(BACK-STORY)

I just finished reading a book that I know has changed my life: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  I can see me in this book, how I fumbled through life up until now trying to keep up with the Joneses and overfilling some areas of my life while others remained empty.  Like, while not being able to see the areas I needed to work on but nonetheless felt the void, I became sucked into the whole idea of consumerism and its hype of needing more… more is better… (I even work in advertising!) – ENOUGH!

I’m definitely on a self-reflection and self-improvement kick.  And I think this was a very fortunate book to have stumbled upon.  Like it says, you don’t undergo transformation unless compelled to do so by some crisis situation.  (Life crisis?  Check!)  And it says that heaven is not a location but rather in finding peace within.  I like that.  I can relate to that.  I want that.  I want inner peace. 

I feel like I’ve been in turmoil for so long that I’m completely depleted – and ready to build stronger upon this new base.  No more over-thinking.  I want true feeling!  I want to be able to trust my instincts again, that voice inside me, that guides me to places I never regret.

This book has introduced the idea to me that perhaps I’m in total and complete breakdown everywhere in my life because I’m personally in need of this experience right now.  Maybe this all happened to get my attention, to wake me up!  After a marriage entrenched in battling egos, I now realize I want peace, not drama.  I want to be okay with the fact my life is upside down right now.  I want to be at peace with it.  All of it.

I have become quite a recluse – for me, anyway.  I feel as if I’m home all the time – whenever I’m not at work or family events or spending time with Dad, anyway. I just feel as if I don’t have any energy left after my obligations are through. 

Typically, when I walk in the door, I have a long list of things I should/could do, and then my butt hits the couch and all bets are off.  Once I’m shut in that house, I’m not going out again until I absolutely have to.  I busy myself at home a lot, watch a lot of TV, read books, avoid almost all phone calls and hide out.  It’s been nearly two months since I filed for divorce and I’m not feeling the desire to do much.  I think A LOT, read a lot, mull over my situation a lot, wonder where I want my life to go, reflect on how I got here, catalogue the mistakes I’ve made, note personality traits I might need to change… then I think about my dad, how precious and fleeting life is, how painful this all is… then I feel so all alone.  And then the phone rings, and I choose not to pick it up.  There are so many people reaching out to me.  I know I should pick it up and reach back.  But I just feel like I want to be alone for a while, like I have a lot of internal work to do.

I’m exhausted and lost and I’m taking full advantage of my new cozy, warm home. 

I have recently picked up Dr. Richard Taylor’s book again, Alzheimer’s: From the Inside Out.  I find it fascinating to be able to get a glimpse of Alzheimer’s from a patient’s point of view.  It’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to seeing my dad’s point of view.  And if I can just understand it and where they’re coming from better, maybe I’ll be able to relate better to my dad along the way.  And so I force myself to read it, even sometimes on days when I don’t want to because I know it’ll depress me.  But I can never read many chapters in one sitting – it’s too emotional.  I find that I put it down for days or weeks at a time.  Then, when I feel stronger, I force myself to pick it back up again.  The other book my mother gave me, The 36 Hour Day, is just WAY TOO HEAVY for me right now. 

I’m still trying so hard to get back on my own two feet, live independently and await my divorce.  I can’t take on the whole world all at once.  I have to limit my intake for my own good.

My life is upside down when you note the recent path I’ve taken.  However, on the surface… I’ve lost tons of weight 🙂 and my new house is unpacked and lovely

It’s M-Y SPACE.  MY lovely space!  I’m thrilled with this idea and am taking complete pride in my surroundings.  Things can be – and stay! – wherever I want them to be.  The only dirty dishes in the sink (if ever) will be the ones I decide to leave there for later.  Like a force to be reckoned with, I was completely unpacked and my new home practically fully decorated in about 48 hours.  Talk about putting your mind to something!  The untarnished slate I’m now living upon is my saving grace and I cherish every square inch of it.

Eerily, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that (after the very first night in my new place) I have been sleeping like a BABY.  An absolutely content, safe, happy baby!  Oh, how magnificent life looks through properly rested eyes and settled thoughts!!

I realize that even though I’m physically out and have filed for divorce, this is not over, not yet cleaned up, not yet done – but I can’t help but acknowledge the fact that, without him, I am sleeping well.  And, in retrospect, my long-lived insomnia began seven years ago – just one month after we began dating.  I’m not sure what that all means – besides the fact that my soul has not known peace for a VERY LONG TIME.  I am so grateful that I’m a strong enough person to have just done what I’ve done.  Although I need to eventually answer for my own peace of mind why I was there in the first place, I know that I now have a better life ahead of me… 

Yes, my dad is still dying.  But I have been saved – by some grace of God. 

It makes me wonder odd things, like if maybe Dad’s illness has been for a reason.  Maybe Dad got sick by fate in order to teach me the ultimate, final lesson he had for me: what a good life consists of and never to settle for less than that, less than I deserve.  That is a comforting thought, that maybe Dad isn’t just sick, that maybe it was his last selfless act for the greater good of his only daughter.

I left my husband this week. 

It sounds drastic.  It was.  His treatment of me was drastic, my fear was drastic, the drinking and fighting was drastic, my panic to get away to save myself was drastic.

I’m empowering myself to turn things around.  I’m choosing sanity… and life… and love.  I’m choosing to surround myself with those who truly support me and have my best interests in mind.  I’m choosing a life of goodness that I believe can exist, even among this current tragedy of my dad’s illness. 

When I rang my parents’ doorbell this week after the news of me moving out, my dad answered the door, embraced me tightly, and whispered over and over in my ear, “You’re safe now.”  THAT is what love feels like.

Now that I’ve clawed myself to safety, I need to find some ground beneath my feet.  I need to replant myself.  I know it will take a long time to get there.  There’s a long trail of debris which needs to be cleaned up.  But I believe I can do this as long as I keep acidic people and elements OUT of my life. 

I choose SANITY.  I choose LIFE.  I choose LOVE.