I feel like anxiety is a recurring theme for me these days. Some days better than others. Some moments worse than others.
Last week I was anxious. Yesterday I was anxious. Today I am anxious.
Last week I took charge of my anxiety. Of my voice. I used it to share my feelings. No matter what the outcome. Of course the outcome was good. As I always tell my kids, we can never regret sharing our feelings. I shared. It was good.
On Friday, what was the beginning of a great weekend ahead, I received an email from my lawyer. The latest response from the ex in our divorce agreement. For the first time in this process, I did not immediately open the email. It helped that I was driving. It helped that I knew it would bring me to my knees, as it always does. It helped that I knew I wanted to enjoy some of my own time first. Before going back down into that rabbit hole. I decided to wait until Saturday when I knew I would have a bit of alone time. When I thought it would not get in the way of my weekend.
Saturday I headed out for a run. Anxiety high. Do I read the email? Do I leave it? How could I possibly leave it? I could I read it and potentially ruin a good weekend. This was my second weekend in a row with A, but would be the last for 12 days. Time was precious.
I ran. And I ran. It was cold. I finally sat down on a bench. Looked out onto the dark blue river. Took a few deep breaths. Pulled my phone off my arm. Took a few more deep breaths. Put the phone back on my arm. And ran some more.
Nothing in that email was going to make a difference to my weekend. Not in a positive way. Even if it was good news. Spending time with A was the positive difference in my weekend. I wanted to be able to just focus on him. On us. It was a weekend of firsts. I was not going to let that get clouded over.
That night at dinner I mentioned to A that I had received a reply on my divorce agreement but was waiting until the weekend was over to look at it. Willpower, he said. And for the first time I think he realized that I am truly moving forward. With me. With him. With us.
On Sunday, I ran again. The best run I have ever had. Good pace. Good distance. It was like something inside of me had been released. Tension. Anxiety. Stress. I knew that everything was going to be ok. No matter what that email said.
Sunday night the anxiety returned. I had decided to wait until I was with a girlfriend on Monday morning to open the email.
Hardly slept. Emotions bubbling under the surface.
Sitting in Starbucks with my girlfriend. I was crying before we even got started. As I type this I get teary eyed. All these months. Will the tears ever go away?
We open the email. Not great. But not bad. An improvement. Finally. So close to a final agreement. So close to being divorced. So close, yet it feels so far away. For the first time, I truly am tired of all of this back and forth. I am very tired. I really want this to all be done and over with. And that makes me sad too.
Talking with A last night. We talked about how close it is to being done. How if I can’t get the ex to come up a little bit, I have to decide what to do. For the first time, he encouraged and supported me to settle. Not to be screwed over. But to not go to court. He also wants this to be done. So that I can be released a little more.
Last night I slept better than I have in ages. My habitual 4am wake up did to happen. In fact I was woken from a dead sleep by my alarm.
Stress is being released. It is helping me to feel better. But I am still anxious.
Underlying anxiety from self-confidence, or lack thereof. And from reflecting on my life. The life that has been created that maybe I do not want so much.
So let’s hit the self-confidence first. I like that A lives away. I find that it gives me a bit of breathing room. A bit of space to focus on what needs attention right now. But as we get closer, it gets harder. That was our discussion last week. How are we going to make this work, he wondered. One day at a time, I replied. Let’s just focus on now. But it is hard to not think ahead. To not plan a bit down the road. And what is this going to look like? Can we make it work? Him voicing his concern last week has left me feeling better because we talked, but shaken. Is he going to decide that it is too much? The distance? The baggage? For now we take it one day at a time. We will see. There is so much more to this part of my story but I fear I am rambling a bit too much now.
So the life that has been created. When I met the ex, I was in a place in my life that I wanted to be settling down. Worked well. He wanted to get married, and have a family quickly because his father was ill and he was not sure how long he would live. Seventeen years later and he is still alive. So we married quickly and had a family quickly. I love my kids. I loved what my life was. But now, a single mom? Two wonderful teenagers. Good kids. But I feel so tied down. I am the one who sacrificed and continues to sacrifice the most. My life has changed more than anyone’s in this whole situation. The kids go to school, hang with their friends, spend time with me, rarely see their dad. Nothing has really changed that much in their world. It was always like that. The ex, he started a new life. Walked from the old one, right into the new one. Hardly a glance back.
I am left with all the pieces and am trying to figure out how they all fit together.
When do I get my time? I realized this morning that I had my kids so quickly and early, to appease the ex. I am wondering if I had to do it all again, would I?
I want to run away. To escape. To start my own life. To be selfish as the ex has been. Why am I left to do it all? And to do it by myself?
I have come so far. But wonder if I will ever get there?