When pulling yourself up from the bottom, when it requires tremendous effort just to face the day, swallow a piece of toast, shop for groceries, there occasionally comes brief flashes of joy - somewhere from deep within, a strength that shows up, feeling empowered for the moment. You want to put on "I will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor or "Rolling in the Deep" by Adele and just scream out the lyrics. Music can and does change everything. If I could just play a continual soundtrack of kick ass Beyonce, "You must not know 'bout me, I can have another you in a minute" - I'd never look back.
So, while in the midst of recovery, (and I am calling it that because I am beginning to wonder if I've been addicted to the drama, pain and excitement of my relationship maybe more so than the love, the actual person), it is the little things, the simple things that bring light back into our world. Last week I had many glimpses of such simple things, reminding me that brighter days are in my future.
Simple things such as; upon waking I knew the weather was going to be absolutely beautiful, the week had in store a warm and crisp 78 degrees, tops, the weather man promised. Now this is what I'm talking about. This is the Napa weather that I love. Better yet, I went to throw on something to wear to the dentist, put on my white cotton men's shirt, and lo and behold, my jeans were a bit too baggy. Into the drawer of "someday these will fit agains" and with ease, my jeans from last year just slid right over my hips, zipped up with no problem, no horizontal positioning required. Talk about happy. Who knew what five pounds could do for a mood, much more effective I'm sure than any mood elevating drug out there.
Then, I went to the dentist for a cleaning, first time in 6 years, - yes I was surprised too when the hygienist said I hadn't been seen by them since 2005 - "Really"?, I exclaimed, shamed and feeling like my dirty laundry had just been exposed to the world, I knew it had been awhile. "Have you been getting your teeth cleaned elsewhere?", she sternly asked. No, no, I swear, and even though that was the truth, I felt guilt burning all across my face. After the cleaning and exam, to my surprise and hers, she said my teeth looked like I had just had them cleaned recently, and, no cavities! "Keep up whatever you are doing", she said as I jumped out and up from the chair, excited, feeling like I could take on the world. Yes, simple things such as dropping a few pounds or a great dental checkup, can propel you forward, make you feel hopeful, on top of the world, for the moment anyway.
Now my dentist, who I have known now for many years had tried to set me up with a friend of his years ago. At the time I was already involved in my soon to be Jerry Springer worthy relationship so I had to pass. One of his first questions during my exam, "You have a man in your life?" Sadly and under my breath "No, not any more, just recently ended." My dentist, "Hmm, who do I know that I could set you up with?" I told him, "Listen Rob, that's the last thing I need right now. And before you even think about that I have a whole list of requirements, things that I definitely do not want in a relationship." Shared laughter. He started to tell me a story about a friend of his whose list was so impossibly unattainable that she had been single for the past 30 years. I assured him I wasn't that bad, all I was asking was he not be an alcoholic or display any sociopathic behaviors. "Can he at least have a glass of wine?" the dear doctor asked me with a grin, remember, we live in the Napa Valley. "I can handle a glass of wine or two, that would be fine, its just the finding half empty vodka bottles shoved between the cushions of my sofa instead of the remote or spare change, not so much." Shared knowing sad smile. He hugged me when I left. And that simple exchange, his kind words and a simple hug, made me feel less alone.
So the bottom line here, if there is a bottom, is that things do start to look up, it's just a matter of how you look at things. It's hard not to go to those dark places, those sad places, regret, wishful thinking, wanting to go back to the way things were, patch up the quilt, because it is what we know, it is comfortable. It is our life. It might not be the best life, or the one we are deserving of, but it is ours.
When the tide turns and it sometimes feels like we are left to drown, it is hard to view loss or unwanted change as a blessing, and yet that may very well be what it is. Sink or swim. In the really difficult events leading up to this moment in time, what he gave me was my freedom, he took the noose off my neck, or actually he dropped me to the ground and then I took the noose off myself. I read somewhere to be thankful for our blessings, for all that we have, but to be equally thankful for the things we are denied - we may never know the reason, but we may have very well just dodged a bullet.
(P.S.- thanks for all the kind comments, and ELL, I appreciate your prayers :) - they all helped immensely