This week has been one for the record books. For one week straight, I have felt better MORE than I have felt bad. That is a huge accomplishment, right?!
If you come across this blog and you are going through a divorce, and you listen to one thing and one thing only that I say here: LET OTHERS HELP YOU.
It has been the turning point for me, and I'm starting to realize that. My instinct when things first went bad was to a) hide out from society and b) put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine. I remember going to visit my OB/GYN a week after we separated, and he asked how things were going. My OB knew of everything between my husband and I because I was 8 months pregnant when things first fell apart, and due to the stress had to be hospitalized for preterm labor. He and my therapist were the only people I told at the time. I didn't know what I was going to do, and I didn't want anyone to judge my decision regardless. So anyways, a week after we separated, I went in for my annual exam, and he asked how everything was going.
"We just separated, after 2 years of trying to make it work." (trying not to look too sad)
He asked me, "And how are you doing with it?"
"FINE! Oh, just FINE! No problem!"
"Do you need anything to help you through this, medication?"
"NOPE! I'm FINE!"
I remember leaving there wondering why the hell I keep telling everyone that I am fine. When so clearly I am not. (and I knew by the look on his face that he didn't buy it either)
It became exhausting keeping up that front. Part of me didn't want people fussing over me and worrying about me. Part of me didn't want to admit it was happening. Part of me did not want to burden the person asking, and thanks to my low self-esteem, didn't think the person asking REALLY wanted to know anyways.
After awhile, I tested it out on close friends. They would ask how I was, casually, and I would actually say, "Ya know, not so great. This sucks". Eventually, after I got to a point where I couldn't even get out of bed, I finally even called someone and said "I need help, I can't do this." And THAT was my turning point.
And now that I'm open to that help, friends are calling and asking me to come out. They're opening my eyes to new things and people and AMAZING new friendships have come into my life. My relationship with my family has improved and I just don't have that awful I AM ALONE IN THIS WORLD feeling anymore. I opened my mind to thinking that people may actually care about me, and guess what....they DO!
And another thing was, when people asked how they could help, I really honestly didn't know. I do know that this work of finding myself can only be done by me. I can't expect anyone else to fix things for me, I can't rush into a new relationship with some guy on a seemingly white horse and make me feel good about myself again, I can't have people come over and take the trash out for me every night or handle the tough questions from my kids. But just knowing that I can email or call my friends when I'm in a bad place and just say "God this hurts right now" and they will support me and say they love me. Or being invited to movies or dinner, or offering to help with a home project, or letting me NOT talk about it and making me laugh. Just saying "You're doing the right thing". Those are the ways that others have helped me the most.
I think I might finally be seeing that light at the end of the tunnel. It's scary, because letting go of the pain means letting go of my husband. I know, seems like a no brainer, right? But like I told my friends today, our relationship lasted 12 years and produced three amazing kids...I need to respect my marriage and what was good about it and who I was then enough to take the time to let it go, too. My instincts have been dead on up until this point, it's in my best interest to keep listening to them...and the more I do that, the easier it is to hear them.