The Serenity of Sadness

Throughout this journey, I think I have managed to hold it together pretty well, maybe too well. I had my share of meltdowns, but predominately in the realm of anxiety not sadness. I've obsessed, I've worried, I've won several gold medals in overthinking and immersed myself in happy distractions. That's what I do in the face of traumatic/dramatic events, I block, I distract myself, I don't let it in. I am GREAT at it. Until I'm not. Because inevitably the giant tsunami comes crashing down upon me. Like it is now.

l_92b8b540-34ee-11e2-9568-6f57fd700009One wouldn't think that anxiety is a way of avoiding upsetting things in your life. It is an incredibly toxic, draining, uncomfortable state of existence stemming from these upsetting things. But I'm learning the hard way that anxiety is one of the mind's greatest defense mechanisms. I have heard it said that the source of all stress is resistance. And it certainly is the source of most of my anxiety. It's my resistance to the reality of what is happening. For me it isn't from trying to live in denial that the thing is happening, but resistance to admitting that the thing is having an effect on me. It's maintaining the appearance that I am ok, having no trouble soldiering on. My mother set that example for me and I learned at a very young age that it was expected of me. (I do not mean that in a harsh way. My mother was the kindest, gentlest most amazing woman I have ever know. But she was STRONG beyond measure, and persevered through things I can't fathom having to go through.)

It's my job to be ok and persevere. Especially in the case of this divorce. Because I asked for it. I wanted it. I shouldn't be experiencing any loss or sadness over something I chose. I know consciously this isn't true, I am more than entitled to have an emotional reaction to the ending of a 20 year marriage and my children moving into the next phases of their lives. But my subconscious doesn't believe that, and the EX goes out of his way to remind me that I was the one who initiated the conversation. I can't crack, I have to be strong. I have amazing friends who hate seeing me suffer and children who need to feel safe. I have to be ok. So, I come up with all of these ways, reasons, rationalizations about why I should be ok; combine it with all of the bright sides and encouraging words from people who care about me, and I work myself into a state of constant anxiety trying to hold it together.

Then, there is the distraction factor, and my distraction has been PC. I've established that it's been a wild, complicated ride. I let our relationship be my primary distraction for the past 17 months. I also used it as a place to project all of my overthinking and anxiety. I am honestly a bit angry at myself now, because I deprived myself of a lot of joy by worrying and obsessing.

So what's bringing on the tsunami now? The baby was certainly a trigger, but it is really the realization that I was actually happier a year ago than I am today. That was NOT the plan. A year ago I had such great expectations for the new life I envisioned for myself, I was proud of myself for being brave and full of hope for the future. I was certain I would find a new path/life purpose/career. PC and I were new and both of our lives were so much simpler. My kids were still versions of themselves I was familiar with, despite the fact my daughter was leaving for college. The house felt empty when she left, but I could still pull of a homey feel now and then. A comfortable routine and flow still existed.

Fast forward to today. The new job I thought would energize me is good, but the commute is a drain and never being home is straining my relationship with my son. Life is more complicated for PC and I. My kids are new people I haven't quite figured out yet. The house is a giant, cold, empty, lifeless vortex. There is no routine or flow, we all just float like balloons without strings.

I feel like I have spent the last year walking through quicksand. I'm exhausted from the effort required to stay positive, stay in "high180px-Sad_Snow_White vibration", and from the anxiety. I have nothing left, no energy for resisting, so the other day I just accepted all of my realities. As is always the case, once I stopped resisting, I was overwhelmed by sadness. A deep indescribable sadness. But the funny thing is, the sadness is bringing me just a tiny bit of peace, which is something I have been longing for.

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