Every major event ends, usually quite abruptly, there’s a big build up the event and then just like that, it’s over. Christmas, birthdays, wedding planning, moving house, even my dance shows. There’s the planning, preparation and build up, the event, then the lull, the aftermath, the post show blues, January lull that leaves you thinking “now what?”
Well I’ve the post divorce blues. It’s all over, it’s finally sorted. No more fighting. No more stressing. No more carrying that burden with me at the back of my mind. But now what?
I’m glad it’s done, I can finally let out a big exhale and put everything behind me and properly move on with my life. But it’s not that easy or simple and I’ve found myself a bit lost recently.
I’ve been fighting for a long time, long before I finally walked away. The entire relationship I carried with me a nervous angst, I kept hiding a secret, painting over the cracks, treading on egg shells and keeping up appearances for fear of anyone knowing the truth and that our happy marriage was phoney. I’ve carried this bag of mixed emotions and trauma with me for a lot of years, I’ve been fighting the emotional effects it’s had on me for a long time. Now it’s over, it’s like my subconscious is lost, it’s so used to having something to worry about, to panic over, to try and process that now I’m also looking for things to be upset about. I’ve grown so used to having to cope and survive, to strive towards things being better and for everything I’ve had to suffer and go through to go away that now it finally has, I don’t know what to do with myself.
Truth is, the “now what?” is time for calm, it’s time for peace and normality, it’s time for mundane, it’s time for relaxation and it’s time for putting the trauma behind me. A good friend said to me, “I think you need to cut yourself some slack, relax and remember that you’ve been through an awful lot!” His comments were right and he reminded me of just how much I went through and that sometimes my memories of it all seem like an out of body experience, like I cannot believe just what I actually had happening in my life at that time, like it was something out of a soap or film. He reminded me that it is a big deal and not something to forget or let go away easily and that it’s ok really to feel like this, that it’s normal to not quite understand the normal, stress free and mundaneness of day to day life. He also put an exciting spin on it, I was a lot younger when I embarked on my marriage and that now it’s over I’m older, wiser, stronger and able to think about what I really want and like and enjoy in life.
Someone else told me that the “now what” was time to forget it all and stop talking about it. But actually that’s wrong, I know that from my experiences of working with many students over there years that may have been through difficult times, I know that from how studies and support for various mental health issues and victims of difficult times. I get the point the person was making, that it doesn’t need to be at the forefront of my mind anymore and it’s time to focus on other things, but I’ll never stop talking about what I went through or forget it. It’s shaped and made me the strong and honest person I am today and it’s made me want to share my story and fight to raise awareness of these issues, generate further support for others in my situation. So it’s not about not talking about it or forgetting it, it’s about not letting it define me in a negative way or be detrimental to my life moving forward. That’s what this person meant.
So now what? Well now, I’m going to focus on the things and the people that make me smile, that make me feel good. I’m going to try rest a bit, live for each day as it comes and bizarrely not strive for anything. For so many years I’ve been fighting, pushing and aiming for something, yearning and striving for better, for peace, for calm, for happiness. Now I just have that, I’ve got there so it’s time to just sit back and relax as the calm, fight free, future unfolds and I can look around and excitedly say, “now what?”