In 2010 I began running a LOT. That year alone I ran three marathons and countless half marathons. I was running away, trying to escape. I was trying to survive the most painful time of my life. I was coping with the loss of a pregnancy, my husband in Afghanistan, divorce on the table, and my dad's cancer diagnosis (#worstyeareverinthehistoryofever). I could not run fast enough. I could not run far enough. I could not run away. I could not get away from all the painful emotions boiling inside me, killing me. But I did know that when I ran the pain was less, or at least different. It wasn't so much psychological in those miles, it was physical. My legs ached, my lungs burned, my ribs screamed at times, my ankles hurt, my feet burned with callouses and blisters....It was nothing in comparison to the emotional pain. I felt alive when I otherwise, and at other times, felt dead. I know I haven't talked too openly about how psychologically difficult this time was but it was awful. Even now when I think about it I want to go back to that time and hug myself, just hold me and tell myself I will be ok, not only OK but great. Not only great but HAPPY. I will be happy again.
My actual separation did not take place until 2012. For many years we tired to make it work, tried to put our lives back together, fix it. We couldn't, for many reason, and it wasn't for a lack of trying. Looking back I think the last 3 years of the marriage were the most damaging. Dragging it out and trying to save a marriage that was not salvageable was.....detrimental to my core, changed me as a person, it almost seems like it damaged my spirit. But when it actually happened, when I came home to find the house cleared of any sign that my husband had once lived there, it was like a gut punch. I felt alone. Lost. Confused. Afraid. Worried. Sick....I felt a million feelings at once. I was spitting mad. The anger from years of trying. Years of pouring my heart and soul into something. Years of sacrificing and moving a lll over the place, years of worry and anxiety that accompanies being a military wife. Years of unrealized dreams, years of putting myself last, his career and needs first. You bet I was angry.
I was angry for quite some time but I feel the breaking point came about 6 months after we separated. I slowly began to heal. I began to find myself again. Of course I was changed, I was a new person, but I began to have my own dreams and hopes. I became hopeful and excited about single life. I began to feel happiness for the first time is years. I began enjoying my freedom, my ability to make decisions for myself and not worry about what someone else wanted or needed (obviously not talking about LB here, he is always a priority and a factor in my choices). I took time to grieve, to heal, and to process everything. I got in good shape, I ate healthy, I exercised. I smiled!
All this to say divorce is awful but the pain and hurt won't kill you, kinda like a gun won't kill you. The person shooting the gun might, the actual gun won't. One thing I remember being told, and I cannot for the life of me remember WHO said this, "This won't last forever. It will get better." And that stuck in my mind, like a broken record. It will get better. It will get better. I clung to that. It gave me hope. Of course it has been tough and new challenges arise, but it has gotten better. I am stronger and happier. I have worked very hard, I have put in many hours of my own therapy to work through this and to do identify my role in the dissolution of the marriage, because as much as I would love to poke a finger and place blame, I must also take responsibility for my part. The self-work I have done has been an important part of letting go...not holding the anger and resentment. One thing I realized is that in the end I am glad my husband moved out. I know it was hard, the hardest thing to do. He had to pack his stuff and leave his son, his wife, his dog, his home. I know that was hard and I know this because I myself could not do it. I wanted to. Trust me I wanted to leave so bad and so many times. But I couldn't. Him leaving allowed us both to heal our wounds and opened the door for us to live the life we dream of.....which I am still working on.
So there you have it, my thoughts on divorce. While I am an advocate for marriage and know it can be beautiful and so fulfilling, sometimes it is the opposite. It can be unhealthy, stifling, hurtful, damaging. Sometimes letting go is the best choice. How do you know if it is the best choice? The right choice? How do you know choosing divorce is not the biggest mistake of your life? Well the truth is.....you don't.
A note on anger. Anger makes everything worse, more difficult. I'm not talking about in divorce only. I mean in life. Anger does not help and certainly makes things harder on yourself. Anger takes so much energy. It is exhausting. I am not saying my ex and I are best friends, we aren't. We have certainly had our difficult moments, weeks, months. but in the end there is a mutual respect, after all we both have been through one of the most difficult times in our life. It is just easier to get along and get over it.
And there it is, my thoughts of Getting a Divorce. Ugh... I'm ready for a run.