Hey JFO. Feels like it was just yesterday, and yet at the same time, a lifetime ago since I last posted here. My D-Day was 5 months ago today. This post is undoubtedly going to sound like me bragging in many ways, and that's something I am still not the most comfortable with - giving myself credit. What I hope to provide is what so many here on SI gave me in my darkest hours - hope. Real, substantiated hope.
My journey is maybe not "typical" if there is such a thing in this shit sandwich. In 5 months, I went from "happily" married to the depths of depression, shock, and disbelief. It was all amplified by my ex's quick proclamation that there will be no R. We're done - just like that after 12 years together, 9 married, and all we had been through in that time. My life was over, shattered, obliterated. Everything I thought I had, thought I was, it was gone. I really, truly believed death was my only respite. If not for my close family also being local and at my house every night for the first few months, I don't know what I might have done.
I also don't know where I'd be if it weren't for the wonderful people of SI. The mistakes Si kept me from making, the strategies SI teaches (the 180, NC, counseling, journaling, posting over and over), there's a reason we sing the praises of the healing library - It. Works.
I won't sit here and try to say what my situation would be like had we had living children. I cannot relate to those of you who have children in the middle, and I won't try to act like I do. What I do know is I talk to folks on this site all the time who do have children in the middle of it all, and they to make it through. They get to the other side as well. There is another side you know. That light at the very distant end of your tunnel is sometimes a train coming your way, I won't lie. Then, one day, it's just that - light. I promise you can get there. Let us help you.
I look back on the bloated, drunken wreck I was 5 months ago. I simply don't get out of that dark, dark hole without the help of SI and the amazing and good people here. I went from hating myself to actually liking what I see reflected back in the mirror for the first time in a long time. I was miserable for a while, well before D-day. I see that now. I see that I am free to do all the things to improve me that I didn't think I was worthy of before. I am confident as I've been in a long time. I'm in the best shape I've been in in ages, both physically and mentally. Hell, I went from thinking I might lose my job due to inability to concentrate to actually being promoted. In these 5 months I've tirelessly worked on the one thing I have complete control over - me. That work is paying off in spades. I am me again, maybe for the first time ever. I can see the other side, and I have one foot squarely planted in my new beginning.
It really does take time to heal these wounds. I don't want to say everything is rainbows and sunshine, but the pain isn't the first thing that hits every morning, and it keeps me up at night much less. I can say very clearly that the mess I was 5 months ago could not imagine I'd be writing this now. There was simply no way. Well, here I am. I owe this site, this community, this family so much of the credit. I very much mean it when I say I love all my sisters and brothers of SI. Let us be your family, your rock, and your strength.
"You can survive this...talk to others who have."
And with that, I'm off to play in the fun and games forum again. You know, when I first joined here, I found it almost insulting that this site had such a forum. Now, I wouldn't leave it for the world. I look forward to one day where the 20th of the month comes and goes without a passing thought. For now, I take solace that the man I am today is the best I have maybe ever been. I went from thinking my relationship was different. I thought we were built to make it. When it fell apart and I started down the road to divorce, I thought I'd never be happy again. I know where you are, where you'll go, and I know you will all make it, R, S, or D. It does get better.
My true friends say they're proud of me. My sister posted on Facebook on Father's Day, in her yearly heartfelt words to our departed father and my departed son, that she knew they were proud of the man I am today, and that she was too. That took a lot for my sister to say. I can't believe how far I've come in 5 months. Then I read stories here, and I know mine is one of very, very many stories of rising from the ashes and destruction of this immeasurable pain. With SI, support, counseling, and finding that strength you all have within, you will write such a story too. I know - mine's only 5 months old, and just getting started.
Peace and strength to you all.