This past year I have worked so diligently at doing all of the RIGHT things in order to heal and move on from the overdose and divorce. I doubled up on my visits to my therapist, I spent more time in Equine therapy, I began to talk to people (other than the ones who were paid to listen) about “my feelings” and I traveled from one retreat to the next attempting to heal old and new wounds.
And I cried. I cried more tears in this past year than I have my whole entire life. It was refreshing to be able to shed these tears of pain and grief; each one like a little diamond, precious and priceless for the rare gems of healing that they were. Sobbing became a new skill I acquired along with the countless tissues used to mop up the tears and wipe the snot dripping from my nose. I spent a lot of my time doing what Oprah calls the “Ugly Cry”.
I even stopped having sex with my ex. Although that took several months and it was very difficult. I wanted that connection even if it was an unhealthy one. I think that somewhere in the back of my head I thought it was all just a phase, a mid-life crisis on his part. He would get over this idea of not wanting to me married to me and everything would be okay. If we just kept having sex and telling each other how much we loved one another it would all be okay.
Never mind that we were both drunk when these encounters happened. They happened and that is what I held onto.
Just writing those words makes me sad for the woman I was at that time. I was so broken that if a strong wind passed through I would have shattered into a million little pieces. I should have been encased in bubble wrap and marked, “Fragile, Handle with Care.”
The true end for us came when I left for Africa. I spent a month in Zimbabwe volunteering at a wildlife sanctuary. It was an amazing life altering experience.
I felt strong and capable.
My self-esteem was being nourished.
I was saving lives and living and loving each day to the fullest.
I felt I was finally getting over him.
When I left Zimbabwe I felt strong and healthy. I felt happy. I felt like I could do anything including living my life without him. I boarded the plane home a much different woman than the one that arrived. I was overflowing with joy and excitement. I couldn’t wait to share my story and experiences with everyone, including him.
I was back in the states for about two weeks before I was able to meet with him and have lunch. I was excited but nervous about seeing him. As much as I knew our life together was over there was still a spark of hope.
What do you expect after an 18 year relationship? The feelings I had for him didn’t just disappear once the papers were signed.
I am embarrassed to say, that prior to our lunch date, I had stopped at Victoria Secret to purchase a few items in the hope that he would notice the bag and would remember the times when we shopped for those things together.
I knew something was different by the way he hugged me hello. It was the one armed, sideways, awkward hug you give an acquaintance you haven’t seen in a while. We were both nervous but I was only privy to the reasons for my jitters. I wouldn’t have to wait long to hear his.
He told me he was dating someone.
I felt as if I had been kicked in the stomach.
The pain I felt at hearing those words caught me a bit off guard but the news had not. You see, I’d had this dream while I was in Africa that he had started dating. My dreams are often accurate… as was this one.
Being the woman that I am, I wanted to know all about her. He refused to tell me anything, said he would not discuss it with me, said it was none of my business.
He was right.
It was none of my business.
That hurt more than anything else.
I didn’t stay for lunch. I couldn’t or wouldn’t be able to eat. I really just wanted to get the hell out of there before I started to cry. I grabbed my Victoria Secret bag, humiliated by the fantasy I had created in my mind, said good bye and left.
I made it to the car before the tears began to flow. That was only a few months ago.
Yes, I have worked hard this last year to become physically and emotionally healthy. I have good days when I feel strong and capable like this past weekend celebrating my one year Alive anniversary. Then there are days like today when I don’t feel as strong, my purpose not as clear and I am lonely.
Today, I am walking slowly through the valley of sorrow wondering how long it will be before I climb back up to the peak of gratitude. The difference between today and previous days, is that today I know the peaks will come.
Mama said there’ll be days like this, there’ll be days like this my mama said.