Last night I got stoned in order to ease my anxiety around falling asleep. I slept better than I have since my world was flipped upside down. I say this as if I was a passive participant. In many ways, I was. In some ways, I wasn’t. I have been reflecting on all the ways I’ve seen Q not demonstrate commitment. I averted my eyes to keep from seeing the truth: that he could also give up on us, that he would cease to be committed to our marriage just as he had ceased to be committed in other areas of his life.
I’ve been contemplating how my love for him has changed since he asked me for a divorce. The terrifying reality is, I don’t think I love him any more. How can this be? How can you go from loving someone so deeply and with such commitment one week to no longer having these feelings the next? We often see love, especially romantic love, as either growing or fading. We don’t think of love as being snuffed out. Romantic love is a choice. Marriage is a choice. Commitment is a choice. I woke up every day and chose my marriage, my commitment. I chose to overlook flaws. I lost site of the forest from the trees. I fell in love with a version of Q that was not the reality of who he is. I do not love the reality of Q.
Now that the shock and anger has somewhat subsided, the pain and mourning what has been lost has replaced it. In my stoned state, my mind flitted to warm memories of our marriage: to our sayings, to our cuddling on the couch and in bed, to our inside jokes. And, my heart was ripped open again knowing these moments are forever gone. Our marriage is over. Our love as it was is gone. My love is gone, replaced with grief and anger, sadness and compassion, terror and empathy. I oscillate.
I felt better this morning than I have yet felt waking up. Maybe it was the full eight hours, maybe it’s simply the passage of time, maybe it’s the pot. I went for my morning walk, a ritual I’ve developed since coming to stay with my sister. On this walk, I listen to “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a guide to mindfulness and meditation. Kabat-Zinn cites that at the heart of impatience is anger.
I am impatient. I want to move through the anger and grief and on to acceptance, forgiveness, and compassion. I no longer want to feel the pain of our memories, but to be able to look upon them fondly for what they were, with no attachment. But, as I arrived back to my sister’s house, a weight clunked into my abdomen and my anxiety arose. “Maybe I just need to eat something,” I thought, “Then I’ll feel better.” But, as I sat down to eat, the tears began to stream down my face. It’s very difficult to not choke on shrimp fajitas while sobbing. After some sage advice from a divorced friend, I give in. I put the fajita down. I let the sadness wash over me as I mourn, as I sob, mouth wide in downturned horror.
It’s okay. Feel it. Let yourself feel it so you can put it to bed. Then, get up because life goes on.