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    ANNIKBIRNBAUM   7,753
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Post-divorce woes, refocusing, and time-fillers

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Life immediately after a divorce seems so empty. I often wonder if this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life, but statistics say that it won't. It's just a phase. It has only been two months or so, but it feels like it has been an eternity.

I have not been sleeping well since I moved out in the beginning of September. I wake up very groggy, I get dressed, get my morning espresso, go to work, come home, cry, go to sleep. At least that's how it was for September and most of October. The latter half of October was not so bad, but then November has been kind of up and down so far. There are moments of extreme happiness and moments of despair and a blanket of loneliness over all of it. Some days where I am so happy to be free and divorced and other days where I miss him so much, I can't take the pain anymore.

I don't know what to do with myself. All the things I used to do for so long: cooking, making sure he's entertained, laughing, hugging, and making sure the groceries and household things are taken care of. They're all gone.

I am trying to re-discover purpose in my life.

I don't really have any friends in LA, so I spend a lot of time alone. I'm also not really in contact with my family. There were many, many dramatic and unnecessary incidents involving my family and my boyfriend (individual) that taught me that I am truly, very much alone and in the end, all I have is myself. It was a hard lesson to swallow and so I flung myself into psychotherapy at the apex of my despair. I was disconnected, I was hollow.

I still am.

Since all of that, things have been up and down. Grief is never really linear, I guess. The good news is, I don't cry that often anymore and I am becoming more and more optimistic about my future, as hollow and as disconnected as I still feel sometimes.

And so because I learned that in the end, all I have is myself, I started my refocus with this: me - both inside and out - and, of course, I started with the out.

It was a little frivolous, but I spent $50 on a brand new curling iron and hair accessories. I'll give my hair its first cut since February 2009 sometime in February 2014.

During therapy, I worked on the inside. There was the usual processing of divorce-related emotions, my relationship patterns, and the roots of it all: my family dynamics. And so more internal work came up - eliminating co-dependency being the biggest issue.

-Becoming less concerned with finding love, being loved, and finding the perfect love. Everyone wants it and if it happens, it will happen.
-Set tangible, realistic goals whether psychological, social, or financial.
-Understanding that just because my family has been entirely unreliable throughout my life, does not mean I need to be unreliable with other people nor does it mean they will be unreliable with me (learning how to be comfortable with consistency).
-Setting boundaries and NOT putting other people's needs before my own anymore (being comfortable with using the word "no").
-Standing up for myself (falls under the first one).
-Becoming less concerned with how people may perceive me, physically or otherwise.
-Realizing I need to love myself first and foremost.

It was strange. I suddenly did not care so obsessively about my weight anymore. I think what mattered most was that I was comfortable in my own skin and once that happened, the aesthetics mattered less and less. What DID matter was being happy and healthy enough to reach my goals and to live a meaningful, fulfilling life (the other alternative is to live miserably like I always had been until I crash into a ravine at the age of 90 or 30).

I'm eating better because I know the input is a large part of the output. I also started cooking and baking again (I stopped after I filed for divorce).

I started walking two miles each way to work from home because I couldn't justify spending a dollar each way to ride the bus. I used to struggle with walking an eighth of a mile, but now two miles is an easy piece. I see this as a prelude to running and, eventually (maybe), a marathon and a gateway to other physical activities. This time around, I am not interested in working out to lose weight - I am interested in working out because it releases endorphins which will, hopefully, curb my depression a little.

I'll probably start swimming again, injury-permitting.

I have also become interested in creating art through various mediums again: sketching, painting, make-up.

My tangible goals:

-Get out of debt completely by early next year.
-Save up for a newer car by November 2014
-Save up for a trip to Germany (December 2014) (also assuming boyfriend and I are still together, ha).

And since I am setting goals for next year, I figured I would see where I am with losing a pound a week by December of next year... and I phrase it this way because getting to a target weight is not my goal. It's not as disappointing and the sole focus is to feel happier and be in better shape by next year.

So... that's my focus.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEMALI 12/16/2013 2:23AM

  I've been so overwhelmed with my little life that I've forgotten how difficult everyone's lives can be. Sending you strength and love --

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LALMEIDA 11/7/2013 9:33PM

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