Five years ago this month, my marriage ended. We didn't separate for several more months and the divorce took over two years to be final, but the marriage ended in April of 2009.
I have never experienced anything quite that painful. It didn't help that I had also lost my job because of the economy and that on June 9, 2009 my mother died. And my daughter decided to move to California and then I had to move. So with two dogs and no job, the end of a 23 year relationship and the death of my mother, I somehow managed to get through the most intense period of fear and grief I had ever known.
I got so much support from friends. I was so lucky to have resources like therapy and different communities (especially Friends In Deed). The grief was so intense I don't think I could take a deep breath for months and I know that I lost probably 20 pounds within the first two months. That was a perk, to be honest. For years I'd struggled to lose those pounds and they simply fell off.
Five years later, I feel stronger in many ways and happier most of the time. I feel grateful that I've learned to live an independent life and that the loneliness I feel sometimes is better than the loneliness I felt when I was married.
This too shall pass. One day at a time. Surrender.
All those trite expressions really are true. Everything I learned from reading Pema Chodron helped me.
I think I will go back to the Big Group at Friends In Deed tonight just to give thanks for all the support I got there and to listen.
Five years later I am not the same person was and I am deeply grateful for the lessons I learned. They were painful lessons, but I think maybe that's the only way we really ever learn them. And I am grateful most of all for my sense of humor -- which I sometimes forget about -- but somehow I'm always reminded to laugh.