There are days when I miss my old life very much.
There are days when I shudder at the thought of ever living that way again.
This whole recovery from divorce is like being a Super Ball in a closet.
One day I am filed with energy, ready to take on the world, overflowing with a sense of happiness and absolute joy at having all these new and wondrous opportunities.
Then there are days I find myself near tears, grief-filled, still confounded, nostalgic, and well, lonely.
All the books that are written on this subject and all the people who have been through this say this is completely normal, that it takes time to get through this, or any other kind of loss. There is no one-size-fits-all timetable.
I, of course, didn’t believe that.
Oh, no, I thought. I was gonna control this process.
I had a schedule, don’t you know.
One year. I was going to be absolutely, one hundred percent back on track in one year.
As you can guess, that one-year benchmark came and on that very day, the Super Ball felt the whack of reality and the erratic bouncing began. A week later, it happened again.
So much for that plan.
Looking back, I see now that I set that goal because I had a fear that I would never be completely over it, that years from now, when I removed a picture from a frame and underneath it there was a forgotten family picture of the four of us, that I would fall apart again.
But then, maybe that wouldn’t be the most terrible thing in the world.
Maybe it would mean that I am human and temporarily falling apart is just a way of honoring that humanness.
The irony is that when I stopped trying so hard to control how I felt and just experienced the emotions I had, my recovery sped up. I discovered it took a whole lot of energy to try and control the process. I didn’t trust the healing process of grieving, but it’s been around a long time and when you stand back and let it work, it’s pretty amazing.
For a while, I felt like I owed it to my family and friends to get better faster, so I sometimes faked it. This fall when I started blogging again on a regular basis, I wanted so badly to present a fully recovered, new and improved, stronger-than-ever Betty on my blog. I figured that’s what everyone wanted to see and hear about. Or at least I thought it was.
When I really sat down and thought about it, I realized that what I really want from my friends and my family is authenticity. Confused? Got warts? Hideously happy when you eat a fresh graham cracker? Tell me about it all. Scared? Proud? Sad? It’s OK. I am too. Let’s talk about it. Be genuine with me. Isn't that what we crave in relationships?
So here I come back to Blogland, still limping along, showing my warts, and trying my best to figure out life via the written word. I do know that I am getting better every day, but it’s a slow process and I am fully willing to admit that there are some days when I am that Super Ball in the closet, bouncing around from emotion to emotion, confused about the trajectory of my life.
But, those days are fewer and further apart than they used to be.
That's good news.
The other good news?
Those Super Balls are tough.
Even when they bounce for a long time, they don’t break.