Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Take my hand, we'll make it, I swear...
I'm in Oregon, as I occasionally am; eating ice cream, as is often the case; in a giant floral muumuu, which is a special treat bringing me inordinate amounts of joy.
I just drove from San Diego to Portland and stopped at nearly every thrift store for the entirety of that stretch. The muumuu was purchased in the last thrift store on my last day of this endeavor to collect clothing for a vintage one-layer-modest clothing line, and it will always be a treasured memento.
As for the trip, north of San Fransisco I drove almost exclusively on the 101--which is gorgeous and quirky and I highly recommend it for road tripping fodder. South of San Fran it was the 1 (or PCH) for as much as I could manage. What that means is that I basically just spent the last two weeks careening my way along rocky cliff sides overlooking a vast ocean, then popping into the redwood forrest, then hopping back out to the Oregon coast in time for sunset lit lighthouses and blustery evenings of cold noses. Oh, Oregon. You're so silly. Don't you know beaches are supposed to be warm? : )
Anyway, I just wanted to check in to say:
1. I'm alive, and quite well, thank you.
2. I haven't forgotten you, or my divorce, but...
3. 18 months divorced (oh my gosh, almost 19 months! I didn't even realize that till I looked at my calendar just now) feels pretty dang amazing.
I am pretty sure it was the 18 month mark for me where I really broke free from the captivity of my post-divorce pain processing/wallowing. I hesitate to even call it wallowing because that word has such a negative connotation and processing is highly personal in its nature and time frame--but a girl knows when she has transitioned from sincere grieving and processing and into purely unproductive wallowing. Wherever I was at 17 months, I am not there now. In all honesty I feel like a completely different person. I don't miss him. I don't hate him. I don't think about him much. I don't wonder where we went wrong or wish we had only… I don't think we could have made it work and I don't wish I had never met him. I just see what happened, and I accept it for the absolutely soul killing adventure it was.
And I see it as over.
That chapter is complete. I've tried to close the book before, force the chapter to end, but there is a difference between slamming a book shut because you are sick of reading and naturally completing the chapter. I've finished up that section of my life by living one day after another. Some might congratulate me for getting to this better place, but the truth is, all I did was keep living one day at a time. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat. Some of those breaths were laborious. Some were filled with spite and regret. Others were zoned out and disconnected, but I have accumulated enough of them now that I have arrived at nearly 19 months divorced. I did it! I existed through that time, and now, here I am in my floral muumuu eating ice cream and not thinking about how sad it is to be a divorced lady. I'm excited for what the next chapter will hold. All the foreshadowing in divorce recovery chapter seems pretty promising. I can't wait to see what is about to happen. There are so many ways the story could unfold from here.
I know this process is highly personal, but I do want to offer every reassurance I possibly can that things do get better. I remember people who had come through it telling me that and how I didn't feel like I could believe them because they seemed so healthy and lighthearted. How could they ever have experienced what I had and come out the other end like that? There was just no way in my mind that could happen. No heart could ever recover that destruction...and yet, here I am--a surprisingly lighthearted Ghost of Christmas Future, to tell you this:
Don't you give up. Don't quit! Don't you turn your back on God. We need you and the faith and fortitude you are cultivating even now in the world and the church far too desperately. My brother, Jesus, is real and He is there--for and with you. He has been the whole time, even and especially the times you couldn't and can't feel it--He is, because He loves you and He always will. He will help it get better. He won't let it stay like this forever. He loves you too damn much.
Keep your chin up. One foot in front of the other. If it's a lay in bed kind of day or week, then let it be. It won't last forever. The sun shines down eventually. Breathe in, breathe out. Repeat.