Be Mighty

 I lay in bed. Afraid to try to sleep. Worried that sleep will allude me.  Typical as of late. For a while sleep come a bit easier. Now, for the past three weeks or so, sleep is not a good friend of mine. Not an enemy, more like an acquaintance. 

Tonight is the end of day 365.  

Tomorrow I will have come full circle. I will have arrived to the anniversary date where my life as I knew it, changed forever. 
One sentence. Or rather one question took me down a path of no return. Only I did not know it at the time. 

“Can you just tell me that we’re going to be ok?” 

For weeks I wondered what my life would have looked like had I not asked that question. If I had just kept quiet. Like usual. Swallowed my voice. Kept the boat steady. 

His reply, “I don’t know.”  

I folded over and put my hands on my thighs. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. 

Of course he knew. This was not the beginning of the lies. Unbeknownst to be at the time, the lies start months earlier. In the end, all irrelevant. 

It has been quite the year. 

My husband, now ex, moved out. He packed his bag full of lies and left a trail behind. I am still crossing paths with those lies. Too many. Too much. Enough already. 

With the help of some of the most amazing women I have ever met, I was pulled up from the depths of despair. The pulling is not done. Not yet. And while I worry that my friends have tired of me, of this crap, I know they are still there. Arms open to catch me on the unexpected days of sadness and anxiety. Not sadness towards my ex, but rather sadness for the life I am mourning. Sadness for the person I was, good and bad. Anxiety for the unknown of the future. 

I held the hands of my Children and wiped away more tears than I ever thought possible. From them. From me. 

I found the strength and courage to ask for a divorce. He might have been the one to have left out marriage. He might have been the one to quit on us. But I was the one to stood up and said I wanted out. I took control of my situation. I protected myself. I protected my children. 

Tomorrow, on the anniversary date of the collapse of my marriage, I will take my children on a trip. To one of my favourite cities. New York. We will build new Christmas memories. New Christmas traditions. We will get space from their father. Distract ourselves from what is now the reality of or new life. 

We will love each other. Cherish each other. 

On day 366, we will put one foot in front of the other. Just as we have done for the past 365. 

We will be mighty.  

 

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I see sadness in your eyes

“I see sadness in your eyes.”

This is what a friend told me last night.  We are new friends.  Fighting the same battle.  The same timeline.  But we have approached it so differently.  She feels completely moved on.  That is what I get from her eyes.  But my eyes?

Sadness.

It is hard to not be sad.  It is hard to actually define why I am sad.  I am not sure that is important.  I just am.

I do not miss him.  I do not want him back in my life.  I see this for the blessing that it is.

I miss my family.  I am scared.  Everything I thought I knew about my future does not exist.

I have had a few friends, and my therapist, tell me to lean into these emotions.  To feel them and let them pass by.  But there seems to be a traffic jam.  They are not passing by so easily these days.  And the days of feeling like this seem endless.

I am a fixer.  I am an explainer.  I like to know the answers.

Am I feeling this way because it is the holidays?  Am I feeling this way because a year ago I started suspecting he was having an affair?  Am I feeling this way because I have almost come one full calendar year through the grieving?  Am I feeling this way because I do not have the distraction of A (most probably)?  Is it ok to be sad still?  Isn’t it time to move on?  How do I do that?  When will the sadness go away?

I like answers.  And right now I feel like I have none.

One foot in front of the other.  One breath at a time.  One second at a time.

One day it will be easier, right?

Perspective

The days go round and round.  The sun rises.  The sun sets.  The moon comes out.  The rain falls.  We do not have snow yet.  We wonder if we will have snow for Christmas.

The tears flow.  The frustration builds.  Why am I still crying?  Why am I still sad?  Enough already.

Rejection.  Acceptance.  Too much soul searching?  I have discovered that I have some major issues with wanting to be accepted.  Possibly more than the average person.  And right now I seem to be surrounded by rejection.

Every.  Where.  I.  Turn.

I know.  It sounds complicated.  It is.

Tonight it is about perspective.

The plans for tonight would have been heading out of town to see A.  Except, we are not seeing each other.  Not anymore.  Our 23 year friendship is walking on egg shells.  Our budding romance has been hit with frost.

I am home.

It is not my weekend with the kids, however, my daughter has exams next week and wanted to stay home  to be able to study.  There is no quiet place to study at her father’s.  No problem.

I am home.

We received a phone call tonight from a social worker.  My daughter’s friend, S, needs a place to stay tonight.  The social worker feels strongly that S cannot stay at her own home for the weekend.

A bit of background.  About 3 weeks ago, S was checked into the hospital.  At the time we knew most definitely that she was self-harming, cutting, herself.  I did not know until this evening, that she was having suicidal thoughts as well.

She stayed in the hospital for about a week.  Returning to school, everything seemed to quiet down.  No reports from my daughter about how things were going.

Until tonight.

Of course S will stay with us tonight.  Tomorrow night if need be as well.

I am home.

So while I feel like my own life is spiralling out of control, full of rejection, there is a 14 year old who also feels the same.  But more. To the point of wanting to commit suicide.

I can’t imagine how she must feel.  But for certainty, she must feel very bad.  Very, very bad.

It is not about being thankful for what I have, thinking that “it could be worse”.  In fact many months ago I decided that it could never be worse.  Comparing my life, my situation, with that of someone else and saying that “it could be worse” meaning that their situation was worse, made me feel horrible.  How could I be grateful that someone else was suffering more or equally to me?  How could I be grateful that my life was not THAT bad.  Instead, I decided, life could be harder.  And when I think that way, I look at others with admiration.  If their challenges are greater than mine and they still get out of bed every day, put one foot in front of the other, I must admire them.  Find strength in their strength.  Courage in their courage.  Offer a hand up when they need help.  And take their hand when they offer help to me.

So tonight is all about perspective.  My life, my situation, could most definitely be harder.  I admire S for getting out of bed every day to fight her demons.  I find strength in her strength, even though I am most certain she feels weak.  I find courage in her courage, even though I am most certain she feels cowardly.  And I will offer her my hand to help her because she needs help.  She needs her village to open their arms and catch her while she is falling.

I am home.

Things happen for a reason.  I needed to be home for my daughter and for her friend S.  Things happen for a reason.

Just What I Needed

I’ve been a little MIA from my blog as of late.  I have not been inspired to write.  Well, that’s not completely true.  I have been writing, but in my journal.  I have had a hard few weeks.  I felt like coming here to write was self-indulgent.  “For goodness sake, no one wants to read more about your anxiety, or trust issues, or low self-esteem, or crying, or breakdown, or break up,” was what I was telling myself.  I’ll expand more on this in a separate blog post.

And then today happened.

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I was nominated today by Mick over at My Writings for the Liebster Award.  While this blogger to blogger award is meant to not only recognize and show support to new bloggers, it also serves as a way to increase the nominated blogger’s exposure.

For me?

It was a big kick in the pants that I needed.  Mick reminded me not in words, but through his nomination, that I  need to write.  That my writing is being enjoyed and appreciated by others.

So thank you Mick.  I am truly grateful that you have gotten me to sit down at my computer and get typing again.  So much easier than pen to paper!  Maybe not easier, but different.  And equally relevant.

In Mick’s post I learned that I need to now share the nomination with other new bloggers that I have enjoyed reading (those with less than 200-300 followers), as well as answer the questions that he has left for me, and the other nominees.  Unfortunately I do not spend enough time reading blogs.  I randomly view and read.  These days my brain can focus on very little.  However, I whole heartedly agree with  Mick’s choice for his nominations:

The Euphoric Iraqi Single Mom This wonderful mom of twin boys is rebuilding her life during and after divorce.  She is amazingly strong and wonderful.

So Mick’s questions for me to answer:

1) What do you find most difficult about blogging?

Usually my biggest challenge is to just come and write.  I overthink.  Everything.  The intention was to have my blog be somewhere that I could come and write about my feelings and set them free.  But at times I get bogged down (like lately) and think too much about what I am actually writing (how it will be perceived) vs just writing.

2) What would you like to learn?

That is a good question.  There is so much for me to learn.  Especially when it comes to who I am.  I need to learn to not be so hard on myself.  I am my own worst critic.

3) So what inspires you?

So much.  Mostly though, the women around me.  We are all unique, and yet all the same.  We all struggle.  Some of our struggles are the same, some different, some opposite.  But we all struggle.  And yet we all get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other.

And if I am being completely honest, I inspire myself.  I read back on my posts and I like what I have written.  I am inspired to take another breath, to take another step, forward into this new life.

4) Have you got a philosophy of life?

Right now I would say that my philosophy would be, “one moment at a time, one breath at a time”.  Try to stay in the moment and to not worry about what you can’t control.

5) Any big event on the horizon for you?

There are lots of big events happening.  Maybe not events, but things in my life.  It looks like my divorce papers might be signed by the end of the year.  Huge.  I am taking my kids to NYC for Christmas and I am very excited about that.  A move is in my future as well as sorting out my career.  So lots of big things on the horizon.

6) Have you a favourite place?

My bed.  Since I wrote that post, I have added a memory foam top to my bed and bought new pillows that scrunch exactly like I want them to.  My favourite place is without a doubt MY bed.

There are other places that I love.  My local coffee shop.  NYC.  The top of the mountain where I live.

7) Couch potato or Olympic athlete?

Olympic Athlete without a doubt!  I am a part time fitness instructor who dabbles in cycling and has found a love for running.  I have never been a runner, and really would still say that I am not a runner.  But in actuality, I am now a runner, who has sustained her first injury and has to rest for 3 more weeks.  I have discovered how therapeutic running has been for me, since I have had to take a break.  It explains some of why I have been an emotional mess as of late.  I am planning on running a half marathon in May and may even participate in a team sprint triathlon with my swimming friend (so that means I will run and cycle).  Funny, I am sure my ex would find me unrecognizable now, in more ways than one!

8) Name 3 things on your bucket list.

Write a book. Travel to India.  To be an inspiration to others.

9) Have you had a life changing experience?

I have.  And it is what this blog is all about.  But I have also learned that every day is a life changing experience.  That each and every day, each and every decision, shapes our lives.

10) Name 3 people you would like to meet.

  1. my paternal grandmother for who I am named and I never got to meet.
  2. Josephine Bonaparte
  3. a younger version of myself.  to tell her that she is loved.  that she did not need to work so hard at being accepted by those who were not able to accept her.  that she was not a mistake.  that she was perfect.

 

Rebirth

So this happened today. 

  
A lotus flower grows from mud, or murky water. Beauty growing where you least expect it. It symbolizes rebirth, purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness.  

A perfect choice. 

No More Tears

For now at least.

I think, again, I am all cried out.

For now at least.

I am not done healing.  Deep down I probably knew that.  But the last two months have been very good.  I almost forgot how sad I had been.  I have had the odd low day, low moment.  Overall though, things have been good.  But I am not done healing.

Through the tears and tears and tears of the last week, ten days, I swing from reason to reason to reason of why I can’t seem to stop crying.  Of why I am so anxious.  So many reasons.  Too many reasons.  I think it all circles back to my divorce.  Being abandoned.  Being lied to.  Having lost my voice.

And it has been one year since I started suspecting the ex was having an affair.  It has almost been one year since he walked out.  It is going to be a tough, long couple of months.

A friend told me an interesting analogy the other day.  One of a cocoon and a butterfly.  She said, “How do you think the butterfly feels as it is trying to break free of the cocoon?”

 

 

55 Days

It has been 55 days since I last saw my therapist.

All the crying and anxiety of late made me realize that it was time.  Time to go back.  At least for a check in.

I really like my therapist.  She listens.  She offers advice.  She asks the right questions.  She validates my feelings.  She suggests that I am too hard on myself.  And today she read me like an open book.

I had one hour to catch her up on the goings on in my life.  I can’t believe that we actually managed to do it.

I told her that I have been very anxious as of late.  More than I had been in quite a while, hence my absence from  her sofa.

The hard question I knew was coming.  “Why are you feeling anxious?”

It was a bit tough to know exactly where to begin but somehow I did.  Begin.

I can’t remember what I led with but our talk ran the gamut of the ex, the kids, the divorce and A.

I shared the progress, or lack thereof, on my divorce agreement. But that we were close.  To an agreement.  To being divorced.  Which signifies the finality of my marriage.  Completely.  I was surprised that while sitting on her sofa, where I have sat so many times over the past 10 months, that I am still in shock.  Or rather have gone a bit backwards into shock.  A bit of disbelief that it is actually almost over.  The battle.  The marriage.  My life as I knew it.

With a very heavy heart and tears streaming down my face, I talked about my kids.  I have deleted all that I wrote.  I won’t share what we discussed.  While I think it could be helpful to share it.  For me.  For others out there reading.  This one time, I will not.  It is not a good idea.  My kids are too old.  They are too savvy.  I would never forgive myself if they somehow came across this.

We discussed the possibility that I am burnt out.  And that is why I am so anxious.  That I have been giving so much for the last 10 months, that there is no more of me left to give.  We discussed that with all of the changes in the last 10 months, it is expected that not only has my life changed, but also my role in my life.  I am no longer a wife, taking care of my family.  I am a mother taking care of my kids.  I am a woman who needs and wants to build a new life.  A new future.  And on days like today I struggle.  I do not know where to begin.  I do not know how to recharge my batteries.

I talked about how insecure I am feeling.  A big piece of the anxiety issue.  Expected.  Given that I thought I knew what my future looked like.  Trust issues.  Abandonment issues.  Big time.

We talked a lot about A.   She likes that I have some new and good in my life.  And all of my feelings, my trust issues, my insecurities, all normal.  She was proud that I was putting myself out there.  Being vulnerable. Especially giving my recent history.  It is a good thing she said.

She reminded me of how far I have come.  And we agreed that I still have some healing to do.  It dawned on both of us that not only is the “anniversary” of my marriage collapse coming, but that it was also one year ago that I started suspecting that the ex was having an affair.

It is a hard time right now.  Lots going on.  Everything all at once.  Too much to bear sometimes.

I need to breathe.  I need to embrace my emotions.  I need to work through them.  I need to just be.  I need to continue healing.

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Ramblings

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?

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Letter to Myself

I haven’t written in my journal in a couple of months.  I pulled it out today to do some writing.  I like to write in my journal when my thoughts are very disjointed.  Very all over the place.  That is how I am feeling today.   I opened my journal and found this as my last entry, a letter to myself:

Today you decided to write this so that when you have low days, you can look back on something positive. When you are having a low day, or week, you feel rather desperate. You feel stuck. Right? And most especially, like you can’t let go, like you can’t move forward.

Think of how far you have come.  Think of how much you have learned.  Be ok with what you have lost.  Rejoice in what you have gained.

This is not the man you want to be with.  And no matter what he is doing, or how he is acting, he is not living a better life. Remember that this is the man who lied to you. This is the man who betrayed your trust. He is a liar.  He is financially irresponsible. Remember this is the man who has had his credit cards canceled.  he is so far down the rabbit hole that he avoids everything.  Including paying his debts.

He is a coward. That is why he lies.  That is why he is disrespectful.  He cannot face his responsibilities.  It has nothing to do with you.

When you have strong days, you are so good.  You know and believe you are better off.  You hear the bullets zipping by your ears.

Acknowledge your sadness but don’t stay there.  The past no longer matters.  Do not let it unpack in your mind.  Instead, think about how strong you have become.  Not only have you found your voice, but you have been setting boundaries like it is a railway track into the wilderness.

Keep forging ahead.  You are so close.  Don’t throw in the towel now.

Instead, swing that towel high above your head.  Embrace your new life.  Be grateful that the universe has given you an amazing gift.

Love, Me xo

Reset

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I needed to remember this yesterday.  I hate those crazy emotional days.  I feel so mentally off the wall.  On a roller coaster ride.  I feel extreme.  Extreme anxiety.  Extreme sadness.  Extreme frustration.  Extreme insecurity.  And then at another moment it switches.  All of the extremes lessen, and some disappear completely.  If I am not careful, it will all switch back again.

Resetting.

Remembering that the energy I put out into the universe is what I will in turn receive.  If I put out insecurities, i will receive situations that will continue to make me feel insecure.  If I put out frustration, i will receive situations that will continue to make me feel frustrated. If I am scared, I will continue to be in situations that make me scared.

Instead, today I will focus on happiness.  I will focus on trust.  I will focus on knowing that I am worth it.  I will focus on good.  I will focus on success.  I will focus on independence.  I will focus on gratitude.

Today I will remember that I am amazing.

I will send that out to the universe.

I will open my arms and be ready to receive amazing.