce right now what has or is giving you strength?  Leave a comment below.