Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Reflections on an Anniversary

Today it's now 5 months since Tim and I separated.

Well, maybe separated isn't the most accurate term. The more accurate way of saying it would be that it's been 5 months since Tim blindsided me by telling me he was leaving me on Valentines day.

I'm not going to rehash the details of the past few months, I've blogged about that ad nauseum. Right now, I'm more focused on the emotional process I'm going through, the different stages of the grieving process that I've been passing through over the past months.

For the first month I think that I was in shock. Yes, I was angry, hurt, heartbroken, devastated. I cried, I raged, I sat on the couch, numb, for hours at a time. But I was also going to school, taking care of Wyatt, and working. I was, in all senses of the word, functioning. I stayed in this state for almost 2 months.

Then April 9th rolled around. For the rest of my life, I'll define that day for myself as a turning point in my life. That was the day that my house was robbed, while my oldest son was home sleeping, and the day that I found out for certain that Tim had been cheating on me for months.
The combination sent me into a slow tailspin. I found myself becoming less and less able to function. I was having panic attacks, insomnia, I was nauseous all the time, and I lost 10 lb in a month. Each day that went by, it became progressively more difficult to pull myself into my own life.

June was the worst of it. Despite all my positive fb notes and status updates, I was a wreck. I was hiding it really well for the most part, but I was really one foot over the ledge and losing balance. I cried every day, sometimes until I had no tears left. It was everything I could do to drag myself out of bed and take care of Wyatt, and forcing myself to do that used up nearly every drop of energy I had. I thought about dying all the time, about how much easier it would be to just shut my eyes and never open them again, because if I did that, I wouldn't hurt any more. The only thing that kept me from actually doing something incredibly stupid was the boys. As bad off as I was, I knew I could never cause my children the pain of taking my own life.

I knew I had to do something to pull myself back from the ledge. I knew that I couldn't stay like this, that I had to take control of my life back from Tim. I couldn't allow his selfishness and bad behavior to define me, to alter who I was, or to continue to impact my life and the lives of the people who depend on me. I was already on medication for depression, so I increased the dose, started taking my anti-anxiety medication at bedtime, and started working out again. I also made a concious choice, to recognise the reality that I was in, to accept it, and to move foreward from it.

I had a dream about him last night, the same dream I've had several times over the past 5 months. We run into each other, we talk, and he has plausible, valid reasons for what he's done. He never cheated on me, he was struggling through some psych issue, he was treated for it, he's spent the past months working on being a better man, and we end up back together and happy.

2 months ago, or last month, that dream would have had me rolling over in bed and reaching for him, wanting to wrap myself up in his arms and rest my head on his chest. This morning, I got up, sighed, put on a pot of coffee, and sat on the back porch listening to the birds. It's not that I'm not still sad about what's happened, I am. But it's not the sharp, heavy, bone crushing, drowning in sand pain of the previous 2 months. This is more like a dull ache, like the way the leg I broke feels before it's going to rain. It's there, I'm aware of it, but it doesn't define me, and it's not the center of my world anymore.

I know I'm still not fully healed from this, and I probably won't be for years. But I AM healing, slowly, carefully, and with pharmecological intervention, but healing nonetheless.

And that's something I can hold on to.

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