Set Adrift

During this time last year, I wrote on different stages of my thought process as I sought out help for my anxiety and depression. For those of you who have followed me over the years, you may recall how I bit the bullet and kept those appointments with my therapist. If you’re new, here are the posts I’m referring to:

Breaking Through

How Do You Ask For Help?

Why We Fight

Dealing With Anxiety

My Reality Check

I have posted very little since July of last year and that mostly has to do with the insane amount of life changes that I’ve went through. While the divorce and being the constant caretaker of my Dad seems to have put me into a tailspin of new events, I have been trying to make sense out of everything. I’m the sort of person that even though I know the change is for the better, I take quite a bit of time readjusting to that fact. Sometimes, it takes a few days, months, or even years. It’s almost like time stops and I’m merely floating – going adrift if you will. It feels like my physical body is here but I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I tend to internalize those major changes in my life which can be good or bad.

The good part about it is you have time to organize your thoughts. The bad part is, I’ve found anyway, is that it can lead to a hesitancy to keep going forward.

I feel that a lot of my hesitancy has to do with grief and mourning to be perfectly honest.

Grief is defined as a deep sorrow that’s usually caused by someone’s death. For most of my life, I’ve been hit with losing someone to death and it often seems that I take that loss rather hard.

I don’t like endings and I don’t like saying goodbye.

I’ve felt the pain and heartbreak of losing people that mean the world to me – my mother, grandfather, grandmother, and other relatives. Even after experiencing my first lost at the young age of 8 years old, I knew that it was final and I would never again be able to talk to my grandfather again.

I’m now in my mid-thirties and I’ve experienced another loss but, this time, not due to a death.

While growing up, I had always thought that marriages were a perfect union between two people who were in love and the only thing that could separate them was death. I got that idea because I saw how my parents loved one another with every fiber of their being and, when my mother passed, I saw my father mourn her loss just as we all did.

My father, in fact, still mourns her.

I’ve recently lost my husband but it was because it was time for us to part ways and say our goodbyes. For over a decade, I had dedicated my love and life to this man and it was beautiful at the start. I remember a time when he couldn’t wait to speak to me on the phone or to go out with me just to window shop. A fond memory of who I once was when we started our lives together was when I had first moved in with him. I decided that, after work, I would pick up a few cans of silly string and hide them in my pockets of my jacket. You see, after work, he and I would walk around the neighborhood at night and just enjoy being together. While we were walking, we were nearing our apartment and I took my moment. I pointed up to the stars and was telling him about some of them while, with my other hand, I grabbed the silly string from my pocket and sprayed him from head to toe with it. I took off running back to the apartment and locked him out. He laughed when I let him back in and we were simply enjoying being childish for a moment.

The ending was filled with pain, tears, and sadness. My trust had been broken when he found a new person and saying he’d fallen out of love with me. With that said, I can’t say that I was surprised by this revelation especially given that he lied to my face three times about his new lady. I’d felt us drifting farther apart over the years and even more so when I decided to leave my job to get that Degree. I wanted something more out of my life than stocking shelves and keying in schedules. Really, though, we had been drifting apart before then and I had asked him many times if he wanted to just break up. He’d always answer that I was wanted and I belonged with him.

As I said earlier, I don’t like goodbyes or endings and I wanted to give us every chance I could – even if I felt in my heart that it was over long before it became official.

I became involved in learning Tarot and Metaphysical practices in 2009 after finally giving into something I had wanted to do for years. At first, I taught myself how to read Tarot and then I ventured out to a Metaphysical Shop near my town at the time. I met a wonderful lady that offered a Tarot Class. She and I hit it off from the start. I had never met her before but she felt like someone I had known my entire life. I started talking to the shop owner and I loved it in that environment. It was one of the few places I wasn’t skittish or nervous. She even let me read Tarot on the weekends at times for face-to-face clients. With each person I helped, my smile got that much brighter and I felt that my life was meant to help people on a spiritual level.

However, at the homestead, he believed I’d be better off working in a more stable environment such as retail or a factory. I didn’t agree and, admittedly, my rebellious nature didn’t help.

To be fair, I can understand why he thought I’d be fine working in that environment. After all, I’d spent the better part of my working adult life in management positions at retail stores and have an Associate’s Degree in Business Management. While I can understand it, it doesn’t align with what makes me happy. Usually, I do conform to keep the peace but it felt as though I was being untrue to myself to attempt to do work that I felt wasn’t right for me. If what you do as your work isn’t making you happy, what’s the point?

The time with my ex-husband wasn’t always bad but the last three years of it took its toll on both of us.

He was frustrated and angry.

I became skittish and far too timid to do anything out of fear that what I was doing was wrong. The volatile mix lead to a concoction of negative emotions that was set to blow at any moment. The moment came on July 17, 2016 when he came into my office as I was preparing to go to the local Metaphysical Shop to work on Tarot Readings for Clients.

I look back on that day and I remember waking up excited. I was pleased that I was going to get a chance to do something I loved for work which was helping people through Tarot. I had spent the previous day reading Tarot at the shop and the Friday before that, we had a woman’s group where we made meditation beads. As I woke up and prepared for the day, he came in and told me he wanted a divorce. He was unhappy and it wasn’t going to work out between us.

I felt gutted and couldn’t hold back my tears. I look back and believe that the reason it hit me so hard was because I wanted it to work so badly between us. Logically, I knew that this day would come when we would separate. We weren’t in sync emotionally anymore. I even felt this just days before he let it be known that I wasn’t welcome with him anymore. I had asked him to name three things that he loved about me. Yes, it was a strange attempt to get him to remember and it backfired. He answered with sarcasm and venom. When I left the room and went to my space to cry, he did attempt to calm me down by telling me how I was funny and could make him laugh.

I wasn’t laughing or feeling humorous.

A few days after that was when he gave me the news and I contacted the lady who owns the shop that I was to work and let her know what had happened. She offered me loving support. Even though I didn’t read Tarot that day,  we did meet up to talk. She gave me the best advice I could have received. She told me to use this time without him to date myself. At first, I didn’t have a clue what she meant but it started to make sense over time.

It’s been ten months since I’ve been away from him and I can see now that the pain was worth what I have at this stage of my life. Our life paths were much too different and I am much better off without him. If I’m to be honest with myself, I’m sure he’s better off without me in his life as well. I don’t feel that this was a case of the good guy and the bad guy. It was a moment where our paths were too different to live in harmony.

Through us divorcing and finally allowing myself to say goodbye, I have learned to accept the fact that there are some things in this life you can’t hold on to no matter how hard you try. I’ve been able to go deep inside to figure out who I am and what it is that I want out of this life. It’s taken me so long to figure it out, decades even, but I’m finally getting to that point in my life where I’m comfortable with who I am.

I keep a journal where I write with a pen and I logged how I felt that day. When the news of our splitting became vocalized, I wrote down terrible things about myself like how ugly and unlovable I was – which are lies. I know those thoughts came from feelings of depression and anxiety that I was struggling with at that point in my life. I also came to the realization, through this entire event, that I was putting far too much stock in what another human felt or thought about me. By doing so, that led to me having anxiety and low self-esteem.

I’ve since vowed to never again let another person hold that much weight on what I believe about myself.

When the shop owner told me I needed to learn who I was again and date myself, I doubt she knew how impactful her words would be. By taking her advice, I’ve learned that I am worthy of being loved. I’m not talking about a romantic love here but, rather, an unconditional love where it’s not just the good bits that make me loveable but the flaws, too.   By working on me from the inside out, I’m remembering that 23 year old me that would play practical jokes with cans of silly string and reclaiming who I know I can be. A thirst for living and not locking myself away in the dark (and for four years, I had literally done that) – too damned afraid to say hi to a stranger.

Instead of being my own worst critic, I’ve decided to start seeing my worth.

The days where I would look into my own eyes through a mirror and belittle myself are long gone. Nowadays, I’ve made it a point to look at myself in the mirror with a genuine smile to tell myself how beautiful I am. The beauty that I see isn’t merely on the outside but the inside and I don’t mean that as a cliché. I am saying that what you tell yourself, in your mind, is what you come to believe. A lot of my depression and anxiety was filled with the darkest thoughts that I won’t go into but, if you can think it, I probably thought about it during my dark times.

Moving forward and going into the light, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is building a solid foundation just as you would a house or the background of a painting you’re about to work on.

Healing can be a long process and recovering from grief can be a lifelong experience. Through the lessons that were learned with letting my relationship go, I’ve finally come to accept that it’s okay to go separate ways and that includes a divorce or a death. I’ve also said goodbye to one other thing in my life – the habit of telling myself I’m not good enough.

Saying goodbye is hard but holding on tightly to something that no longer serves you is even more painful.

I’ll be posting more frequently but, until then, don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough to do what your heart’s passion is – not even yourself.

Love and Light Always,

Susan

P.S. Really feeling this song lately.

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