Six years!

Today marks 6 years. Woo hoo!

Every day we choose sobriety first is a day we pick ourselves. Pick love. Pick compassion. Pick Hope.

One day at a time. Thank you for walking this journey with me.

Stillness and peace

Anne

What a difference a year makes. My story.

Writing out my story of the past year has helped me put the year into perspective. One never knows how things are going to turn out…

Still here and still sober. Perhaps I’m even blooming finally!

D day was 1 year ago. We were on our way to a weekend in Vegas. Dd turned on her iPad and yikes…all her dads texts, which included sexting with the ow.

She tells him, he tried to convince her not to tell me, it comes out he’s texting a girl from AA (13th stepping). We agree to not discuss until the trip ends. I am livid and devastated. This man has been my best friend for 25 years. We met at university, we work at the same company, we got sober together in 2013. We have a fun life full of travel, concerts and our kids finally are old enough to have fun with us.

The last day of the trip he confesses. He’s been sleeping with this girl for a few months. He doesn’t know why. He loves me and our family. I am his best friend. I tell him we are getting divorced and he moves out as soon as we get home. I immediately go to the bank and split all finance. I am the money manager in the family, and both of us have excellent incomes.

You all know the devastation. I try to comprehend how this person, who claims to love me, could betray me. I consider reconciling….the kids, who know everything (13 &15) demand I divorce him. They are angry and hurt,but they refuse to let me accept this disrespect.

Next it appears he’s texting a young girl, who is my friend, from work every day. I ask, she tells me to fuck off. I get a lawyer. He continues to ask me to give him time, goes to step meetings, therapy. He rarely sees the kids and they pretty much go no contact.

Next comes a stalker girl who shows up at our house. She knows all about us. I file for divorce. He agrees to give me everything, the house, savings, full custody, child support.

Ex decides to run 800 km away to an alternate work location. Doesn’t even tell the kids…and it turns out he moved in with a coworker (his bosses secretary) who, it also turns out, is pregnant. This is about 8 months post d day. I finally have had enough and take a mental health leave from work. Best decision ever. I took time to deeply grieve and in doing so I regained my balance and self esteem.

Today, exactly one year later, we are divorced. Clear eyes show me he was always a selfish asshole, but I was a very good buffer between him and the world. The kids are flourishing. My codependency was deep. I grew up with a narcisstic parent and I had never realized just how much I believed my job was to make sur everyone else was ok…

I am truly settled and happy on my own now. Being financially secure and him conceding everything without a fight has been vital. I love living alone with my kids.

I wouldn’t wish this suffering on anyone. It almost took me down a few times this year…my pain and the pain I feel for my kids has been sharp and deep and overwhelming, but I got through it with support from friends,online, through my blog and by asking for help over and over again.

Some days I am at meh, but I expect it won’t be a full time thing until my kids are grown up as ex’s behaviour still hurts them. They are generally still no contact. They haven’t seen him since he moved in June. And on those days I wish him grave harm.

Chumplady has been the source of my strength and resolve. Knowing others have gone through this horror and have advice on how to manage and proceed has been vital. I thank you all for sharing every single day.

Stillness and peace

Tears for the end

The judge signed my divorce. It is over. 25 years.

I’m very sad and have cried many tears since I got the email on Friday. I knew it was coming…and it fills me with a crazy mix of relief, anger, resentment and resignation…

I look back at our wedding picture and I know I didn’t expect things to end this way. Of course, I also didn’t foresee any of our other struggles. I didn’t expect I would ever be sober. Be a mom. Be a yoga teacher. And I expect today there are many more things ahead of me that I haven’t even thought of!

I returned to work oct 9 and have been enjoying it. I feel settled in my skin. I am enjoying my independence and I have no interest in dating. I like having my time to myself and the kids and I are enjoying life. Things are very good.

I think I need to grieve for these few days. If I don’t let these tears out they will weigh me down. I’m not scared of them. They feel well earned, not self destructive. I’m always worried to be sad…depression seems much too possible…but not right now, if that makes any sense.

I don’t regret marrying Craig. I had some great times and the two kids are worth any painful ending. I wish he could see that he has abandoned his kids when he moved away, and just how shitty and unfair to them that is for them. I wish he could fix that. But I know he can’t…or won’t…so I will make sure I love them enough for two parents.

This is what life is about right now!

Thank you all for your unending love and support. This year has been the most absolutely shocking, painful and unexpected. I have found new friends in the most unexpected places.

No matter how hard this drama has been, I am absolutely sure that staying sober has been the best choice I could have ever made. It is choosing me. It is choosing love. And it is choosing life. I don’t doubt that one bit.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Shinedown and smiling

I returned to work last week. I was off for 2 months. 2 months that took me from despair to ok. Over the past couple of weeks I finally felt like me again.

When I was trapped in anxiety my thoughts were all in the front part of my brain. They were fizzy and frazzles and I couldn’t think very far ahead. It’s hard. I felt dull and slow. This is how I felt in August, when I realized I was not coping well. Things didn’t make sense. Life didn’t make sense.

Now, my thoughts are in the back of my head. They are clear and connected and I can see them. I can plan ahead and envision how things will unfold. I can understand what I want and I see my emotions for what they are. I feel sharp and intelligent. I can handle unexpected problems.

It’s amazing how this shifted. In the frazzled state I did worry I might be like that forever. It was hard and scary. That’s part of the problem. No matter how prepared I am for a low, I still get trapped there…Hope becomes very small.

But I am out of that pit. I am back feeling productive. And so I returned to my life and I returned to work. I missed it. iWork with some amazing people.

I am being gentle with myself, but I am also re engaging with my responsibilities. It’s time. Although a part of me would like to hide at home forever, I do know that avoidance is not a viable solution

The past couple of months have been a true period of grieving. I have cried many tears. I have questioned my life and wondered what I did to deserve the crazy events of the past 10 months. I licked my wounds. I repeated the word acceptance a million times.

A few weeks ago I went to a lovely heart centred yogic healing evening. During the class we focused on the energy around our heart. At one point I was filled with the sensation that my heart was whole again and that it belonged to me…as it always had. I had just forgotten….I had finally found a bit of the acceptance that I had been looking for .

Since that night I have felt optimistic about the future. I get to do things my way! There’s no one around to tell me what to do! It’s up to me!

I’m not sure why this is so exciting…but it is.

So, act one of “Anne’s rediscovered life” was to go to a concert to see if I still liked them…I drove the 5 hours and went to the venue and I was overjoyed. The music filled and inspired me. The song lyrics made sense. I was truly happy. And, although I went to the concert alone, I didn’t feel lonely once. I plan to do it again soon!

Shinedown and Papa Roach. I have seen both before. I look forward to seeing them again.

Thank you all for your continued love and support! It’s keeping me moving forward!

Stillness and peace,

Anne

Happier Wednesday post

Hello!

I stopped in to say thank you all for your lovely thoughts.

The bleakness of depression has lifted. I hand many days of tears and sadness. I also changed my medication. Many love,y friends asked me for coffee and I went. Every single one of those people reminded me that I have so much love in my life. I just need to ask for it. And share mine back with them.

Together those things have worked to bring me back to where I can see some stillness and peace.

Along the way came another big blow. Craig is having a baby with his new girlfriend. A baby.

He is 48 and not even divorced yet. And he decided to do this with another employee who works for the same company as both of us. Sometimes I think his actual goal here is to humiliate and belittle me.

But, What it did was shine a light into my heart that showed that there was a small piece that was still holding on to hope that he would realize his mistake, beg for forgiveness, prove to me and the kids that he needed us and life would return to normal. After all…weren’t we worth it? Weren’t we worth some grovelling and missing?

Funny…that small bit of hope was fighting with the rest of my heart that wants me to see my freedom. That knows getting divorced was the right decision and that I could never live with someone is didn’t trust or respect. This part of me wants to reacquaint myself with Anne. To be me.

So. I have cried more and grieved and gently let go of that last piece of hope that things could be different than they are.

And you know what? It feels right. The anxiety is lessened. The future looks bright.

I think I now feel a bit of sympathy for him. 48 and a new baby? No thank you. I plan on retiring in 8 years. I guess he will be working a lot longer than me! Lol

And the kids have found their own interest in the idea of a sibling. This included anger, tears, heart wrenching sadness that they were not enough to keep their father happy (I can only say it takes everything in me to not hate craig for creating that thought) and acceptance. It’s only been a few days, but I can see that they will both be ok.

We will all be ok. Hopefully even craig, the gf and the baby.

Thank you for being there for me! The saga continues.

Stillness and peace,

Anne

Depressed – warning not a happy post

The low has turned into full on depression. Everything is heavy and dark.

I remember thinking I was going to be ok, that I was financially stable and that being in charge of my life was liberating. I was free to be me,whoever that is.

I remember going to work not too long ago and feeling happy, noticing the sun on my face and the green summer tress.

Right now I feel neither of those things. I feel empty. And oh so very sad.

I’m sad that things have changed and that craig didn’t love me. I’m sad that he has a new life and he doesn’t even miss me. After all these years…I’m sad that I now am both mother and father to our kids as he has moved on.

I’m just so tired.

Objectively I know this is grief and emotional burn out. My road trip turned out to be really hard. I must remember not to go visit complicated family when I am tired. It is not a break. And along the way I have reached out for help to a few people who hurt or criticized me in response. It has shaken me.

I went to my doctor last week. I had serious thoughts of going to the mental health clinic and committing myself. I’m afraid of myself…depression is sneaky. But Cleo and cooper need me. I KNOW this is temporary. I just keep forgetting.

My dr has taken me off work for a bit and I am going to only do supportive things. I have logged out of Facebook. I increased my antidepressant. I went to acupuncture and will go again this week.

And I guess I will also cry and try to let some of the sadness that has bubbled up out.

I am not drinking. Even in this scary dark place I know it would only add to the weight I feel. I know all these years of self discovery and change will help me find my way back to ok. Part if me even thinks that it will be better.

So if you are a meditator or a prayer please send me a bit of light. I really need it.

Stillness and peace

Anne

A low period…

Hi There! I am still here. Still sober. Even if there have been days where I wish I could turn off the world, and there have been many, I have not.

Craig has moved away. Last Friday I signed all the divorce paperwork and it will be filed soon and then it’s just to wait for the judge to approve. I keep the kids, the house, everything. He runs away to live with his latest girlfriend. 800 km away.

Since then I have sunk deeper into a bit of a depression. I am just so tired. My brain can’t quite keep up with reality. Some days I wish I could go to sleep and not wake up. I know this feeling well and I am being extra careful with myself.

On the plus side I love being single. I love sleeping alone, taking care of the house. I enjoy my new car. The kids are awesome and spends lots of time with me and we are closer than we have ever been. Most days are quite content. I am figuring out who I am. I never lived alone before and it’s interesting!

My neighbour fixed my lawnmower. I fixed a bike tire. I’m capable. I have an excellent job and am financially independent. Craig pays child support and I am ensuring the kids have the same standard of living they always had.

But it’s all confusing. One day I know this is just craig and his continuing seeking for something to settle himself. It’s not about me. The next I wonder what I did wrong…what I should have done differently…I know that’s not helpful. I can see I was already way too codependent and I did not need to sacrifice myself further on the alter of marriage…I’m forever listening to Ram Das and bringing myself back to be here now. The thoughts of who, what, why are irrelevant. We are getting divorced. I am now in charge of my own life. The possibilities are limitless.

But. The kids are caught in this. Their father has run away and they choose to not communicate with him, mostly because I don’t think either of them can begin to understand how this happened. I tell them often that it is not their fault. It’s all him. I hope they believe me.

I still wouldn’t change the last 20 some years. Besides the kids, who are amazing, lol, I have had some awesome trips, days, events. And some horrible ones. They all get me to where I am now. A true believer that suffering is grace, even if I hate it at the time.

I’m packing the kids into the car and going on a road trip tomorrow. I think I need the change of scenery and a bit of shopping therapy. I can’t get caught in the depression…it’s too dark.

As always, sobriety is the glue that holds my life together. Sober Anne is rational and competent. She can do hard things. I can remember how stressful the years of drinking were, and how scared I was of change then. How hard I clung to the familiar, even when it was killing me. I use that memory to let go more now. I don’t need to cling to a life that’s gone. I might miss what’s still to come.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Dates and meaning

I believe that much of our suffering results from the meaning we give things. Meaning that has no read basis. It is subjective. As things change, the meaning changes.

Today is my 20 year wedding anniversary. Of course, craig and I are well on the way to getting divorced and there will be no celebrating.

I wondered this morning if I should feel more sad. The past 6 months have been filled with a wide range of emotion from excruciating heartbreak to anger, disappointment to self confidence. I embrace the liberation of being in charge with no one else to accommodate.

It is earth shattering to have the person you love choose to betray you. It is a huge blow to one’s ego. It opens the door to questioning my worthiness and my value. Is something wrong with me that he would hurt me so badly?

Bu in the end it is him hurting himself. I choose to remove myself from the drama.

I have moved on with rebuilding a safe and supportive life for myself and my kids. We have changed up the house. We have created new routines. They help more. Which is new as until this all happened in November we have had a live in nanny for 15 years. None of us are good at taking care of the house! Lol

The pets continue to multiple. There is now a fish, mouse, hamster, rabbit, bird, bearded dragon, snake and a leap arc gecko. Whew!

Part of me is still sad for the old Craig. He is missing out on so much. But I have to let go of my sympathy for him. He has his path. I am walking my own. Some day he will just be somebody that I used to know….but not yet, obviously, as even writing that makes me sad…

My hope is that next June 5 I don’t even notice the date.

So I am good. Finding myself. Absolutely still sober and grateful for that every day as I chauffeur kids around and keep things as sane as possible.

Stillness and peace

Anne

Puzzle pieces

Bear with me…I have another analogy today about my life….

Our life has been like a puzzle. After many years of placing pieces we had created a lovely family picture. There were four of us, smiling, content. To get to this point has taken work from us both, independently and together.

Craig’s affair broke off his part of the puzzle. The pieces were thrown to the wind..damaged to a point they could never be put back where they were.

I’m left with The remaining part of the old picture…a picture of me and my two awesome kids. To smooth out the new edges I’m forced to continue dismantling the puzzle.

I changed my bedroom furniture, I sold my old van, I submitted all my financial document to get the divorce going. Each action is a removing of a piece of the puzzle that represents craig, and it is painful to do. I don’t want to be the one choosing to change the picture…but I can’t change the truth. The new picture only has three people in it.

Of course, it is still a lovely picture. And there are now seven pets joining us. Seems like a reasonable trade for one human.

I still have quite a few pieces to figure out. I’m not rushing them, but I’m doing it. The chance that the new picture is even better than the old is too attractive…just like sobriety!

Sometimes you just have to have faith.

Stillness and peace,

Anne

What is infidelity…

Hi there,

I know this is my sober blog. I started creating another blog to deal with my current life, but I stopped myself. This blog is really about me living my life sober. As such, I wrote about other things…depression, concerts, kids, natural disaster and now the end of my marriage.

I have written about craig a lot. We seemed to be best friends and had a lot of fun together. No…we were best friends and had a lot of fun together. I refuse to give up my good memories. Whenever I try to I become a little paranoid and unbalanced because then everything I know becomes questionable. I cannot live that way.

So, what am I going through…here is my analogy. If you have experienced this maybe it makes sense…

You and your spouse of many years are sitting side by side, marvelling at a sunrise. How beautiful. It’s a picture of perfect ease.

Without warning the spouse stabs you in the back with a knife. You are completely shocked and in pain. You cannot comprehend that your best friend, the person who has seen you at your best and your worst and still loves you, the father of your children, would do this.

He immediately says it wasn’t him. It was a mistake. There’s no knife. Don’t be silly. Let me help you.

You, confused, unable to reconcile your spouse, whom you love and trust, with a person who would stab you, agree to let him help you and turn your back to him.

He pulls the knife out. Pauses. And stabs you again. Immediate saying it was a mistake, somehow your fault for moving. There is no knife….don’t be so dramatic…

In pain, you are getting a bit more aware. No matter who you thought this other person was, they are now hurting you. Some self preservation kicks in. You step away from them.

He falls to his knees saying he didn’t mean to hurt you. He was confused. He’s not even sure where the knife came from. He loves you, but he’s unable to control himself with the knife. It will never happen again. He swears.

So you let him pull the knife out and quickly turn to face him. You still trust him enough not to hurt you when he is actually looking you in the eye. You know you will never turn your back to him again.

Suddenly he reaches out and slashes your arm. Again you are surprised. Then he slashed your other arm. And it dawns on you that you must move further away where he cannot cut you. It is very hard to do this. To leave your best friend, who you trust and love. You try to rationalize a reason for this behaviour. He is angry, he had a bad childhood, he is brainwashed, depressed, obsessed with knives. You watch him where he sits by himself, sharpening the knife, smiling at you. You wish you had thought to take the knife away after the first cut.

Scared and shaken you move far away from this person who would stab you and cut you without any apparent remorse or regret. Over time your wounds heal. They leave scars, but that’s just part of life. You never understand what happened, and eventually you stop trying to. There’s way too much life still to live.

Sorry for making the stabber a he. It could easily be a she as well.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have a good day. I plan to. Stay sober! It makes everything manageable.

Stillness and peace

Anne