It’s Been a Year Since I Asked Him to Leave
I wondered what today would feel like.
We were supposed to go on vacation to Napa. Instead, he packed a suitcase with two weeks worth of clothes and freshly printed divorce papers and got in his car to drive to Iowa to spend Thanksgiving with his parents.
I packed up a duffel bag and my dog and headed to California to be with my sister.
Please understand that my ex-husband is not a bad person. I just knew he wasn’t my person. Admitting this was one thing. Saying it was another. How do you look someone in the eye and tell them you just don’t want to be with them for the rest of your life, even though you promised you would and you tried and just can’t do it anymore?
Walking away was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. It was also the most honest. I did the best I could to own it. I did a shitty job.
I spent the first six months post-divorce an absolute mess. I’m not kidding, it was ugly. It was rage filled. Most days I didn’t even know why I was angry. Some days I had a really good reason.
I lost weight in December because I was literally too tired to chew. Chewing took energy and I didn’t even have that. It was more than I could handle. I drank a lot of protein shakes and figured that was enough.
I stopped drinking alcohol for an entire month out of fear that if I did I would spin out of control. I knew I was depressed and a glass of whiskey was easily fuel for an already well stoked fire.
Not drinking was the only thing I had control over at the time. I took what I could get.
I remember rock bottom. It was at the end of April. It was at the point where I had fooled myself into thinking I was okay. I wasn’t. My house of cards crumbled under a weight I just couldn’t carry anymore. Whatever had to give finally did.
I had cried every day for five months. Every damn day. I tried to snap myself out of it. I knew if I wanted to ever be a wholehearted person again, I had to get my shit together. Not an easy accomplishment when your shit is strewn all over the damn place. But I had grown to despise who I was becoming. I hated myself for being that unstable.
So I kicked my own ass as hard as I could. No one else was going to do that for me.
The days I didn’t cry I marked on a calendar. A two day run was an achievement.
I started seeing a therapist. I started writing again for the first time in ten years. I read. I decided to try and learn how to play the violin. I started cooking actual meals that involved vegetables. I paid more attention to my daughter. I saw live music every chance I got even if I had to go alone. I took my first solo vacation. I slept in a tent in a vineyard. On purpose.
I have worked at recreating my life. I have given it everything I have. I owed it to myself to do hard work. I told myself, over and over again, that some day it was going to pay off.
This morning I got up. Fed the dog. Washed my face. Made a pot of coffee. Something was missing. Something was just not there and it took a while to figure out what it was. Dread. Misery. Helplessness. They were all gone. I felt happy. Truly happy.
More than that, I felt whole. I felt hopeful.
Everything is, and will be, just fine.
People told me this was going to happen. For such a long time I didn’t believe them.
I feel light. My work is solid and my boss is proud of me. My father and I have repaired a volatile relationship. All of my bills are paid and I have money in the bank. My writing is being received well. My kid is, as much as a moody teenager can be, happy. My friends are beautiful. My house is warm.
It has been almost exactly a year to the day since I ended my marriage. Peace was not easy to come by. It was fought for hard and paid for ten times over again. But I sat down with it this morning, thankful it was there.