August 12th: Emotional Relapse

Sometimes, I would let what I wanted get in the way of what I really needed.

I had found out that spending time with my husband while going through our divorce was not helping me to move through my recovery. I still wanted emotional closeness, I still wanted our marriage to work. He did not want these things. He was unable to give me what I needed. Yet at times, I would cling to what I could not have.

My husband came to our home on Mother’s Day. I wanted to spend the day with my entire family. My family meaning: my husband, my children, and my own mother.

As the day went on, I found myself wanting more and more of what I could not have. I tried to be everything to everyone and act as if I was calm and centered. I held it together until the end of the day and then, I felt tired and worn out. I felt like I had been holding myself rigid all day long.

I went to bed early that night… hoping that in the morning… I would feel refreshed. Unfortunately, I woke to an emotional relapse.

It felt like I had been tossed into an emotional meat grinder.

Every emotion that I had been working through over the last several months was vivid and fresh in my mind.

I was raw.

I was crying.

I felt butterflies in my stomach and was unable to keep my focus for the day.

I knew what had happened. Not only had I held all of my emotions from the day before, but by allowing myself to slip back into a “comfortable” place with my husband, I had stirred up what was beginning to be put to rest. I put myself in a position to be hurt again. I allowed myself to suffer this emotional relapse.

I looked up relapse in the dictionary and found, “to slip or fall back into a former worse state.”

That is exactly what I had done.

I had set myself up to fall back into a worse state.

To stay away from another emotional relapse, I would have to consciously choose to stay away from what I could not have.

I had to consciously stay away from what I wanted.

I had to become aware that it was not what I needed and that it would only cause me pain and to fall back into a worse state.

“Dear God, help me to let go of what I want and accept what I need. Help me not to slip back into a worse state of mind. Help me to consciously choose to walk towards a better state of mind.”

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12 thoughts on “August 12th: Emotional Relapse

  1. I can identify so closely here. I stayed with with my soon to be ex far too long while we were trying to save money, get the house sold, and work through the rest of the financial damage of the past few years. It was like having a wound that reopened all the time. I kept thinking maybe it all wasn’t really happening. Maybe this wasn’t a divorce.
    But it was.
    The marriage was already over.
    I had already felt it was best, but it didn’t quell the grief.
    Then, when we finally sold our house and moved it’s as if the whole process started again.
    The past six weeks have been so rocky. I never thought of all those events as being relapses, but they were. Thank you for helping me recognize that.
    The past six weeks have also sent me on my own road to recovery and renewed energy. But it’s such hard work!

  2. It IS hard work and it takes a lot of time to get through it. I remember being exhausted (emotionally and physically) during the time period that you are now in… as the loose ends of the past begin to be put to rest… you will begin to feel better! I promise 🙂

  3. D- you were so right… And for others who reading your blog and comments . The emotional healing process is arduous and ongoing . But the difference a year later is really true. The main thing I’ve learned is when the emotions flare and the triggers/ twinges flare with calls from friends or other reminders , that I need to remember to take care of myself physically and mentally with something fun / enjoyable to do – as soon as possible !
    Anything! The more action you are involved in, the less time for damaging feelings …

  4. Thank you, D!
    In fact today I had one of those triggers – a year ago someone shared how my ex was expounding on finding the love of his life and gosh, that it is beyond what “we” were.
    Devastating stuff – and today I can move past this without breaking down emotionally for hours or more.
    And you were right – that notion of paradise and “even better” is a fiction unless a lot of things change. And most of the time people don’t change… :-0
    I’m barely beginning the path to seeing who I can be , again, and although I still feel sadness at times , it’s more about giving in to having moved on. Hope to one day to be ready and able to share with someone — and share what’s kind and creative rather than living in what is unkind and destructive.

  5. Someone actually said that to you? Wow… may I find them and slap them for you? 🙂 Unbelievable. Nice friend. Remember… what someone says to you says more about them THAN you. Sounds like someone who wanted to get a bit of a dig in…. maybe they had been jealous of your relationship with your husband in the past. But definitely remove that person from your life or at least limit contact! You are moving on… I can see in your writing that you are moving on… I love knowing that I am the person I want to be today and my divorce is what got me to this point. I am living my authentic life and you will be too! 🙂 D.

  6. Oy!! I remember that day 2 years ago on that post .
    I was really irked and upset .
    So what’s changed — one of our mutual friends heard from him yesterday because he was going to be in the area. He told him “too busy to see you .”
    I don’t know exactly when this happened … But even a year ago I would have lost sleep about even hearing anything about him.
    It passed through this time almost without notice .
    You speak about your authentic self.. I’m moving toward finding it. 🙂

    • You will get there, Patricia. It just takes time… you will find your authentic self… glad the information passed on to you only created a small twinge and not a big jolt! 😀

  7. Thank You for giving me the gift of perspective. You see I’m the husband whom felt discarded, even though up till the final decree, had maintained what, I Though, was a honorable and majestic effort to not be that asshole. What I see now, that’s just what I needed, not at all what she needed. I’ve learned to honor her wishes and just communicate my thanks for the life we had, and the children we raised in prayer. I have no right to inflict an emotional relapse on her, while in truth I’m also doing it to myself.

    • Peter, first let me say, I am so sorry. I know what it feels like to be the “discarded” one and it really hurts. It took me a good five years to recover from having my physical, spiritual and moral foundation rocked through the divorce and the loss of my 20 year marriage. You were honorable in your marriage because that is who you are: a stand up person. And that behavior and that attitude is what is helping you to stay on the higher spiritual road now. I can’t lie… there were moments I was an “asshole” (verbally) in my divorce… I was so hurt. So sad. I did lash out at times and it only hurt me. I felt like I had done everything to champion my husband and he didn’t appreciate it, I was easily replaceable, and then he left me. It was horrible. One of the worst times in my life. But today, I have this life that I never could have imagined. One that fits who I am as a stand-up person 🙂 I know you have great things coming for you too. I’m here for you. 🙂 D.

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