Dear Carolyn,

I am having trouble dealing with the “change” of divorce. Everything is so different. I feel sad. I’ve gained weight. With COVID-19, even my social structure has changed or evaporated. I really don’t want to pay a therapist, but maybe I should. What do you think? Am I a woman doomed?


Carolyn Answers,

Interestingly, 95 percent of the population is probably change-resistant. But, change is a natural part of being human. We age. The seasons, at least in North Carolina, change from summer, to fall, to winter, to spring. Change can be good or bad, and part of whether it is positive or negative has to do with your attitude.

One of those attitudes is the attitude toward control. You probably cannot control the “fact” of your divorce, but you can control how you rebound from the divorce. Look at divorce as giving you more control. You don’t have to worry about what the ex wants for dinner or what movie he wants to watch. You have the opportunity for self-care. Go get your nails done, or go to a movie and get a Diet Coke. I would suggest you find a club and a couple of non-profit organizations for volunteer work. You will achieve social good and meet new friends with the other volunteers.

Reach out to a therapist and see if that helps. Exercise frees the mind, as well. The Duke study on depression indicated that the best combination to fight situational depression is exercise combined with therapy.


Send your questions on family law and divorce matters to “Ask Carolyn…” at, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC  27427.  Please do not put identifying information in your questions.  Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation.  The column also uses hypothetical questions.  A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case.  Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…”