October 24, 2017

I wanna see you be brave

Brilliant Cate posted an article reviewing two books, one of which was Room by Emma Donahue. I read it and was struck by this phrase. 

"Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”

If anything applies to my life right now that does. Today I laid in bed most of the day after taking anxiety medicine and got up long enough for a walk, for therapy, to spend some time with my mom (the kindest and most validative person on the planet). Today there was a lot of crying. A LOT OF CRYING. But I'm still here. I may be  scared out of my mind and be unable to eat because I'm so wound up,  but that doesn't matter. 

BRAVE IS WHAT I'M DOING 

Brave is getting out of my bed to take my dog on a nice long walk before therapy. Brave is all the work I’m doing to improve myself: at therapy, with my family, in my other relationships. Brave is buying a house and painting it by myself. Brave is changing electrical outlets and meeting new people, and talking to people when it’s scary. Brave is going to work even when my brain feels like I'm never going to be okay and might even die while I'm there. Brave is being compassionate and helping people through their struggles even as I am engulfed in my own. Brave is setting boundaries and standing up for what is right. Brave is dating. Brave is choosing to be vulnerable with people who have earned my vulnerability. Brave is saying no when something social is beyond my emotional reach. Brave is cuddling in bed with my dog while wishing I could disappear, dissolve into nothing. Brave is every day I get out of my bed and do something, literally any little thing  that may help me someday feel better than I do today. 



September 1, 2017

Divorceiversary

It's my divorceiversary! 
This means a few very important things. 

1. I am apparently dateable again. I have it on good authority that those who have been divorced less than a year are still crazy and damaged. Apparently I am no longer either. 

2. To celebrate I bought myself a house. 

3. My dog celebrated in usual fashion by ripping off her collar and spreading fur all over our (new!) living room. Because she still hates her crate. 




4. I am officially in the black again. Unless you count my mortgage. 

5. I have never been happier with a decision than I am with my decision to get divorced. 

Where I am today is hundreds of times better than where I was a year and a half ago. I've spent the last year traveling, recuperating from hip surgery, healing emotionally, in therapy, learning how to communicate better, forgive more, and be comfortable with not knowing what my future holds. 


















































































August 12, 2017

Wiser Self (pt. 2)

Alta sent me this picture a few days ago. On the left, married and miserable. On the right, two years divorced and you can actually see her radiance. 

I've heard this metaphor before about the way a bad marriage snuffs your light out. I've also lived that metaphor. And so has she. 

When I met Alta she had just lost 25 pounds in two weeks after having her heart ripped out by her ex. She wasn't sure she was going to make it. But here we are three years later and Alta is killing it at life. 

Her friend told her recently how much she hates [he who must not be named] and Alta said, "It's okay I don't hate him anymore." She doesn't have time for that kind of negativity. She's got things to do and a wiser self to become. But her friend has her back in the best kind of way, "That's alright, I'll hate him for you. I'll hate him forever." (If that isn't the best kind of friendship, I surely don't know what is). 

So again, to any of you that can't find your light, it's there. You'll get through whatever it is that put your light out in the first place. You'll find your light and you will be radiant once again. Hang in there. 




August 6, 2017

Optimism

Just being optimistic about how much I'll be able to sleep after my night shift. 11 hours. Power of suggestion? Fingers crossed? 



August 3, 2017

Wiser Self

Today at therapy Julie had me do a meditation. I was supposed to imagine myself (called Younger Liz) during a hard time in my past. Me now (called Wiser Liz) was able to go back to that time and talk to my younger self. To hear her. To bear witness. To comfort her. To give advice. To tell her what I've learned. To show her who she will become. 

I chose a moment 3 weeks before I moved out. Many of you know what happened that day (I'm looking at you, Cate and Kyra). All I can tell you is it was terrible. 

Wiser Liz walked right up to younger Liz who was sitting there on that porch in painful bewilderment. Wiser Liz knew that this was almost the end of the marriage, but younger Liz still had to arrive at that conclusion on her own. Younger Liz wondered if the misery would ever end. Younger Liz wished she could just die. But Wiser Liz knew the truth. She held younger Liz, sobbing there in her arms. She told younger Liz that she understood her pain, that she didn't deserve to be treated this way, that she wasn't crazy. That she was worthy of love. Wiser Liz was calm, centered, secure and full of empathy. A bit fatter than younger Liz who had barely eaten in weeks because the weight of sadness was stealing her breath. 

Younger Liz listened while Wiser Liz told her how much she had learned during the year that was to come. That she had learned to trust her gut. That she trusted her intuition. That she could make decisions with less anxiety. That she would look back on this day as a turning point, and that she would eventually make a decision she would have no regrets about. A year from now, she would be so much happier. Her only advice was: trust yourself because you make good decisions and hold on to Alta like a life raft because she will teach you what it is to be safe, to have permission to feel what you feel, she will teach you how to guide others along this path. The good news was that the things younger Liz was learning right now would help her to help so many other people. 

You guys, the experience was so powerful. I had so much empathy for the younger version of myself. She was so sad and in so much pain. She felt like maybe nothing would ever be okay again. 

But I'm here today, and things are okay and they are so much better and I have learned so much from the experience. 

And I don't know what the take home message is except that maybe we should all try in the moment to be as gentle with ourselves as our kinder, wiser selves would be. Because really, don't we all deserve so much grace? So much grace. No one deserves to feel lost or alone or forgotten. Every soul at every point in life deserves to feel loved and accepted unconditionally. Maybe in the moment we give ourselves grace, younger us transforms ever so slightly into wiser us. And that transformation is beautiful and powerful and graceful. 

Then:
(ps wasn't my hair cute?!)

And now: