My immediate reaction to the situation I was in, was to go live my life. Do whatever the hell I wanted to do, spend some money, see people I loved, and that’s just what I did. The first three months I traveled to LA, Seattle, Reno, Tahoe, Denver a couple times, Mexico…I didn’t want to constantly be reminded of the reality of my life in that present moment. It is a natural part of who I am to keep moving, stay busy, do something new.
While I did this, I positioned myself powerfully on social media. I chose a stinging hashtag-#fuckcheaters. I’d post photos of my smiling face, with that burning hashtag. No one can dim my bright ass light. NO ONE! Any strong marketer knows when you’re building your brand you must be consistent, with a little shock factor. Well, this is my 24 year old divorcee/failed marriage brand. It was my goal to show those who loved me, and just the random bystanders, that I was going to crush it despite my partners infidelity. (Even with my internal doubts, a sort of fake it until you make it deal) It was also a constant reminder to myself and others that my short-lived marriage was the result of infidelity and nothing else. Something that at the start really made me uncomfortable. I thought often about how we dragged our families and friends to witness a total lie. I apologized to anyone that sent me words of encouragement. How much money we spent on a –freaking stunning—lavish wedding. And how much of other people’s time and money I wasted. Notice I used the word “I” there, even though I know it wasn’t me…still felt like it. Not even going to go back and change what I just wrote, totally real thing.
In my post last week, I mentioned my decision to announce my separation on social media. Well the follow up to that is my attempt at a candid approach to how I present myself throughout the process. I would post excerpts from poems and books I was reading. Things like this poem by Samantha King
He was never really mine
And in truth he was never really hers either
The only thing he belonged to was his desires
and anyone who would fulfill them
Or this one by r.h sin—they’re a dope poetry writing couple that has literally written every poem for me.
By the time you believe
he’ll be wrapped between the legs
of the woman
he told you was just a friend.
I’d post them not for the comments of encouragement but because social media has become an outlet for the moments when you don’t want to recall the personal details to friends on the couch anymore. When you’ve said the words “Who fucking does that” too many times to count. I also thought it showed an understanding of the process, that not everyday is the same. And, while my social media never became dark, the first couple months were the hardest and I didn’t present those experiences on social.
I grew up very privileged. My parents worked extremely hard to provide a specific lifestyle to my brothers and I. While we all worked hard, and tried to never take our life for granted, I don’t think we were plagued with the worry that many people I know are. Anxiety, depression, insecurity…They weren’t part of my daily life. And when they were, they were so superficial it is almost laughable. I wouldn’t say I fell into a depression when I lost my partner. I often compare this experience to the loss of a loved one because I feel like the person I knew and loved disappeared from this earth. My Mom died without warning in 2013, the most devastating event of my lifetime thus far. Even when my Mom died, while it was painful, I was quick to remind myself that death is a part of life and the best way to honor that person is to live your life to the fullest and share it with those you love. In this case, while it’s not the same I try to have the same mindset.
The worst night I’ve had so far was when I was alone—before my stunning, fantastic roommate moved in. Pro tip: don’t be alone often when dramatic life events occur, K? And of course, in one of the saddest moments in my life I decided to watch an episode of “This is us” Pro Tip…NOT A GOOD SHOW TO WATCH WHEN FUCKING SAD. It was the super bowl episode too where we all thought Jack died from a housefire and no one wanted to use a crockpot ever again. Oh, I forgot to say, “spoiler alert.” I stopped the show after the fire started because I was crying and thought maybe now was a good time to stop. In hindsight it left me more upset because I thought I knew how Jack died... But that’s not the tragedy of the situation. I laid in the dark after turning my TV off, softly crying—stage quality tears, I am a beautiful crier—and they shortly turned into dramatic sobs, scream sobs. Like my body was going through an exorcism. It was honestly sick. It was that moment where you realize you’re alone. The person that held you close for 4 years who essentially substitutes the love your family provides you when you become an adult, just doesn’t want you anymore. In fact, they never wanted you.
That night I called him, begged him to come be with me. I told him I didn’t need him to even be next to me, just sit outside the door. He thought I was suicidal, but he would always point out that I needed help—we can cover that later. He called my friends, I pushed them away and continued my scream sobs…pro tip, don’t push your friends away, let them help you and smother you in love. I wasn’t suicidal, I was stubborn. I didn’t want to let go of the person that obviously didn’t have the capacity to be there for me. I wanted to force him into giving me the love I wanted. He did all of this, now he can start making up for it. I compared him to me. If he called me even now I would be there in a heartbeat. But, you silly goose, that’s not how it works.
Now you’re sitting there thinking, “well shit, I thought this would be a funny blog”. It’s not always. And I made a choice to not present that side to my friends and family. After two months when I had friends over for beers and they gave me shit about having a wedding photo of my two sisters and I, I realized that I’ve come off like I can overcome anything. Like sadness isn’t a thing. I calmly reminded them—Hey, you know it’s been two months and I need some time. They’ll come down, and they have; except that one picture. I’ll take it down when I’m ready. They joked about what it must be like for a dude to come to my apartment and see me in a wedding dress in a photo on my wall. Then I continued to tell them at work I take breaks to go cry in the lobby. I’m traveling and reading badass books, but I still am devastated even if I don’t share it. My trip to LA consisted of an hour of crying on the beach alone to start my day. In Mexico I spent way too much time in my room crying with a Cerveza.
So yeah, don’t tell your friends, or yourself, to rush through the grieving process even if it seems like they are crushing it. However, you should realize that you can have these sad, horrible feelings and still be going after it. Perseverance has everything to do with how many times you get up, not getting up once and crushing it. It’s not all self-help books and travel. It’s a whole lot of loneliness, ugly crying, and dark self-reflection in your bed that you haven’t bothered making because you spend 12 hours in it. It’s healthy as long as you wake up the next day and start new and for God sakes don’t let someone dim your bright ass light.