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23,040 Minutes

23,040 minutes.

Or, if you prefer, 384 hours.

 

That’s precisely how long I’ve been staying at Camden Holly Springs.  The place I’ve called home since 22nd August.  Seems so odd to say that.  As is doing things by myself.  Normal, everyday things such as taking out the trash.  Pumping gas into the car, going to the car wash too.  Cooking for one (I still keep cooking far too much but I’ll get the portions right eventually, I know it).  Getting acquainted with a washer and dryer that aren’t Samsung red boom boxes. Realising that I can decorate things however I please (hence the red couch, moo moo cube, tray tables, bedroom furniture, and night lamps).  Yes, in case it wasn’t already apparent, I’m going with black, red and white with touches of grey/chrome 🙂 I shan’t lie, it’s going to take a while to get accustomed to these (shall we call them) adjustments but I know they’re part of the process in this journey towards my new norm.  And I look forward to embracing them.  Wholeheartedly.

Now, the blog.  Initially I told myself that, from September onwards, I would jump headlong into the fray and commit to publishing posts thrice weekly, like before.  Then the reality of unpacking and tidying and putting away things kicked in, and before I knew it, more than two weeks had passed since I moved.

How quickly time speeds by when changes are a-foot.

Conversely (and most ironically), time also appears to slow to a screeching, horror-movie slow-mo halt when changes are in the air, don’t you think?

B Y    T H I S,    I' M    R E F E R E N C I N G    R O U T I N E S

Things that one does subconsciously.

Acts borne out of habit.

I’m quite certain we’re all guilty of this.  And I’m no different.  I (still) find myself behaving or thinking in a certain way that harks back to the past, then catching myself in the middle of it.  Pausing.  Re-evaluating the deed, why it happened, and then consciously cleaving it off.

As my psychologist affirms, there is a lot of untangling to be done, and which must be done cleanly, firmly, kindly and respectfully.

She tells me that it is far better to rip off a band-aid then to slowly peel it thus prolonging the pain and agony.  I agree but the right way isn’t always the easiest way.  Come to think of it, it’s usually the hardest.  She also tells me it’s perfectly alright and understandable if I am a smidge slow in breaking those patterns of which I speak.  And that even after much time has passed, there will still be moments when I find myself doing something out of habit.  That it’s normal human behaviour, and that I really should stop beating myself up over it.

Which I’ve been doing a lot, apparently.

Blaming myself.

Feeling guilty.

I knew I’d been doing those things but I didn’t realise it was so apparent to those within close vicinity.  Or that these traits could be used against me.  Learned Reminded of this along with several other key life lessons during my last session with the good doctor of psychology.  Additionally, it was (nicely but ever so firmly) pointed out that I needed to make some serious changes in the way I was communicating with people.

To put it bluntly, I have to stop being a doormat.

Being soft-hearted (call it flexible or understanding) is one thing, but being a pushover is a completely different situation 🙂 and I am learning to tell the difference.  Distinguishing between being accommodating and pandering.

No one ever tells you about these things when you end a long-term relationship.  How to behave with your ex.  How not to behave with your ex.  I’m not joking, I promise.

Or that despite being the one to initiate the split, it would still hurt.  That I would also grieve.  Grieve and mourn the loss of what I firmly believed was my fairy tale ending.  No one goes into a marriage (or any relationship for that matter) imagining it would end.  Quite the contrary, we all begin with starry eyes, fervent hopes, and rose tinted dreams of white picket fences (insert wistful smile).  Sometimes, we get to ride into the sunset and live happily ever after.  And sometimes we don’t.  My story was a combination of both in that I did enjoy the rainbows and butterflies for quite a long time, and then I no longer did.  It happens.

I T    I S    V E R Y    N O R M A L

I still have moments when I wonder if I am doing the right thing.  And while those moments are becoming fleeting, fewer and further between as time passes, they still happen.  In the beginning, I used to think of them as the universe telling me I’d made the wrong decision to leave.  That I was utterly mad.  But now, I consider them as reality checks that are very much welcomed.

Moments of (increased) lucidity which allow me to continuously examine and assess where my choices have led me.  To further dissect the consequences of having chosen to focus on me as versus deciding to stay.  The numerous challenges which have come my way since 22nd August 2018, and how I’ve managed to overcome (most of) them.

Yes, I am tired.

I am mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted.  But I wouldn’t trade a single moment of all I’ve gone through in the past several weeks (nor the past 16 years, for that matter) for anything in the world.  The sense of independence and empowerment I’ve experienced since moving out and being on my own has been liberating, to say the least.  I feel strong and alive again.  I feel like me again for the most part, and I know this is but the beginning.

I would love for you to stay with me as I begin my new adventures.

I could really use a friend, or 3,228 🙂

 

Love, Sheela

I link up here.

7 Comments

  1. Susan Marinelli says

    Good for you, Sheela! Leaving a LTR is difficult; it’s like someone died. And an entity did die, or outlived itself. Either way, it takes a lot of re-training, re-thinking and constant assessment, rather like beginning a new relationship does, just not as fun. Seems to me that you are handling it as well as you possibly can. God knows, no one could tell by looking at your outfit! You look absolutely glamorous, and wonderfully put together.

    Like

  2. Suzy Turner says

    Well, you know that you will always have a friend in me, Sheela! I wish we lived closer so we could hang out 🙂
    I’m happy to read that you’re slowly getting through this struggle and coming out, brighter and happier the other side!
    Huge hugs from Portugal
    Suzy xxx

    Like

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