I woke up with a little less dread in my heart this morning. That’s a step forward in my books. There is still the feeling in there, just not as strong. Everyday I’m working on moving forward and catching the times where I start worrying about whether she’s found someone new already or what I could have done differently in the last few weeks/months of the marriage. These are things that I have no control over and as such are things that are not helpful to worry about. If she has found someone new, does that make me any less of a person? No! Yes I made many mistakes in the marriage, but will analyzing them over and over make them go away? No! Time to move forward again. Time to get up, brush off the dirt and move along. Everyday is a new opportunity to be taken advantage of, not something to merely survive. I have been living to survive lately and that is getting me nowhere quickly.
How do I keep moving forward? I need to breathe and stay in the moment. I need to worry about me and not her. I need to focus on the kids and on my own healing. I have lived my life thinking that taking care of myself and loving myself were acts of selfishness and because that I have neglected my own growth. I have acted in an immature manner on many occasions and have not been proud of any of my accomplishments in life. I have three great kids that love me; I think that is a pretty good accomplishment. I may no longer have a wife who loves me, but that doesn’t define my worth. For 10 years I based the majority of my worth on the state of my marriage and for 10 years I came up short. I couldn’t grow because I was always in a worried state that she would stop loving me and leave me. This was never based on any factual evidence, but that stress turned me into a grumpy, unhappy and neglectful husband. Now that she has left me, I am left with a problem. I can look at this as evidence that I was right all along or I can accept the fact that I lived that way for so long and it caused the break up of our marriage. The key word here is “accept”. I need to accept reality if I’m to move forward in any shape or form. I have been working hard at accepting myself for what I am and accepting that I have failures (some far more glaring than others) like everyone else. I can look at my life and claim to have a curse on me and ruminate on all of the negatives that have occurred. That is a path that I can choose, but not one that would be helpful in my healing process. There is an intense feeling of loss in my heart, not only from losing my wife, but losing seeing my kids everyday and losing the chance to go back to school this year. I have a chance now to start again and this time learn to love myself unconditionally, find someone who can understand my mental health struggles and be the best dad that I can be to my children. Every morning is a new chance to decide which way I’m going to take. Yes, the interactions with my ex are incredibly difficult and have been negative on my part, but that doesn’t have to happen again. Next time I can be respectful, detach emotionally from the situation and make it productive as opposed to a melt down. When I am triggered my mood can go south very quickly which is why there has been some discussion of bi-polar or something of that nature. I don’t want to make my actions “OK” because of my mental health struggles, I need to recognize the triggers and find more productive ways of dealing with them. Easier said than done and I have damaged many relationships because of my unpredictable mood. Years of anger management and other skills oriented treatments have helped a little and medications have been hit or miss. In the end it is up to me to accept what I am and start coming up with strategies that will be helpful for me. I need to remember to look after me.