what’s really killing me

I’ve started watching some great TED talks and thought I’d share some of them here. This one by Anita Moorjani is pretty great. She talks about her miraculous recovery from cancer and the epiphany she had when she was very near death. I love her quote near the end, when she says she thought that cancer was killing her, but really she was killing herself. I’ve changed the word “cancer” to “marriage” and I’ve come up with this quote, that really applies to my life.

I thought my marriage was killing me, but actually, I was killing myself before I got divorced. The divorce saved my life. In the end you will always find that your challenges are a gift. And if you’re in a challenge and it doesn’t feel like a gift yet, it means you haven’t gotten to the end yet.

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today was a good day

I didn’t get a very good night’s sleep last night because I woke up a few times thinking about all the stuff at work that I’ve been putting off. (More on my battle with overwhelm and procastination later.) However, I had planned on going to the gym after work (more specifically a spinning class) and then an al-anon meeting right after. The morning started out a bit rough and by that I mean, I wasn’t very focused. However, after lunch I found my stride and sat down and wrote out a list of every single case I’m working on right now and what needs to be done. After that, I was actually productive and did some work!

My spinning class was great. I really enjoyed myself and I felt good afterwards. Then it was off to my al-anon meeting, which was great also.

When I got home around 8:45, AH was already laying on his air mattress. You know what’s funny…in the past, I probably would have been disappointed or sad that he was tired and wanted to go to bed (the codependent in me.) But tonight, we chatted briefly and I was actually excited to go downstairs, eat a snack and watch some of my tv shows.

I know there are still tough moments ahead, but I’m living in the present and today was just a good day.

the path to acceptance

I haven’t written for a couple of days. Anyways, Friday morning, AH came into the bedroom asking if I had his keys. Of course, I didn’t. He couldn’t find them anywhere. And then he also couldn’t find the spare or valet key. My thinking is that he hid the spare and valet key from me so I couldn’t get into his car. Anyways, after paying locksmith $200 to come unlock his car and then finding that they weren’t in there, he finally found them. He had put them in his backpack. He exclaimed that with all the lack of sleep and stress, he was losing his mind.

We then had a long talk. He had heard me talking on the phone to my brother and I was telling my brother that it was a bit hurtful because AH was acting like he wasn’t upset about us separating…that he was only upset about not being with the kids all the time. AH told me that wasn’t true and to please not tell people that. We then discussed how we are still having the same relationship issues that we had early on, years ago. And even when we got married, he knew deep down it probably wasn’t the right thing to do, but he had hoped we would grow closer. I told him that I was just heartbroken to be losing my best friend. We talked more about how it will be after we separate and he explained that he will still be here for me. In fact, he still plans to come over and mow the lawn, etc.

Of course, I cried and cried. Even though it was overall a good conversation that made me feel a lot better, it’s just a mix of emotions. Sadness for ending our relationship, relief for not having to live with this constant stress and unhappiness, and fear of the unknown. I also told AH that we agree to disagree regarding his drinking issues and we agreed not to bring it up anymore. I had to remind AH about this when he said “I’ve always accepted you as you are.”

Last night, I could tell he was getting agitated by the kids. He decided to go to a meeting. It was a gentle reminder to me of why I can’t be married to him anymore, although he does have many great qualities and I do believe he does truly care for me. As far as his drinking goes, he told me that he’s not drinking now and he will not be drinking around the kids or if he has to drive anywhere.

This morning I woke up feeling TIRED, even though I got a pretty good night’s sleep. I’m trying to remember that my body is using up tons of energy to heal from this trauma and to be gentle with myself. I went to get a haircut then came home and took a little nap. I’m thankful for AH that I could do that. He just left to get groceries and took DD1 with him.

I still haven’t sat down and gone over our finances. I’m hoping to rest up the rest of the day and then hit work tomorrow hard to have a productive week.

learning to let go

Near the end of yesterday’s work day, I was feeling pretty good. I was able to be productive in the afternoon at work and then stopped by the store to grab some tomatoes (AH and I were planning on making tacos.) He ended up going to a meeting, so it was just me with the kids, which was fine. I was thankful that DS (5 years) didn’t throw any tantrums and seemed to actually be listening to me. He’s been throwing tantrums at school and seems to be very emotional, which is worrying me a little bit. I talked to him again about daddy moving out into his own place in a few weeks. DS doesn’t seem to really understand it yet, which I think is good. I told him that daddy is still going to be around a lot and that no matter what, we both love him.

AH and I actually watched part of the Downton Abbey finale together, chatting and making small talk. It’s all just a bit strange. AH smoked pot and offered me some. I declined. Even though I used to smoke with him, I decided it’s probably not very kosher to do so when I’ve told him I think he has a problem with it.

At one point, we were talking about our dog and AH mentioned that if I ever go out of town, he could probably smuggle the dog into his apartment and he would keep her. I then said that if I went out of town, he would probably just stay at the house with the kids and then he said, “in 3 or 4 years?”

I don’t know why, but that statement got to me a bit. Even though everyday I can recall things he has done that I am thankful to get away from, I guess that piece of me still remains hoping that we can reconcile at some point. But I know the chances of that happening are very low. I think too much has happened now for me to ever be able to trust him or truly forgive him and not be resentful towards him. And when he mentioned being apart in 3 or 4 years, well, I guess it’s just not something I have thought about. I know I need to be able to let go of our relationship as it is now and avoid future tripping.

I really like this quote about recovery and try to remind myself of it anytime I start to future trip.

Recovery is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

I will say, however, that I have been sleeping pretty good. For awhile, I was having issues where I would wake up at 3am. But the last few nights, I’ve been able to sleep until AH comes in to shower (around 5:30).

defining myself

I had a session with my therapist a couple of hours ago. Of course, I updated her with what’s going on. One thing we discussed is that I was somewhat relieved when I was talking to AH about his trip to Mexico and he told me that he was depressed the entire time and never really even went to the beach. Therapist asked me why this made me happy and my response was that I guess it makes me feel better knowing that he does seem to care that that our relationship is ending. She then told me yes, he does care, but probably in the same way a child would care about losing his mother. Ouch.

Then I told her how this process seems to be hard because a lot of the time I don’t know what he’s thinking. Besides conversations about the kids and making plans for our separation, we have pretty much avoided talking about anything else. She asked me why it matters what he thinks…what could he possibly think or say that would make things any different? I know she’s right…at this point it’s only actions he can take that will make any difference. Then she got around to saying that in all of this, I have to define myself and not let him define me any longer.

So, we spent a lot of the session discussing how I can define myself. That I can define myself without insulting him. For instance, I can say “yes, you’re free to drink and smoke weed however you want, but for my own health, I cannot be around it.” I also took a step towards defining myself yesterday, when I told him that right now, I just can’t discuss the details of our finances or what our divorce will look like. I need to just focus on work for a bit.

I also asked her if she thinks my constant state of overwhelm and inability to ever seemingly be productive and get things done is a result of all the stress and insanity of my marriage to AH. She simply said, “yes.”

This is one thing I am working on. For as long as I can remember, life has been a struggle. I’ve become a big time procastinator, putting things off at work; not having the energy to take my kids outside; being short with my kids; etc. That HAS to end. I can no longer live life this way and I can no longer let AH’s problems define myself or my life.

just bleh

So, last week I was supposed to have been on a vacation to Mexico with AH. Obviously, I didn’t end up going, but it was nice that I had been planning on taking those days off from work anyways, so I didn’t have any commitments. But now, I’m back to reality, sitting here in my office with TONS to do and that same feeling I am used to feeling so often…an enormous sense of overwhelm and not knowing where to start.

I spent the morning reading Sober Recovery and also working on a post for this blog of my background story. AH took the day off from work and called a bit ago because he was getting ready to go look for some apartments. He was a big apprehensive because we don’t have anything legally in writing. He was also unsure of if he can qualify for an apartment with the mortgage still being in his name.

So, now that it appears we are really moving forward with this, here’s my list of things I need to figure out/do:

  1. Draft the petition for dissolution. (I’m lucky in that I’m an attorney, however, I don’t do divorce law. I was going to have someone else represent me, but a friend of mine said he is willing to help me do everything behind the scenes. The only issue is that he was supposed to send me the forms, but he is taking forever.)
  2. Draft the temporary orders. In this, we need to lay out visitation, child support, and possible maintenance?
  3. Look into getting my own health insurance (this is going to suck.)
  4. Figure out what to do with the house. If AH isn’t going to be on it, then I will have to get help from my dad to refinance.
  5. Figure out realistically how much money I need to be bringing in each month to support myself/kids.
  6. Look into getting SoberLink set up. I will require AH to do the breathalyzer during his visitations with the kids to make sure he is not drinking around them.

I’m sure there’s more, but it always helps me to lay out a list of what needs to be done. Now time to eat some lunch and get moving on work.