Tag Archives: divorce

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.


Depression, My Last Apology, & Yoga

I attended free yoga today. Prior to entering class, I was listening to Andrew Solomon’s beautiful Ted talk about depression. As he spoke about his darkest moments, I understood exactly what he meant and how he felt. It was something I lived with and never really questioned. Depression doesn’t know there is a different way to be. Sometimes something in life can trigger it’s presence but isn’t always the reason for the depression.

The truth is that I have been depressed for a while and last year was the breaking point, when I fell apart and the ex wanted to dissolve the marriage. I couldn’t see the misery he experienced standing by me because I was living in it. It was a clarifying realization and I texted the ex and said that I am learning that I have been depressed for some time and that I was sorry that I put him through what my depression put him through. With that, I am done being sorry. For all I know he could be out with a woman at this moment.

I walked into yoga and the basics proved to be difficult. I could not concentrate and keep balance. As my mind beat me up with negative thoughts, I continued to focus on breathing. The dischord began to quiet and eventually the thoughts were escorted to the back of my mind. An hour later, I was sitting with my hands together in Namaste, authentically grateful for that class.

I walked out and the truth that I am not enough started feeling like a lie. This belief only fades due to an accumulation of factors; time, reading, self inquiry, and therapy. However, I contribute their efficacy to medication, something I should have explored years ago. Today is the 27th day I have been taking antidepressants. It is my psychiatrist who believes that depression has been my normal for years. I was initially against the idea after reading criticisms about the over prescription of drugs and the potentially dangerous and permanent side effects that antidepressants can cause. However, when you find yourself calling your friend hysterical, not seeing any purpose or value to your life, you have a choice.

I still spend a great deal of energy grieving and crying, but I no longer question waking up and getting out of bed. I don’t spend each day obsessing over divorce and this has freed up energy to do things, like yoga. I am terrible at it but it doesn’t bother me when it would have. I have begun to draw a little bit again, something I forgot I enjoyed doing. Most importantly, I spent years telling myself how I should be and what I should do. Now I think less about the shoulds. I don’t hate myself. I am beginning to notice that everything is not pain and loss. I looked up at the sky tonight and the moon was a thin delicate line and it was lovely to look at.


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Relating Mindfulness to Divorce

So, divorce books are tricky. It is not easy to find the right one. And if you have ever been to the divorce section in a bookstore, you will notice the book covers are a lot like wine labels and sometimes you just pick based on design. Many look like they were published when “Moonlighting” was big. If you have some great reads please let me know. If these books want me to honor my marriage and I have to write a letter that I am not allowed to give to my husband, do not share.

I honor this marriage still. That’s the problem. I still see the good, the potential, the love, and the effort to see the marriage work, but he doesn’t. Simple yet heart breaking, regretful, painful, and infuriating. I don’t hate my husband, I can’t be mad at him because I love him and I did good picking him. He is wonderful and I cry when I wish I could have seen him as a father because it would have been beautiful. His happiness matters to me, even if it doesn’t include me. And it hurts. A lot. And I do get angry because I don’t know what to do with that love now and how to live life again.

I have to take that love and effort and find a way to take the 13 years we had been together and all the hope and good and compress that into a little file that can still open and not be corrupted when I need it again. But until that day comes, according to my stack of spiritual books, I have to love myself, forget the past, don’t concentrate on the future, but be aware of the present. And just be.

I’m talking about mindfulness and meditation.

I picked up a stack of Buddhism books after I hit the divorce section hard. I made a stop at the spirituality section but I was not ready for the goddess in me books just yet. Books on Buddhism by far have been more beneficial than divorce books. Divorce books make you feel like there is something wrong with you. And yes, there is something wrong. You are going through a divorce.

I can’t get too absorbed into the Buddhism books however. I had to take a step back from them. I love some of the concepts but they make retraining your mind sound like a peaceful and quick process. Just breathe. Let go of thoughts. Be present. Your thoughts are dreams and not real. Your feelings will pass. Speak to your child self.

I began to feel rather insane practicing some of the teachings, like self talk. It has been beneficial though in the last week when I wake up every night from a dream about my husband. Sometimes he is with someone new. I cry and tell myself this may happen but it isn’t now. I tell myself that I can be strong and to let this thought pass.

I began to feel more insane not being able to trust my thoughts and feelings and pretty soon I began to feel like Buddhist teachers and the homeless lead very similar lives.

Then I took a step into reality. I was getting too into my head, which creates reality but can be a dangerous place that I cannot take refuge in. So I tried to remember the things I still want in life, very unBuddhist of me, and I thought how I would like to be part of a team where someone wants you as their team mate again. And it feels far and impossible now, but that is one thing I do know I want out of the hundreds of questions marks I am living with. Period.