Most people can probably agree that “divorce is crappy,” but Alisha Straatman, creator of Life Goes On Journals, wanted to make sure that “crappy” divorce didn’t turn her into a “crappy person.”
“Everyone has reasons to get divorced, and my goal isn’t what went wrong in your marriage; my focus is how do you move on? Life will go on with or without you, what are you going to do moving forward,” Straatman said.
That goal to move forward with a happy life is the driving force behind Life Goes On Journals. While Straatman was going through her divorce, she said there were very little resources out there to help her, especially within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“It’s geared toward the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other Christians, but I know a lot of things in the journal are helpful no matter what,” she said. “There was definitely a divine presence helping me create this journal.”
The idea behind the journal came three days after Straatman’s realized her marriage was over. “It became my passion project to help me get through my own divorce,” she explained. “I was feeling all these emotions and needed help and really couldn’t find what I needed. I realized I needed to create something for the next person going through that same experience.”
The journal is a daily guide that includes self-care tips, prompts to get the user thinking, a place to “rate your day” and a spot to name the emotions from the day. “Giving your emotions a name is a powerful way to heal,” Straatman said. There is also a section to write down what self-care was done that day, and a place to list gratitude and victories.
“I believe in always looking for the good, even something as simple as a friend bringing you chocolate. Divorce sucks and the whole point of the journal is to say, “how am I going to move on and be ok?’”
The journal went on sale to the public on June 30. Straatman said it’s already been helpful for a lot of people. “I’m not trying to make money off of other people’s grief,” she said. “The idea is to help women heal, and I was tired of not having any resources for divorced women within the LDS faith.”
Feedback has been positive, with many women saying it is exactly what they’ve needed, and others wishing there was something like this journal when they were going through their divorce.
“There are so many books about divorce, but I wanted to give a voice to women who were maybe in a voiceless marriage. I want you to tell your own story. We have the answers inside of us. We just need the right prompts to get them out,” Straatman said.
Straatman said if she could talk to anyone going through a divorce, she would remind them they are still worthy of love. “Not just romantic love, but divorce can seem really shameful and make a person feel guilty. You’re not a failure. You aren’t worth less because you’ve experienced it,” she said.
The Life Goes On Journal costs $20-$25 plus shipping, and Straatman said that cost basically pays for the book and the rest of the money goes toward keeping the business running.
“Again, I’m not out to make money on people’s grief. I have a full-time job; this is just a resource I felt guided to put into the world.” Straatman said right now the design is geared toward women, but that she’s working on a journal for men as well.
The Life Goes On Journals can be found online at www.lifegoesonjournal.com and on Facebook and Instagram @lifegoeson.journal. Straatman openly shares about her experiences and lessons about divorce on her personal Instagram account @alishajeanlife.