Friday, November 9, 2012

Work in Progress

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.  


middle child said...

Allow yourself to feel your feelings. Don't compromise who you are to please someone else. If people don't be it.

Sueann said...

That is a good thing!! Not breaking that is!!
Hugging you

Unknown said...

Going through the same thing here but not because I'm getting a divorce but son is. Yes it affects EVERYONE in the relationship, even when you try to tell yourself that it's their business, not mine....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Just be real, Betty. What you feel is what you feel. And that's all right.

Leah J. Utas said...

Go ahead and tell us the nub of it. Real is what matters.

Old Kitty said...

Lovely BB! You may bounce along but you will never break!! I so agree!! Take care

Tabor said...

You have your act together. You are learning...many people do not. Make sure you get a complete physical once a year to make sure that all the chemistry is also working.

Alison said...

I love your warts, Betty. I'm glad you decided to wipe off the makeup...on your Super Ball. Makeup doesn't belong on a Super Ball. :)

Pat said...

You are human. And honest. And strong. You will have good days and bad days. Fortunately the bad days don't come as often.

You are healing very nicely.

Good job!

Unknown said...

Always had a thing for those little rubber bouncing balls :) Stay strong Betty, and have a great week-end. I have some suger on my blog for you :)

Sally Wessely said...

You so clearly described the process of grieving, that I all I can say is "amen sister." I know exactly what you are saying about those bouncing balls. I love that you pointed out that they are tough and that they don't break. Did you notice that they are colorful and unique also? I think we forget that the process is totally unique for each person and for each loss. It is also colorful. I mean, really, don't we do some crazy, colorful things while we are trying to recover? That is what life is all about.

Hugs to you. I love authenticity. I think that is why we all love you.

Catherine said...

I really think being 'normal' is over-rated don't you? LOL!

Life is about rolling and bouncing my friend and I think that's OK. As long as we get to sit still once in awhile. :)

xo Catherine

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Superballs are not only tough, they are often beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us. I really admire you.

Ms. A said...

After 30 years of living your life a certain way, the change won't happen overnight... but it will happen, eventually.

Empty Nester said...

It's got to be a long process to learn to live a different way after 30 years. And you're right about the grieving process. Just let it happen. It was put in us for a reason- of course, it's way easier for me to sit here and tell you that than it is to actually do it.

Gigi said...

Well of course you still have rough days, you are human. Don't feel like you have to put on a mask to come here. Here is your home - and at home we all get to let it all hang out.

And on those rough days, we will be here to help you through. And on the good days we will be here to cheer you on.


Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

You should always try to keep it real, BB. You never know who might be going through a similar struggle and will be encouraged to know that they're not alone. I didn't make this statement up, but I like it: "Be yourself...everyone else is taken."

Connie said...

You are doing just fine! It takes time to get through what you've been through, and I don't think anyone can do it and be unscathed. Being real is the best answer too. Hope you have a nice weekend!

Hilary said...

Authenticity is why we're here.. aside from your fun sense of humour, that is. Not to worry. We have no trouble trying to follow the bouncing ball.

Shan said...

You are a strong as any Super Ball out there!

Reading about how things went as the one year mark approached, I thought about how for a while every New Year's Eve would come with tension, stress and fear. It honestly took me three or four years to realize that it was also the anniversary of getting attacked at work. I found that knowing that was somehow still an issue in the back of my mind made it less of a big deal during the New Year's Eves that followed. It happened to cross my mind last year, but it had been more than a dozen years since I can remember having it come up.

My Mind's Eye said...

Hey BB you take your what you have to do. You are a planner and an organizer you have your ducks in a row professionally. It is hard to have things out of kilter in your personal life.
Hugs M&M

Lin said...

What's "normal"?

Life is a journey...a process. There is no "normal" really. If that means that everything stays the same and there is no change or growth, then what kind of life is it? I say a boring one.

Okay, so we can all do without the bad stuff happening, but if we don't have bad, then how do we identify and appreciate the good stuff? How do we look at the wee triumphs and be thankful for them?

I say you have come a very, very long way, Betty. And I also think that you handled this so incredibly well! I mean, you never, EVER, trash-talked that man and that is incredible--because I imagine that was very difficult to do. You carried yourself bravely, and like a lady and I love that about you.

You should be very proud to see how strong you are and how well you have handled this upheaval of your life. You are amazing! You are Betty!! :)

jenny_o said...

Another thoughtful, honest post ... it will get easier with time. One year is not so long to get used to all the changes, but it's a good head start ... hugs, friend.

christine said...

that's my girl - take each day as it comes, you're doing fine, we're proud of you in blogger-land x

Baby Sister said...

Feeling feelings is something I still have a hard time with. I know I've probably said this before, but I'm very impressed with how you've handled all of this. You're a lot stronger than I probably would have been.

Cat said...

I'm a friend of Madi and Mom and I just popped over to see what Looking Up Thursday was all about and spotted this post while perusing your blog.

I say "fake it 'till you make it!!" and I'm not being glib. What starts as a conscious effort eventually becomes natural. You must learn how to recover from your divorce as you would learn any new skill. There is no timetable or even a real finish line but each day is an accomplishment :-)