Slogging through the pain

The first time I noticed that I was healing was in the car. I was driving to work, and all of a sudden realized I had not cried in over half a day. This was six months after our separation. Before that moment, I grieved throughout the day every day, excusing myself to go to the bathroom at work, or crying at the drop of a hat at home. The pain would sometimes be so great, it felt like a knife was cutting me from inside out. (Click here for my previous post on this subject.)

The Modern Woman's Divorce Guide also discusses the indescribable (but inevitable) pain that one experiences. This stage is not only normal but necessary before you can begin to heal and move on. You literally feel you are going to die, and it will take all your resources (friends, family, strength of will) to face this dreadful period. In fact, I needed a mild anti-depressant, since my mind was unable to concentrate at work. I took it for only six months, but it helped me get over the hump.

Time does work wonders. My change was so gradual that at first that I didn't notice I was getting stronger. Then all of a sudden I would realize that it had been days since I cried; or that I was laughing at jokes again; or that I had completely lost myself in a book or a movie. The change is not linear. Often when I thought I had turned a corner, something would trigger a memory and I would plunge back to deep grieving.

Inexorably over time, the good days began to outweigh the bad days. Five years after the divorce I was largely healed. Today, six years later, I look forward to spending time by myself. The tears are gone, and I no longer yearn for the old days or my old friends or my former lifestyle, or my husband, for that matter, who has become unrecognizable.

These days I live totally in the moment. So, when you feel that your days are endless and that your grief will never subside, know that you will one day be happy and content again. After your restlessness vanishes, you will find yourself a different person, much stronger and perhaps a bit more cynical, but vastly wiser.

And that's not a bad trade off for having gone through this trial by fire.

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