On Endings and Beginnings

Two years ago today, I was walking down the aisle toward the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Everything about the day was a dream – the dress, the venue, the photos, our wedding party. Despite the best efforts of his father and stepmother, the wedding went off without a hitch.

 

Today is (would be? would have been? was?) our second wedding anniversary, and I am sitting in the corner of my favorite coffee shop, sipping a pourover and reading over my divorce paperwork. Tomorrow I’ll see Eli to close on the sale of the home we bought together last December. The home where we were going to raise our children, build our dreams, live our lives together.

 

Besides informing family and a few close friends, I’ve been mostly quiet about the divorce. The clues are there to piece together for those who care to sleuth– I moved to Grand Rapids by myself, I haven’t posted about being married in months, I quietly changed my last name on social media.

 

There’s no juicy gossip, and no one hates anyone. Eli and I are on good terms; we talk often; and both of us are pursuing our dreams. I’m thrilled for him and the opportunities he has found in this season. I cried tears of happiness for him when I found out he was going to school for zoology, and I can’t wait to see how he grows.

 

The thing I’ve been asked the most often is “are you okay?” And the answer is simultaneously “no, not at all,” and “yes, almost completely.”

 

The last nine-ish months have been full of screaming, fighting like hell, crumpling naked on the bathroom floor after an hour to sob until I vomit, therapy, panic attacks, crying myself to sleep, staring blindly at walls/the road/my ceiling, sleeping for 18 hour stretches, weight gain, being a bitch to the people who love me the most, and way too much midnight pasta. There have been days I physically couldn’t get out of bed, and days I called my mom hyperventilating too much for her to understand me.

 

But they’ve also been full of so many good things. New friends, spontaneous road trips, honesty, learning who I am, letting myself feel after 25+ years of chasing away the feelings. Jocie’s family adopted me, no questions asked, and let me spend evening after evening sitting on their couch and eating their food. My support system has tripled, and I finally feel like myself.

 

I’ve learned how to ask for what I need and get what I want. I’ve laughed from the deepest part of my soul and been wrapped in the arms of those who have my back, no matter what. I’ve negotiated new relationships and gotten a scholarship for grad school and gained confidence in my talents. I have a job I love and an adorable little house with fantastic roommates. I’ve learned to set boundaries and ask for help when I need it.

 

In the words of Sleepless in Seattle, “I’m gonna get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out all day long. Then after a while, I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out.”

 

Or as those good, good brothers would put it — I’m just going to keep eating that recovery sandwich.

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