Here is one of life’s toughest lessons:  when something really big comes along and blindsides you, knocks you to the ground, and changes your life, most of your friends will not get it.  Not because they do not care.  Not because they were never really your friends.  Just because that specific earth-shaking, life altering event hasn’t happened to them.

Our closest friends and family members ‘not getting it’ can make us feel especially alone and isolated.  Understanding that it is not you – and it’s not them – it’s just the way it is – can be a big help.  Instead of expecting comfort from the wrong places, your job is to find the right places.

Divorcing women should consider a DivorceCare seminar or support group.  This is a divorce recovery program that is well-established throughout the US and other countries.  There are even classes and support for children through Divorce Care for Kids.  Elmbrook Church in Brookfield has programs for both adults and kids that are open to anyone.  More information and other locations can be found at www.divorcecare.org.

Grief support is essential for the newly bereaved.  I have never had a woman tell me that she regretted attending a grief support group or workshop.  Almost all have said that it was one of the best decisions they ever made.  You should check first with your church, mosque or synagogue.  If that fails, you can go to www.griefshare.com to find a nearby GriefShare support group.  These groups meet weekly and are designed so that you can begin attending on any week.  A wonderful list of Milwaukee-area grief support groups for children is available here.

Job Loss can create its own kind of isolation and grief.  The sooner you join a support or networking group, the better you will feel.  There are more groups out there than you can imagine.  40Plus of Southeastern Wisconsin, a self-help support, resource and advocacy group for jobseekers, keeps up two lists:  Area Job Seeker Meetings and Ellie’s List of Free SE WI Job Networking Support Groups.  You should also visit the Workforce Development Center on the WCTC campus in Pewaukee.  You will be amazed at the quality of the resources that they have available – free of charge.

Seeing a professional therapist, coach or counselor on your own is also an option, but don’t be surprised if they encourage you to join a support group.  You deserve to experience the healing that can come from being with people who really, really get it.

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