updated 04/23/2013 AT 4:35 PM ET
•originally published 04/23/2013 AT 5:30 PM ET
Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Stewart discovered last month that her husband was filing for divorce on Twitter – and she’s still getting over the painfully public news.
“When you’re married you definitely feel like you have the ability to communicate with your mate enough for them to come in and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to get a divorce.’ But that didn’t happen,” Stewart tells PEOPLE. “I found out about [the divorce filing] on Twitter, which was surprising. I’m still in total shock.”
Yet Stewart, 31, is trying to stay strong after her split with former NFL star Kordell Stewart, 40, and beginning to rebuild her life with the help of family and friends, including RHOA costars such as NeNe Leakes, who criticized the Stewarts’ relationship in a blog on BravoTV.com prior to the split.
“I’m definitely blessed to have a strong support system around me,” Porsha says. “NeNe, she’s been through a similar situation in her past. She’s telling me to take care of me right now, and that’s what I’m doing.”
Now that news of the split has begun to sink in, Stewart is starting to focus on rebuilding her life, and she’s reconnecting to her “very independent” formerly single self.