Things have been rough the past few weeks. Feelings of sadness, depression, loneliness and abandonment have been prevalent. But I’m starting to periodically feel moment of hopefulness, optimism and strength. I’ve felt completely weak and broken, yet now I am starting to have moments of feel strength and wholeness again. Some days my heart just hurts so badly that I simply can’t find any reason to smile, but now there are also moments where I find the ability to laugh a real laugh. I guess I’m slowly starting to feel a little more alive, after going weeks feeling as if I was living in a horrible nightmare.
As a result of all that’s been going on, it’s easy for me to close up, shutdown and lock out people from my life. I almost go into a hibernation-mode where I just completely close myself off and stay to myself. Yet I know just how dangerous that can be and how depressing it can feel. I’ve realized that now more than ever I need to do the opposite, to reach out to the people I have around me, to ask for help, support, strength and comfort. I have such a wonderful support system of family and friends in my life and that makes things so much easier to deal with. So I’ve been doing my best to reach out and not keep to myself. That means opening up and allowing myself to be emotional around others. (That is a very hard thing for me to do!)
This past week I was…social. Granted, it took a bit of effort, but I’m glad that I didn’t spend my evenings after work alone, sitting on my couch, deep in thought and stuck in my head. I made plans to get out of the house, even though it was the last thing I felt like doing.
I have been blessed with some really wonderful people in my life. I am seeing just how many people are there for me and continue to up-build me, strengthen me, sustain me through my pain. I have seen some friendships deepen, strengthen, and grow through this hardship in my life. Some people have stepped up and have been absolutely wonderful to me. Some old friendships that I had in the past have now been reaffirmed and made anew again. Friendships have formed with people I wouldn’t have ever anticipated. I consider myself truly blessed for these people who have come into my world just as of late, or who have been in my life but have recently taken their role as my friend to a whole new life.
Last Tuesday was a rough day for me. Scott was going to be coming to remove some of his mom’s furniture (which we were using at the apartment) to take it over to his mom’s place and I was in need of help transporting some furniture that I found online into our apartment. A mutual friend of ours, who I lost some contact with over the past few months, has been absolutely fabulous to me the last few weeks. He has been such a source of hope and optimism…trying to offer me encouraging words and a bit of light in the darkness. He rose above and beyond by putting himself in such an awkward situation in being there to help out Tuesday night with the furniture. This was the first time in quite a while that I was seeing Scott face-to-face, plus we were moving furniture out of the apartment due to him no longer being with me and the reality of the divorce was something that could not be avoided at this point. He was absolutely fabulous and really was of such support to me on that night.
Wednesday night, I met up with a friend for coffee. Over the past few weeks and months our friendship has continued to deepen and grow. She has been such a wonderful person and friend to me with everything lately that has been going on. We have been trying to have a coffee date every week if possible (although every now and then life just gets in the way) but Wednesday night was much needed. Her words of positivity and hope made me feel more confident and capable of pushing through this hardship in my life. She gave me courage, gave me a new sense of strength. She assured me that while I felt pain now, it was only temporary. That in time I would realize just how much better off I will be without him and that my life will be richer and more full. She gave me hope and the reminder that I can and will come out of this on the other side as a stronger person, able to look back and see just how strong of a person I really am.
Thursday evening I went out with two co-workers after work. The offer came from my supervisor, which caught me a bit off guard. The previous week we had our company social after work and she had forwarded the email to me, indicating that quite a few from our department were planning on going and it would be nice if I came, too. Well needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very social and definitely not in the mood for forcing a smile and pretending all was okay, so I didn’t go. No one at work, other than my one co-worker who is like a second father to me, knows of my divorce and I really am not ready to share that with people just yet. I know in time, my name will go back to what it once was and at that time everyone will know, but I guess it just feels too new and too fresh to share. Anyway, my initial reply to my supervisor was that I would think about it and maybe stop over for a bit. I decided against it that afternoon, feeling pretty low and just wanting to be alone.
The next day, she emailed me saying that I was missed and maybe just she, the other co-worker that I’m really close with, and I could go somewhere after work one day the following week. She has been trying to reach out to me and I feel like I’ve been shooting her down time and again. Yet she never gives up trying. So I responded telling her that was a great idea and would love to. So Thursday after work, we went to Stir Crazy, an Asian restaurant nearby our office, for drinks and appetizers. Michael (my co-worker and “second dad”) had encouraged me to open up to my supervisor about what has been going on in my private life as he felt she would be a great person to have “on my side” and to confide in. So I ended up spilling the beans and the feedback I received was so encouraging and supportive. The more I am opening up and confiding in people, the more strength I get. I hear nothing but positive words about the situation and about myself and it really helps me feel like I will be okay in the long run. They give me courage when I feel afraid, they give me hope when I feel despondent. My friendships are one of the greatest gifts and blessings I have in my life. I am so thankful for the true friends that I have, and the friendships that I am making, as they give me courage to go on.
Saturday was a full day. I woke up early (around 6 am, bleck!) to take a friend to the airport. My stomach ended up feeling pretty crummy all morning long, but eventually it started feeling better…I ended up baking some pumpkin oatmeal cookies since I had the whole morning to myself. As I started feeling a little better, I decided I would try going with my family to the Milwaukee County Zoo for their family free day, as we had previously talked about going earlier in the week. So my brother and his wife, my parents and I made our way down there. The weather was a bit cool, but we bundled up in layers and toughed it out.
The fall colors were gorgeous on the zoo grounds. I took a bunch of pictures of the gorgeous trees. That gorilla was probably the highlight as far as interesting things I saw at the zoo that I hadn’t seen before. This particular gorilla would lie on his side on the tree limb and eat food from both hands. Then he would sit up (like pictured above)…then (get this) he would either spit out what he had in his mouth or regurgitate what he had previously eaten into both hands, lie down and repeat the process. This gorilla must have done this at least 5 times over while we were there watching in awe. I had never seen anything like it before. Another gorilla in the exhibit was busy eating a cardboard box. Haha. I found it really interesting as I had no idea that gorillas 1) regurgitated their food like that (and obviously never witnessed it) and 2) they eat boxes!
We really had a great time together. After we got back, I spent a little time just relaxing and staying warm. Then I met back up with the family to go to my old high school for their band concert. Every year they do a show called ‘The Almost Anything Goes Show’ and it’s always been a favorite of my family. My brother and I used to be in band back when we were in school so ever since then my parents always came out to support us and attend our concerts. This one is one we have attended after we graduated. They always put on a good show.
It was a wonderful day with the family. I am so thankful to have such a marvelous support system in my life. I love them all so very much. ❤
I hope you all have some things to feel marvelous about and are all having a marvelous Monday!