Artemisia - you asked, how did I do it?
Well ... I don't want to make it all sound over-simplified, because that would only demean people who are struggling. And I also don't want to say in some arrogant fashion that I've somehow mastered it all or that I don't have bad days or weak moments. I am human, truly, and littered with faults and weaknesses without a doubt.
That said - the light came in after I hit a rock bottom point. I had discovered some new information one day, over a month ago, and found myself obsessing over it to the point of sobbing, nausea, the whole nine yards. Inconsolable. In the middle of the night that night ... my senior dog had what I learned later was a very minor seizure. She got up around 2:30 am, walked over to me at the side of the bed, whined, and then fell over, urinated on the floor and trembled. I leapt out of bed, scooped her in my arms and held her close. For about 20 minutes, in the middle of the night, I lay on the floor holding her, thinking the breaths she was taking right then would be her last.
And then, she perked up ... she stood up, sniffed my face, and I just wept. I could not stop thinking how grateful I was that she was holding on - largely, I believe, to be here for me. And how could I not see that? How could I not see that when she looks at me, she sees the most important person in her entire world?
And the daily love affirmations from my father, my mother, my brother, my closest friends, my coworkers, my volunteer comrades, my neighbors ... the list goes on. How could I not see those things - and instead, focus on a man who cast me aside, disregarded all I had to give, and betrayed our marriage? I'm not meaning to say that you define your worth from outside sources, but ... I will say that allowing any part of my life to be defined by someone who clearly didn't value it or me one iota, seemed entirely masochistic all of a sudden.
So, trite as it sounds, I just had that epiphany. At 3 am, after holding my dog and making sure she was okay, tucking her back into her bed ... I just looked at myself in the mirror, and decided to stop.
And it's weird, really - the catharsis that has been for me. Suddenly I feel lighter, happier. I feel in control. I feel grateful. I feel joy. I feel trust, and I feel love.
I've uninvited him from my headspace and my heart, and he's not getting an invite back.
Every day is a gift.
A saying for my SI Family: "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all".
Fooled twice - almost exactly 10 years apart.