April 17, 2011

How Divorce Helped Me Find Myself.

As a newly separated individual, I have been experiencing a plethora of thoughts and feelings around relationships and life. When I started my blog a short time ago, I was using it as a way of coping with the pain and sadness of ending one chapter of my life and beginning another.

My hope in sharing my thoughts and feelings was also that others could use to find comfort in their own feelings that perhaps others could not provide them with. I am pleased to report that the feedback has been amazing, inspiring and humbling to say the least.

I initially started writing this entry not knowing if I was going to post it on my blog or not. I thought it perhaps a bit too personal and by the time I finished writing it, had made up my mind not to post it. Then I started to think about the reasons why I started my blog. I wanted to be open and honest with people about my life so that, should they not have the support of friends or family, I could be someone they could relate to. I flip flopped on the decision and finally decided I would share my thoughts and feelings concerning the anniversary of my marriage, after my separation. Here is what I wrote:

Photo: Savanna S.

It’s funny, isn’t it? How when we say something out loud, it becomes real. No matter how many times we tell ourselves in our heads, or how raw the feelings really are, it doesn’t seem to actually take on a life of its own until we say it out loud.

Today is April 1st.  Today is meant to be my two-year anniversary. Two years ago I woke up with a much different feeling in my heart than I did today. I was after all, going to be marrying the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.

I’ve been having a bit of a reflective day today. When I woke up this morning, I found myself thinking about everything that has happened in the past two years and about everything that has happened in the past eleven years. Thinking about how I had no idea the direction my life was going to go in and the path I would be walking along today. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we try to plan our lives down to every little detail as to ensure a sense of safety and security. No surprises. I think we all wish for a life with as little interruption and inconvenience as possible. Why wouldn’t we?!

I wasn’t quite sure what kind of feelings to anticipate today and as I said, I’ve been equally reflective as sad. I received a message this morning that took me a bit off guard.  It wasn’t so much the content of the note, but more of the feelings it invoked. I felt quite sad and also got teary eyed and sat for a few moments to think about what it was that was making me so upset.

I knew I had made the right decision in my separation; that wasn’t it. I realized that it was that feeling of loss when you know one part of your life is over. When you have shared wonderful experiences and moments together but you know it is time to embark on the next leg of the journey. Those feelings of the unknown and the uncertainty are scary – not knowing what is going to happen next, not knowing what is waiting for you around the corner. All you can do is close your eyes, open your arms and just… breathe.

Photo: Pete C.

I remember trying to work myself up to have that initial conversation six months ago. Saying it over and over and over in my head. I rehearsed it many times and although I knew it would be the hardest thing I would ever have to say, I didn’t anticipate it being the hardest thing I would have to hear myself say. To hear myself say, out loud, “I’m not in love with you anymore” was shocking. Who was this person saying those awful words? Who’s voice was that? Certainly it couldn’t be mine. That’s not how it was supposed to sound. It wasn’t supposed to feel and sound so real and raw. But it did. That moment I said those words out loud, it became real.

I always try and see the good in everything. Always looking for the positive in every situation, the negative rarely ever crosses my mind. I am an optimist. Today however, I fully surrendered to those feelings of loneliness and sadness and took a strange sort of comfort in them. I don’t like surrendering as I feel it is a sign of weakness and defeat when I do that. Not for others strangely enough, just for me. Sometimes I feel ashamed. After thinking about it though, I think it’s healthy to do that from time to time, to surrender and to cry. I think it’s your heart telling you it needs a break. It takes a sigh of relief. It takes a moment to relax and tell you, you don’t have to try and be so strong all the time. It makes us realize that we are still human. It’s healthy.

I am fortunate enough to possess the unique gift of continuing to share a close friendship with my ex-husband.

Photo: Winston Hearn

We were in touch with one another today and shared the sentiments “I love you”. Although we discussed how different life is now, and will be moving forward, it is comforting to have those memories and moments to look back on that made us the wonderful friends we are today.

Whether it is a partner, a lover, a family member, a friend, or a stranger you shared a connection with, cherish those special moments of interaction and carry them in your heart as they are ones that will last a lifetime. They may be the smallest of moments or larger than life lessons, but they all contribute to the person you are today. Beautiful, unique, you!

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