A New Year and A New Me

Last December, I returned to WordPress and visited posts I had written at the start of the end of my marriage. As I read, I could feel the pain resurface and I welled up with tears.

I am not the same person a year ago. I can look backwards and forwards with compassion and sympathy for who I had been and look forward who I might become. I no longer hide from the regret and fear. I can’t take back the past and I have bouts of sadness but overall, the divorce has shaped me into someone that neither leans too far back nor ahead. I feel balanced and more importantly, I can recenter my mind when it begins to lean towards any direction.

Who I was once upon a time was a scared, sheltered, entitled thing who had never learned how to feel and use intuition to navigate through a world full of traps and treasures.

That unveiling of false security and hiding behind a man was long overdue. The man I knew is gone and the one I know now, the one whom I am still engaged in a legal battle with, is someone who sometimes reminds me of someone I really loved.  Currently we are fighting like the civil war, when each side took turns shooting, waiting for the other to load their bayonets. It won’t be too long before we discard all rules of war etiquette.

My favorite little dog in the whole world is no longer in my care and he is a casualty of life and the lesson that we lose and win, win and lose, over and over.

My world view now is scarred but there is more time to heal. I am not entirely sure who I am exactly, what I want from this life, or where I am headed, but there is a freedom in not knowing. Things will not always be okay and that is okay. Right now I am learning that now is a good time to lean back, let go, float, breathe, and keep my gaze upward and not forward.



Filling up time

My last post was in February so I have some months to fill.

February – Started a month on Wellbutrin. My therapist said it was no longer an option. She was right. I couldn’t find reasons to get out of bed. I went to a psychiatrist and rather than the presumed analysis of my childhood, she asked about my ability to make decisions. She, like my therapist, was who I needed to come into my life.

Very quickly, my attachment to my emotions and negative thoughts loosened. However I began to struggle with concentration. I experienced pounding headaches. Countless sores developed inside my mouth. I could handle the symptoms for a month and then decided to stop.

March+April – I was blessed with this opportunity to travel to a new state every other day: Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Hawaii. I’d wake up in the same hotel but in a different state. I didn’t know where I was, only where I needed to be that morning and the next day. I experienced places I never imagined visiting and it was another glimpse into this concept of newness and letting go. Something I was still struggling to accept.

(Do not go to Hawaii when you are experiencing heartache.)

May – Mediation finalized. Don’t remember much else about this month. Fear. Heartache seeing him again.

June – I spend several weeks in Las Vegas for a job with a new crew of people (not sure they will be hiring me back ever but that is okay). I spend the 4th of July alone and I cried.

July – I spent a month in Philadelphia and what an incredible experience. There were days where I would still cry and my heart would ache. There were other days when work beat me down. And then there were days that felt like heaven.

August – I moved out of my girlfriend’s home (more on that later) and have a short job that ends in September.

Aaand 10 Steps Back

I cried and cried yesterday. Wondering how a person can suddenly stop loving me, what I can do to change his mind, how I am going to live without him…so on and so forth. I don’t have the answers and if I go back home and show him our lives can be different, I am not sure he will be receptive. If I went back home, could there be a chance to reconcile? He has not changed his mind about anything and all I can think about is that if I try to make this work, maybe it could. Or maybe he is meeting other women right now.


The Ride of Your Life

Divorce is depleting. Letting go of marriage, the person you love, and an unfulfilled life is tortuous.  You are at war with your mind, struggling between what should have been, what is happening now, and what was the future was supposed to be like. You are also experiencing a financial war, trying to come up with a treaty, dividing and assigning ownership to property. You fight yourself everyday to keep going and searching for ways to survive. You relive it countless times. There are sides. There is training. There is so much damage. Where’s my purple heart.
When you are finally ready to surrender, you begin to let go and learn acceptance. Letting go reminds me to live in the present because any time I don’t, the memories of the past and the unfulfilled dreams of the future hurt. Letting go feels a lot like a ride that spins you around and around and when you stop, your mind continues to whirl and what you thought you knew loosens up and everything is fluid and confusing until you catch up to the stillness of your body. When that happens, you aren’t entirely sure what just happened and you don’t know where or who you are, except what matters is the fact that you are free to start moving again.

Comfort in Uncomfort

1. causing or feeling slight pain or physical discomfort.
2. causing or feeling unease or awkwardness.
Synonyms: painfuldisagreeableintolerableunbearable, confining, cramped

uneasyawkwardnervoustense, ill-at-ease, strainededgyrestlessembarrassedtroubledworriedanxiousfraught, rattled, twitchy, discombobulated, antsy

Currently my life is moving at an accelerated speed and it’s hard to keep up. If you ask me what I’ve been doing for the past 5 months, my answer is nothing. On the outside, nothing. On the inside, learning about self compassion, being patient, accepting my mistakes, finding strength, accepting sadness and loss, losing labels, discarding an old self and finding a new one.

I feel like the finish line of the divorce is when mediation ends, when I don’t have any reason to talk to him any more. I think about my ex a little less each day. I can feel that one day he will be a stranger and while that makes me incredibly sad, it means I am moving on. My heart ache comes and goes now. I still want to call him and connect. I don’t think that will change. I want to tell him about something funny that happened or something that reminded me of him. Instead, I acknowledge them and it hurts that I can’t talk to him. And then I let those thoughts go, knowing they will come to visit me again.

The silver lining in this uncomfortable experience of divorce is that nothing else feels quite as unpleasant, which means I am trying new things that are embarrassing and that I am not good at. I am getting a little gutsier in daydreaming about the future. I am not restricted to where I have to live or what I kind of job I need to take. It’s terrifying and liberating.

I wanted to list out the beautiful little moments that occurred while I was collapsing from the news of my divorce, before they too, become smaller and fade into the horizon. I think these are the moments that become the roots of new growth.

1. Bike riding in Napa – Was a result of receiving a text from my ex that made me want to implode.
2. Ballet Class – Was mortifying to be the only one who followed the dress code and came in full ballet attire in what I thought was a basics class. I was wrong. It was advanced. And I was the only one in a leotard.
3. Kickboxing – I almost threw up from fatigue.
4. Watched Roller Derby – Empowering and a lot of fun.
5. Sleeping in a twin bed – Haven’t slept in one since college. I don’t feel lonely in bed. Because there is no room.
6. No furniture – Liberating and looking forward to shopping for it when it’s time.
7. Getting the best pep talk ever from my dad.
8. My relationship with mom could not be better.
9. Realizing how wise and loyal my sister is.
10. Realizing how resilient, supportive, and mature my younger brother is.
11. Realizing how cruel I am to myself.
12. Knowing how fiercely loyal and loving my friends are.
13. Becoming my own advocate and taking responsibility back for my own happiness.
14. Learning to be aware of self criticism.
15. Being kinder to myself.
16. Reading a lot.
17. Witnessing that time at sunset when the moon and sun sing a duet and both shine bright.
18. Endurance. This divorce is a marathon and I am still enduring.
19. Starting to be aware of taking deep breaths throughout the day when I feel upset.
20. Being okay that I may or may not ever have children.
21. I have nothing to lose now that I have lost it.
22. I am never the same person each day.
23. Drinking more tea than coffee.
24. Blowing bubbles with C.
25. Becoming aware of my self talk.
26. Embracing happy moments. They shine brighter when it’s dark.
27. Crying. Allowing myself to cry and mourn. Not trying to dismiss how I feel.
28. Becoming more decisive.
29. Being okay that I may not ever be in a relationship, or feeling like I have to be in one.
30. Being okay with not knowing what I am doing.
31. Opening up to pain has made friends open up to me about their own.
32. Managing depression.
33. Being introduced to the most delicious cheese.
34. Having moments and words hit my heart with such truth that it makes me cry.
35. Going to Austin.
36. Going to Napa.
37. Friends sending me a playlist of songs and letting me know how much they love me.
38. Realizing a wounded heart is an open heart.

Cobra Pose

I went to another free yoga class. I am that person in any class where my entire body starts to tremble when I have to use any muscle in my body. So, along with strengthening my mental resilience, I am slowly gaining physical strength one yoga pose at a time.

I can finally lower myself into a cobra pose, which is like the basic of yoga basics, but wanted to yell out, “YES” when I could finally do it.

I also touched my toes. Yes. I couldn’t touch my toes because I am like an oak tree. Mentally and physically. Rigid. Now I am beginning to feel a bit more pliable.



Breathing in the process of letting go

I hold myself 100% accountable for the role I played in the issues that may or may not have been repairable in the marriage. I am not responsible for the divorce, I didn’t want to give up, and I am proud of that. He said this was best for us because I shouldn’t be with someone who no longer loves me. He was right.

I am experiencing the devastating process of letting go of hope and dreams. This person whom I have shared memories with all over this world and I have known since childhood is no longer in my life. I still see the remnants of us everywhere. It hurts my heart. I have moments of anger that melt into sorrow. I still love him deeply because I am this way. I have stopped fighting this love, who I am, and while I cry, I send off a prayer that we both find happiness and peace as we write our new stories.

Statistics say that half of all marriages end in divorce and friends often tell you that divorce happens all the time. Statistics also tell us there are 150,000 deaths a day but it doesn’t make grieving easier. Let’s not try to lessen the pain, let’s accept that it is shattering and give people the opportunity to navigate through the process.

I am grieving and that is my reality. People don’t tell you to stop being happy so why tell people to stop being sad. I judge myself for not recovering quicker. I criticize myself for hurting so much. When I do this, I have to ask what I would tell a friend who was experiencing this. I would say, you are loved. This is painful and it is what your life is right now and then it will pass. There is a great deal of sadness and happiness in life. You are doing fine just as you are and I am here to sit beside you and listen patiently and love you. And when you are ready, I will help you stand.

I have accepted that this is part of my story and the pain of this divorce is as significant and powerful as the love I felt the day I got married. There is no reason to believe this experience is less than any other moment in life. I don’t want to brush this aside as quickly as I can, as much as I would like, but I accept that this process is valuable and deserves respect, for reasons that may or may not unfold. I am seeing the good moments within this divorce. The bad is obvious. But the good…the good moments you have to catch it when it happens or they quickly fade. They include moments of laughter that feel amazing because you can’t really remember the last time you laughed. Or when a friend is willing to fly to you, even just for the day, to remind you that you are not alone. Even the people involved in the divorce, like the appraiser, turned out to be such a nice man. He could have been a jerk.

When I read literature about working through my grief 3 months ago, I couldn’t understand why. I didn’t know how and what benefit there was to it. I wanted to hide and hoped time would help me forget. Almost every day I hate feeling sad, I miss him, I am in denial, and it’s exhausting but I don’t think my process is about taking the time to ignore and dismiss my experience anymore. When I fight how I feel and what is, I can’t breathe and I have a hard time living. When I surrender, I begin to breathe again. I am learning to breathe it in so I may one day exhale and let it go.