Last year was a rough one but a necessary one. There have been a few rough years, but last year was near the top of the list. (This is where my brain says to shut up and that everyone has rough days, years, etc. and that many people have had it way worse than you.) Well guess what brain?! I’m going to type anyway!!! So there.
Last year I got separated, divorced and diagnosed with a super fun (sarcastic here) disease. Oh yeah, and turned 40.
Just like nobody ever tells you how exhausting parenting really is, nobody ever tells you how hard divorce is. Throw an auto immune disease curve ball on top of divorce, and you play a game where you feel like you always strike out. I could have easily played for the Orioles this year.
When I decide to do something, I do it as efficiently as possible. I wasn’t about to have some law tell me I couldn’t have what I wanted for a whole year. So, I made the divorce happen as fast as I could. I moved out and four months later divorce is finalized. Good job me!
Grieving doesn’t work that way. Grieving has a mind of its own. One day you are walking on sunshine because of previously mentioned efficiency, and the next day you are covered in an entire emotional pit of black tar still having to move forward. I moved out on the very day of my 13th wedding anniversary. I didn’t think about the fact that I had 13 years of marriage to grieve. Damn it. On came the crying and drinking and fake smiling and trying to hold my shit together when all I really wanted was to fall apart.
Plus, I didn’t realize how much a stupid disease was going to affect my life. The oncoming of this disease was one of the catalysts for my divorce. All the sudden I was the one that needed to be taken care of, and this spouse of mine didn’t know what to do with me. I started to wonder why I would stay with someone if they didn’t even want to go to all these doctors’ appointments with me. Or, would this person, who thinks taking out of the trash is a pain in the ass adulting chore, really be able to deal with his wife in a wheelchair? How would he look at his crippled wife when he thinks sex is the only thing we ever need to make our marriage better? And that was just the beginning of the disease.
I moved out before I had to answer any of those questions. I moved out and cried about all of the questions I still had. I cried while I pushed the divorce forward. I cried while I stayed strong for my two young kids helping me carry all of the needed weekly bags up to my 3rd floor apartment. I fell, literally, once a month as my disease started to show its true self. I started to ask more questions about the disease.
I got divorced. Officially on Valentine’s Day. So appropriate.
Then I had my doctor tell me I had to start taking Chemo meds. I had put off medicine for a year and now my body was showing me that was no longer an option. I took the pills. Got a stomach ulcer. Started getting weekly shots. My body is responding in a good way. I haven’t fallen. I can swallow my food again without too much fear. I can even walk up to my 3rd floor apartment carrying the weekly bags and not have to stop to catch my breath.
So now, I have been separated for one year as of today October 10th, divorced since February, on chemo medicine since May. And still grieving. It’s different. It has changed. Now, it’s more about just how exhausting being a single parent every other week really is. Hoping that I can teach my two precious kids how important it is to stay strong and true to yourself. Or, the fact that my kids might have to change schools. OR, the fact that I don’t have someone who will just show up and pay off all my debt, cook all the food, wash the laundry, take out the trash with a pep in their step, and still have energy to make me smile even when my body is falling apart.
Last year was rough. But necessary. This year will still be rough but god I am grateful it’s happening.