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What I Learned After Neglecting My Health During Divorce

By Stacey Freeman

No one wants to think about getting sick. Or dying. Who has the time, especially while in the middle of a heated divorce? I get it. That was me a little over five years ago when I first started going through mine.


After I eventually got my head screwed back on straight (or almost straight), I started making those doctor appointments that I suspected were coming due, including my annual mammography and breast ultrasound. That was when I was the recipient of a big surprise – the nurse at my radiologist’s office in New York City where I had been going for years told me I hadn’t been there for three. I was so sure she was wrong that I insisted she go through my file a second time. And then a third. But she wasn’t wrong. The last time I was there had been a few months before separating from my husband. Immediately, the nurse squeezed me into the schedule for the following week.

I almost got away unscathed, too. But as I headed out the door to lunch, the doctor called me back inside. Upon further inspection, he had noticed a couple of spots that needed watching. He gave me a choice; I could wait four months to see if more appeared or have the area biopsied sooner. For me, there was no choice. As a single mother of three, I wasn’t going to roll the dice and wait. If I was having an issue, I wanted to know as quickly as possible so that I could address it. Fortunately, after more testing, the doctor told me I was fine.


I was lucky. But we can only depend on luck so much. Besides, luck can run out at any time. Should that ever happen, I already know I want the best opportunity to fight. That is why I have become vigilant about going for my annual breast exam, mammography, and ultrasound. Early detection remains the best defense against breast cancer, and I am a proponent of it now more than ever before.


My newfound interest in preventative medicine applies to more than my breasts. In addition to my yearly mammography and breast ultrasound, I additionally go for a routine physical, CBC, and skin check. And if I am not feeling right in between, I make sure to investigate why even if it is “just” a cold I cannot shake. Problems can build, and quickly.


If we are not well physically and mentally, it won’t matter where we live, what we have in our bank accounts, and the kind of car we drive post-divorce.


I am not a hypochondriac. In fact, because I make my health a priority, I visit doctors on only a few occasions during the year, less often than many people I know. However, the time I spend when I do is time well spent because I know if I wait, even if it is only to treat a routine illness, I will end up paying more in the end, whether with my wallet, my time, or potentially my life. And nothing is worth that.


Going through a divorce is draining in more ways than we ever want to think about, and it is easy to let the care of ourselves fall into the background as we worry about what we perceive to be more pressing issues. But what we tend to forget in those moments is that without our health, we have nothing. If we are not well physically and mentally, it won’t matter where we live, what we have in our bank accounts, and the kind of car we drive post-divorce. The bills may be piling up now. However, a clean bill of health is the one bill we should all look forward to receiving.


About the Author
Stacey Freeman is a writer and blogger from the New York City area, a divorced single mom, lifestyle editor at, and the founder and managing director of Write On Track, LLC, a full-service consultancy dedicated to providing high-quality content to individuals and businesses. A respected voice for divorce issues affecting both women and men, Stacey has been published in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Woman’s Day, Town & Country, The Huffington Post, xoJane, Scary Mommy, The Stir,, The Good Men Project, and various well-known platforms worldwide. Stacey is frequently called upon for her expertise and insights on the divorce experience and has repeatedly been quoted in The Huffington Post’s divorce vertical. Stacey holds her B.A. in English, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University at Albany and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. Email Stacey today at or call 800-203-1946 for a free consultation and proposal. For more information, visit

No one wants to think about getting sick. Who has the time, especially while in the middle of a divorce? I get it. That was me a little over five years ago.
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  1. Jodie Utter says:

    Enduring trauma and it’s aftermath creates a time warp and mind fog like nothing else. I hurt for you that you lost three years of consciousness to some degree, and I can relate. So glad to hear you were able to push through and I love that you’re turning around to help the next one in line. Thank you.

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