One of the most fascinating things about this experience for me has been how surprisingly calm I am for the majority of the day. Had you asked me months ago what I would be like if my marriage ended I would have said “an absolute disaster.” I would have envisioned hours of crying and inability to sleep, days of skipping work and staring into space, weeks of begging and doing nothing but sleep. And yet, it has been none of those. Although I have cried, I have also slept. I have not missed a day of work…in fact, I have been coming early and leaving late. I want nothing to do with staring into space. I have not begged. I have not spent a single, entire day in bed.
But there are moments…
When I walk across my work campus alone and I have to suddenly hold my breath because I fear the next one will bring with it uncontrollable tears.
When I hear someone say “husband” on the radio while driving and I grip the steering wheel a little tighter.
When I scroll through wedding posts, engagement announcements, or gender reveal pictures on Facebook and I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
When I hear Adele’s “When We Were Young” at a Dunkin Donuts as I stand in line waiting to order my medium coffee light and sweet (or cold brew black) and I pretend I’m fixing my eyeliner when really I’m just letting the tears pool on to the side of my fingers.
When I see someone who does not yet know and I avoid contact as I chant in my head “please don’t ask, please don’t ask.”
When I’m laughing with a friend or coworker and suddenly I feel like I’m two people at once – one who is going to be ok and another who wonders if she ever will be.
When I notice the clock getting closer to the end of the work day, signaling the time to return to a home I didn’t ask for, and I can actually feel a rope connecting my heart and throat as if they are playing tug-of-war.
When I’m out with friends having a seemingly good time and a memory makes its way into my head so I make fists, pressing my nails into my palms because I heard that your body can’t feel pain in two places at once.
And you can’t. Your brain also can’t handle dealing with so much hurt…so it doesn’t. So for most of the day you’re fine, and smiling, and laughing, and telling yourself you will rise above this.
But there are moments. Too many moments.