First. Divorced life can give you a headache. Literally and figuratively. The stress, the sleep disturbances, the careless diet. Inadequate hydration. The wrong kind of hydration. The upsetting e-mails, as if from the dead. The new year, same as the old year. Monday it crawled up the back of my neck on the right side, through my cheekbone and behind my eye. Tuesday it was the left side, up into my ear. Today it was the right side again. I got up, took a double-team dose of ibuprofen and tylenol, and waited for it to subside. It did slightly. I hit it with a venti dark roast. That helped too. Talking about it helped dissipate the last little bit.
Second. Talking about your pain and frustration to yourself is important. I have to talk it out, and out, and out until the complaints turn back on themselves and become affirmations. The fear of going it alone is unfair, and I hate it, and I hate you, who made it happen to me, and wait, I also hate me for letting it happen to me or not being able to prevent it, and I hate that it's making me stressed and giving me this headache, and I hate the headache for not going away fast enough.
Some people think that complaining like this only reinforces the feelings of anger and self-pity, but I disagree. When I talk it out until the very end of the issue, it eventually arrives at an extreme result which is clearly absurd. That, finally, helps take the same facts and feelings and give them a positive spin. As in, wait a second. If I wasn't alone, I'd still be married to him, who was so difficult. And I'd feel powerless to do anything to make the marriage better. But I wasn't powerless. I did do something. I got out. And I feel pretty darn good about it. So take that -- bring it on. Apparently, I can handle it. The self-talk might sound pretty silly, but it gets through eventually. The way Alzheimer patients can't remember any details of the funny movie they just watched, but they still feel happier half an hour afterward.
The buzz word I use that gets people energized is "authentic." I live an authentic life. It's hard, and it's lonely, and it's not as comfortable or secure as what I had before, but it's also not unhappy. It doesn't make me feel defeated. I'm not in denial of how messed up the relationship is. I'm not in denial of whether I have any control. I don't have any excuses for why I can't be happier. I'm not waiting for someone to get hit by a truck, or for some natural tragedy to strike. In divorce, you live an authentic life. Not just waiting for something to change, but in making it happen. [Oops, I mistyped "happen" just now and typed "happy" instead. Good move.]
So it's not really worth the headache, because who really wants one of those. But the headache can help start a conversation that ends up giving me more confidence than I had before.
Wow, this was a messy post. Hope someone can follow it.
About this Blog
About this Blog: Divorce is something you do, not something you are. It is not easy, but it can be funny. I know hanging on to my humor gave me hope and courage. Divorce shouldn't cramp your style. There are whole industries devoted to helping brides plan their weddings -- why shouldn't we have a style guide for divorce?