Sitting in the bathtub, numbness. Watching the water stream down but not actually feeling the steamy wetness on my skin.
An out-of-body experience.
Seeing myself curled up in a ball, gasping for air, crying hysterically, trying to reconcile this lost self.
“…there’s beauty in the breakdown…” this, is one of my favorite lyrics of all time.
The song is “Let Go” by Imogen Heap and it describes just that, the process of letting go. A process that requires breakdown, the dismantling of emotions and a deconstruction of experiences.
I want to reiterate that I believe Michael and I made the right decision when we chose to split up.
But no matter how uncomplicated the divorce seemed, there was an inner struggle with the breakdown necessary to move on.
There is no true guide for life during or after divorce; every circumstance is distinctly complex. I can certainly acknowledge that kids would’ve changed the process for us but I can’t actually imagine what parents go through emotionally.
We had 2 fur babies, Niko and Sofia, and I cried every time we discussed their future. The thought of splitting them up after being together for 9 years seemed unfathomable, but we were consciously choosing to remain open minded while considering all of our options logically.
Many friends who have gone through divorce tell me the same thing- when people are angry, they become petty, sometimes even savage- with someone they once were in love with.
I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t have to be that way. Don’t lose sight of yourself.
Listen, I admit divorce is a fucking roller coaster of emotions- but you don’t need to let them consume you and you don’t need to take them out on your ex.
And while this realization didn’t come to me right away, arriving there helped me to be at peace with myself.
You’ll have incredibly happy days, filled with accomplishment and tangible freedom. You will also have days that have you pinned to your bed with a debilitating sense of emptiness. We need to let ourselves feel the messy things and then we need to allow time to soften our emotions.
The support of family and friends will be key in your journey.
I had to be very selfish at times and that is OKAY. You’re in the process of rediscovering yourself. Be kind and give yourself grace. Let your inner circle be a part of the healing process, even when you think that process is over.
Sometimes it took sharing my experiences repetitively, while also listening, to truly gain the insight.
Love is not all you need from your partner. You need nourishment, respect, passion, lightheartedness, trust… knowing you’re their favorite person. You also need space to learn to love yourself and to grow on your own.
My self-perception, versus the reality of who I became over the span of a decade, was key to understanding why we weren’t working anymore.
Michael and I had very honest conversations with each other for about a month once we decided to divorce. Short of going to counseling, we dove into very uncomfortable topics, realizing our shortcomings and recognizing what we needed in a future partner.
I’ve asked myself several times, would things have turned out differently if I had been that perfectly fantasized version of me? This is when that sense of inadequacy starts to creep in. Then I remember why it wasn’t happily ever-after.
Now I’m focusing on the times when I feel the flow of the universe, reminding me that I’m exactly where I need to be and why I need to forgive myself.
From my Heart, with ♥️Love.