So I left work and met my friend...and that's when I learned that Gina had told a friend of a friend of a friend...that her and Heather had been having an affair. And the Universe handed me the answer to the questions that had haunted me for almost 9 months.
This year has been both the fastest and longest year of my life. It's strange because for at least 10 months of it...it seemed surreal. It was as though I was living an alternate life...that at any moment I would wake up and I would be back in the Garlia house and be able to reach out and touch her. But over the last couple of months there has been shift. Now it seems the life I lived with her for 7 years was the surreal part. That life, and what I thought our relationship was, seems like the made up part. And sometimes that's hard to live with.
I remember laying in bed the day after and people reaching out to me with their stories. They told me that it would take awhile but eventually I would move on. Eventually it would get easier. Eventually I would find an amazing human being who would show me what love really felt like. I didn't believe them. I didn't believe I would ever more on. I didn't understand what "a long time" truly meant. As I mark a year today, I am now afraid that it really will take years. It's true that I am a different person today. It's true that I have grown. It's true that I have "come a long way"...but it's also true that my nights are filled with nightmares about them. And it's true that some mornings I wake up and whisper "I love you" in hopes that those words and their energy find her.
SO, since some of you lovely sugarmuffins have asked for an update...here we go.
First, I would like to wow you with this very detailed and impressive drawing...
I can probably mass produce that and mat it for you if you would like to hang it on your wall.
Oh? What is it?
That is how I visualize my grief and sadness. Stay with me here. In the beginning, 12, 11, 10 months ago...it was hard for me to go out and be with other humans for more than say, 3 hours. I would always drive separate because at any moment...I would slip back into that blackness...any moment the pain would become too much and I would want to go home and curl up and cry. Eventually...without me really knowing it...I began to make it longer. Damn days with other human beings would go by and, for the most part, I wouldn't have a break down. If you look real close at my work of art you will see a pink outer circle. It's almost a complete circle...but at the bottom...the pink has yet to meet.
The pink is my healing. It's my happiness. It's the moments of peace, and laughter, and calm. It's thin. But it is coming together. In the beginning, that pink shell was just a tiny dot on the periphery of the black and blue pain.
But it's growing.
And that's something.
In the last 12 months I have become a different person. A better me. I found myself. And I am still finding myself. I could not have done it without a wonderful Therapist that forced me to look at things in a different way. I could not have done it without my friends who did, and will, show up whenever I need them. I couldn't have done it without my family. I read lots of self help books, poetry and pose. I researched what it truly means when someone is a narcissist/sociopath. I learned that it's okay to be sad and feel the loss. I learned so many things. I learned that I don't always have to be in motion, I don't always have to be productive, or funny, or "on". I had to relearn what it meant to relax...because I had spent the last 7 years in a constant state of anxiety...I just didn't know it. I worked so hard to "earn" Heather's love. I felt like I had to DO to just show her that I was worthy. SO silly looking back. But it was a lesson learned. Learning my worth has been the greatest gift from this disaster.
And I have finally started to let go. Before I started typing this, it had probably been 3 weeks since I cried. 3 WEEKS?! That's something kids! Letting go requires me to be very mindful. It is a deliberate act for me. I hope that it becomes more natural...and much like me being with humans again...one day it will just...be. I started by writing it in places. I bought an intention necklace that said LET GO. I say it aloud sometimes when the thoughts try to creep in. And I had to finally ask myself...what does holding on get you? It had to be serving me in someway. And I realized that I was holding on to the lies, the pain, the betrayal, the hurt...because that was all I had left of my relationship and marriage. And if I let go of all of that...then it would really be over.
I know it sounds ridiculous..because clearly...it's BEEN over. But it wasn't for me.
And that brings me to LOVE.
I believe in love. I believe in real, honest, loyal, passionate, forever love. And I believe in it because I loved Heather...completely. Accepting that her love for me was never real...never what I thought it was...is heartbreaking...and difficult. But that is a reflection of her, not of me. However, even though I believe in love I don't believe there is any love left for me to give. I don't think I will fall in love again. I believe I gave it all to Heather. And maybe that will just be part of my story. I will love my friends, my family, my furbabies. I will love good people and give love and kindness. But I believe my great love has happened. And in that regard, my heart is empty. I cannot give what I do not have. So I will think of myself as blessed and lucky to have experienced a great love...and instead of focusing on what I don't have, I will focus on all I do have.
The past certainly shapes us. It makes us who we are...how we let it define us is up to us. The future is not promised...and often ends up looking nothing like we thought. All I have...all you have...is the "right now". Today. This. When I wake up I have a choice. A choice to be gracious. Be kind. Try and be a little better than yesterday. A choice to laugh with a friend, share my story with a stranger, talk to ducks, kiss a dog, grow bigger muscles. Not everyone wakes up to a new day. So today I am thankful that I did.
Here's to another 12 months. Shoulders back and chin up. We can make it. I can make it. And I choose to make it amazing. xoxo