Did I want to drink? I honestly do not remember – at this point I was 9.5 years sober and drinking was just not a part of my life. However, in midst of the chaos of splitting money, accounts and furniture, getting ready for court, and trying to establish some normalcy for my kids, I did not see that my pain had reached a great level of suffering and I fell into a deep dark depression…
My self-esteem was none existent. Life became unbearable and honestly I am so glad that I have kids to take care of because I think it would have felt even worse. Or maybe not, maybe I would have had more time to actually take care of me. Not sure. The debate is still going on with that one. But at times even that didn’t matter – I was simply just going through the motions of everyday life.
Then the day came when the kids were at his house, and for the first time ever I was completely alone in this house – all by myself, confound by the eerie quietness, and the echo of the TV bouncing off the walls. I felt empty. I hated it. I hated being alone.
Then self-doubt crept in, and that swiftly turned into a constant, brewing anger! And almost every day I asked myself “What the fuck have you done?! What the fuck!?!
“You fucked it all up.”
In my first post after the initial days of the separation called Be Still My Broken Heart, I wrote:
My insides had been transformed to absolutely nothing. Just pain. This is the end, I thought. This is really the end. And the tears just keep flowing, like a blood stream from a cut vein, and I can’t stop them. I feel ashamed as the train fills with people and I can feel their glares and stares piercing thru my soul.
But honestly, in so many ways, I do not remember this time very well. There was no one to talk to since I never told anyone about the abuse or his infidelity. I went to meetings and sat quietly in the back then mingled after as if nothing was happening.
The pain was constant, the anxiety never-ending and the depression deep and scary. I lost 30 lb in 2 months. I was pale, and my skin was drooping from the sudden weight loss. I didn’t sleep. I didn’t do much of anything. I tried to just continue my life as if nothing ever happened, you know, for the kid’s sake. But who was I fooling? They knew, I knew, there was no way to hide from this.
I do remember meeting with the ex after I had drafted the first divorce paperwork and my lawyer advised me to tell him about it first before I email the documents to him. Through the conversation he was very apologetic – as always after a huge fight. He admitted his faults and said he would try to do better. I handed him the printed copy of the Separation Agreement and he got up abruptly and left.
I sat there on the couch for a while wondering if maybe this time he really meant that he would try to do better, like he always promised, but then I forced myself to remember our last fight, and what finally threw me over the edge.
If I knew then how difficult divorce would be I am not sure I would have filed – and this is a truly honest feeling, even though now I am really glad that I did file for a divorce and I am 100% sure that this was the right thing to do. Yet, the last 2 years have been the most difficult and heartbreaking years of my life. Even harder than the year my mom passed away – for in that instance there was a certain end, and in this instance the end is still the most uncertain.
To be continued…
This is a 4 part personal story. Depression is part 2. To read part 1 – Divorce, click HERE.
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*Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD. AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using (Ref: NIAAA).