As I am sure you all know by now, I recently got divorced.
When my ex told me that he was moving out, I was devastated. It felt like my life had ended. Like there was nowhere left to go. I cried for weeks on end. I was immobilized with fear and guilt. I hated who I had become.
And then slowly, bit by bit, things started to get better.
Not good by any scope of the imagination, but better. And yes, there were (and still are!) lots of ups and downs, but I was finding myself smiling again. I was catching myself feeling happy. And man, did it feel good.
And even though he moved out a year ago, there are still lots of ups and downs. I still have bad days, but now I find that most days are good ones. I still get sad and mourn for the loss of my marriage and my family. I still get stressed about finances and work and my living situation. I still feel overwhelmed by the reality of being a single mama-- the days that can seem to be never-ending, with no breaks in sight. The magnitude of everything in my life that has changed over the past year is sometimes overwhelming.
But do you know what?
It has all been incredibly liberating.
I have changed so much during this transition (how could one not?) and have found so many silver linings with my new life. No, these upsides don't just fix everything and make it OK, but they have made me realize that everything will be OK. It will.
And I know that I am not the only one out there going through a divorce. I have a handful of friends in the same boat as me right now, and we regularly share our silver linings with one another. So here friends, are some of my silver linings.....
- Re-finding myself. During my marriage, so many parts of me got pushed aside. And honestly, I didn't even realize it at the time. But since the separation, I have been rediscovering parts of me that I forgot about. Remembering things that I used to love. And allowing myself to indulge once again.
- Friends. Oh lovely lovely friends. It's not like I didn't see my friends while I was married, but I honestly rarely ever had a chance to go out. I felt guilty making my own plans, taking time just for me. Now I get so much more friend time. And these amazing friends have listened to me cry and complain, and have made me laugh and forget about my troubles for a while. Never in my life have I been so appreciative of my friends.
- Finding my courage. In my new life, things are hectic. My schedule is crazy, I am running a household on my own, and I doubled my hours at work. I have had to learn to ask for the help that I need (which for me was much harder than I could ever have imagined). And it has been empowering.
- Time for Me. To go to yoga. To go on a hike. To plan a weekend away. I never had these opportunities before. If I did make plans, they came with a side of self-induced guilt, like I "should" be home with the kids. Now I have times every week where I don't have the kids and can fill my time however I like. It has been incredibly freeing. I forgot how much I enjoyed having time with myself.
- The excitement of new relationships. No, I don't have a new partner. But I have been on some dates. And while honestly it is all pretty scary, it's also really exciting. The possibilities are endless, right?
- Feeling completely in charge of myself. I am in charge of my time, my finances, my house and my car. And while this all takes a lot of work and time, it is super empowering. There is no more hoping someone else does the dishes or fills the car with gas, no wondering if the bills have been paid. I am in charge of it all, and it feels good.
- Feeling happy. I don't think I realized how much negative energy was in my house before the separation. These days I give and get much less criticism. And that means many more moments of joy!
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