First let me just start with the worst of all news. I am about to live through a …. gulp….divorce.
I’ve rolled the word divorce around in my mouth a million times, said it to myself in the bathroom to practice and repeated it to my close friends so I can get comfortable with it. And I still make a mess when I have to say it out loud. I stutter, I trip over it, or (the very worst one) I start crying before I can say it out loud. More than once I’ve turned what started out as a nice conversation into the most awkward moment ever because I appear to be choking when I am just trying to speak (seriously, someone hit me on the back last week. AWKWARD.)
I know this will get easier but for the time being, would it be okay to write the word on an index card and then pull it out of my pocket and point to it? Would that be weird?
Yeah ok, weird. Just checking.
Can I tell you a funny story? A few weeks ago, I went to church. I’ve found a lovely church and it is beginning to feel like home. However, church is usually the place I lose my cool (usually=always). Something about being in God’s house just makes me break down into sobby, unsightly tears. And I wonder why I am having trouble making friends at church??
My new church is old and it has these interesting pews that have doors on them and wooden walls towards the middle that are about waist high. If you are very strategic you can find a spot that is not only obscure but you can also wedge yourself into a nice corner where you don’t have to interact with others. But on Christmas carols Sunday, I don’t feel the need to do that because it’s just singing and this I can handle! Like people, how bad can Christmas carols get?
So I sit in the middle of a pew (the most vulnerable spot…what was I thinking?) and I don’t even get to the third song before I realize that I am again going to lose it in church. So I think, no problem I just won’t sing. Not opening my mouth will stop what is about to happen. I don’t even notice the older gentleman that has moved to my pew until he is already next to me. He sees I am not singing and he says the words that end it all:
“I’ll share my hymnal with you so we can sing together”
You guys. It hits like a tsunami. And this poor man gets caught in the flood. I start sobbing. His eyes get about as big as an old man’s eyes can get. He is an 80-year-old deer in the headlights and I have hit him head on. I look at his stunned face and I start sobbing-laughing. It’s a thing. I can show you sometime if you want. But we should do it in a non-public place.
This poor man, he doesn’t say a word. He takes my hand in his, puts the hymnal on his arm and keeps singing while simultaneously patting my hand. I spilled emotions everywhere for the remainder of the song. When it was over, he shuts the hymnal, drops my hand and slides back over to the end of the pew. At the end of the service, we walked out, side by side. He never said another word to me. It was hands down the funniest encounter I have had with another human being in a really long time.
So. Where to go from here? Up and forward. Because if there is anything I’ve learned from my beautiful daughter, it is this: we strong people get back up when we are knocked down. We know adversity and we know how to kick it in the knees and rise strong. So that is just what I am going to do.
This blog remains our journey through mental health and as I get farther into my recovery, Megan and I will definitely be writing about how divorce affects you when you also have mental and physical health challenges. I wanted you to have an explanation for why my posts have been a bit lacking in emotion and clarity lately.
Feel free to ask how I am – just know that you may get a variety of the responses above. If I do that chokey thing, please don’t do the Heimlich okay? I would have to avoid you for the next 10 years to get over the embarrassment and I need you in my life right now.
Also, church together may be out for the time being too – for your own safety.
PS: Please do not ask me to reconsider the divorce, don’t ask whose fault it is or who decided to go this route okay? It’s unproductive and I won’t tell you anyway. Tell me how you’ve dealt with loss in your life, tell me how we will make it through, share your wisdom or reach out and I will pat your hand too. Private email for this topic is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Okay back to our regularly scheduled blogging.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!