I took a long break from writing on my blog because I was depressed. Last year was exceptionally hard. In truth, the last 5 years of my life have been a bit of a dumpster fire. Add to that my star chart and my internalized struggle bus energy. You might think of it as voodoo, but I take it seriously. I’m hard wired for struggle, and I have to work at NOT taking things hard. It’s been a rocky road. Since moving to Billings I’ve worked through a lot of that energy. WHY do I seem to seek the struggle? I broke down a lot of my habits in how I treat myself, talk to myself, think about myself, relate to myself. I had to, as a sweet friend told me just before I left Oregon, fall in love with myself. She told me that when I could look in the mirror and say “I love you” to myself and really mean it, some things will have shifted.
She was very right. The process of falling in love with myself, my 100% authentic forever imperfect self was the beginning of my life’s opus. I have finally gotten to the “This is me. I’m awesome, but not for everyone. Take it or leave it.” And I really don’t care. If you don’t like me, don’t like me. I’m not going to waste my one precious life trying to get people to like me or respect me that are determined not to.
I had worked hard and thought all of my work was done, but the outside world was waiting. I had a LOT of bad first dates last year. I got catfished by a person on a dating site and suffered deep humiliation around it. I”m not even ready to write about it yet. I swore off all dating, stopped writing. Then I decided to stop drinking for a while, and additionally stopped using anything else to numb feelings for a few months. So I JUST CRIED. I put myself into the mind space and heart space to just sit with pain. I learned that it never kills me. It feels like it might, but it doesn’t.
Pain still feels this way. When things are hard my body/mind takes it in as something I have to RUN FROM AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. I think this is why in my marriage and in my last relationship I would go get in my vehicle and drive. I thought I had to leave the situation to think. I didn’t always do that in a big emotional moment, either. More often than not I left to be physically alone because being alone by myself was easier than being alone around someone else.
I’m grateful that I am friends with Will and we are both so hugely proud of our children. I’ll always be thankful to him for parenting Liam alone and raising him in the home we built until he graduated high school. He was there for the kids in a way I wasn’t, and I can’t repay that, ever. But I don’t need to. I’ve managed to let go of almost all of the pain and regret of divorce, but it pops up now and then. Being alone in my house all the time makes that really hard. Then I have dreams where we’re still married and the kids are hanging out with us. When I wake up I always think, “we do that anyway, being married isn’t necessary.” We’re still family. And that feels good, even though it is very different.
If someone is married to you, well, they’re supposed to show up for you. If someone is your family, they’re supposed to show up for you. I know this isn’t always the truth from my experience or my actions. I haven’t always been there for my family, and I certainly wasn’t the perfect wife. I have a stereotype that I still believe deep down, that to be married to a partner is a deeper tie than to be simply partnered. I have a lot of stuff I think about in this realm, work through, process, and let go.
I am very happy with my love, and this is not due to our relationship that I’m feeling these things. It’s my programming and upbringing that makes me feel that to be approaching 50 and being single and living alone is somehow subpar to being married and living with my spouse. I think it’s okay to want to be married. But all this expectation and baggage about it needs to be ironed through. I’m in love with my little home and my independence and autonomy here. But I really do miss having human contact every day with someone that loves me. And right now I miss my love and can’t see him due to Covid and being more exposed. It bums me out a lot. Then I had to go and watch the movie “Our Souls at Night,” and it made me super sad. GAH.
I guess what I’m saying is, the next wave of letting go is here. Time to feel a lot of feelings.
May the odds be ever in my favor.