What I learned in May

I realized a few days into May that I’d forgotten to write what I learned in April. That was the month I moved to Dallas, began to do things with old friends. The details, now foggy. I’m sure there would have been something in there about my gratitude for my friend, Kelly, who is letting me live in her house. And there would be a few lines about doing long drives solo. Something like “It’s no fun.” Or “I don’t recommend it.” That drive is behind me now.

May was a difficult month, most of it spent with morning (and sometimes all day) nausea. On any given am, my mind was in a frenzy, particularly in the very early hours while it was still dark. There was fatigue and fear and adjustment. Cancelled appointments. Tears. A reaching out from one of my husband’s exes, notes compared. then validation for us both. A visit to the ER and a concussion. CPR class. Weekly therapy. Fingerprints for my RN license. The dentist. A tremendous upset involving my daughter ( everything is OK now). There was also Elizabeth Gilbert, the Engaged Artist Award. A visit with my son. Appointments with doctors and a new diagnosis. My weight finally settling on the same number day after day. A check written to me for work done. Time with extended family. The continued support of friends here, in DC and in Washington. The arrival of the initial divorce papers; they remain unsigned. That’s quite a lot in just 31 days.

The best thing about May, though, is that for the past week, there has been little to no nausea in the mornings!!!! That is the best thing about the month of May. Woo Hoo! Hallelujah! Yippee!

Patience, I’ve been writing about her from the very beginning. She’s still not my best friend. I am doing better. Somehow.

Mindfulness and breathing take tons of practice. One does improve over time. You just have to keep at it.

Friends can be truly amazing, especially if I allow them to help you.

I can stand up to my husband, stop putting him first. I’m the important one here.

The first medication you try doesn’t always work. Sometimes things get worse before getting better. Damn, those side effects. I learned I needed to just trust my doctor.

I can be hit with news that takes me completely by surprise. You never know what any given day might bring, including an award worth $5000.

Women can bond over various things. Put two together who have suffered at the hands of the same man, and POW!

I’ve learned to enjoy television again.

Fear can be paralyzing. You just put one foot in front of the other. And when that’s impossible to do, you just stand there a little longer before moving on.

Self-love is the best gift you can ever give yourself. It can also be the hardest to do.

Mockingbird males sing at night to attract females. They are as persistent as hell. And persistence is really a great characteristic to have.

The rain in Dallas has been a comfort to me.

If you keep following your passion, have faith, stay open, there’s no telling where you can go. You just keep moving forward. It requires work but is so worth it in the end.

God is always there. You have to be quiet, pay attention and wait. He is as close as your breath.

I don’t need to live with should’s and shouldn’ts. I am the master of my own ship, I decide what I want, what is best for me. It’s nobody else’s business how I spend my time.

You should never give up; tomorrow is almost always better after a night of sleep.

My children are my heroes. They take a tremendous load off my back just when I need it most.

 

 

Going through an old journal

I’ve been going through an old journal from last year. It feels odd to be writing about anything other than India and the aftermath on Me and the Cows. I’ve recently written about nausea and boobs and self-love but some of those things don’t feel like they belong there; they feel foreign and out of place. Imposters. It’s been difficult to change gears. Although I’m not feeling nearly so negative, I want to continue (at times) to write about what happened back in hot, chaotic India.

I was amazed when I realized this afternoon that if things had worked out, I’d still be in India today. There would have been an extra four months of very exciting things to write about. But my story didn’t end that way.

There were so many painful months in India. I’d not publicized the depth of my worry and stress and despair. For quite some time, I’d tried to stay positive, write anything good that my husband might have done. He’d voiced his concern about his image, saying I was only posting one side of the story when I did write things which (he thought) put him in a negative light.

Back on December 15 I’d written in my journal:

We got back yesterday (14th). I’m so upset I can hardly stand it. I think he’s going to leave me. And I just can’t go back to Seattle, not this winter.

I chose not to write anything in my journal on the 14th- but a portion of my post on my blog for that day read:

The little hotel was just minutes from the Cochi airport, thankfully. That was the easiest part of my day. First flight at 7am (a mistake on the time initially), a long talk up high in the sky on the way back to Delhi. A real low; I can’t even write about it. Delhi to Varanasi, a shorter but pretty tough ride. A long traffic-filled drive back to the flat. Tomorrow my husband leaves for a three day conference on Buddhism; I chose to stay here, solo.

The fact is, I’d given up the chance to go to the conference on Buddhism; it was a way to give my husband more “space”. Now I look back and think I should have told him to suck it up, the way I was supposed to do. His trip turned out to be longer than I’d thought; I was alone in the flat for five nights. No heater, the temperatures in the 40’s. We had some extra blankets which were thin, very colorful and smelled of chemicals. It was difficult to take a shower with such a chill in the air. I slept with a dark green fleece jacket and long johns, a grey wool hat on my head. A pile of stiff stinky blankets. And worried about my marriage.

An email from a friend on Dec 14:

I would ignore his threats about trust. He needs to earn that trust…that’s his problem too…earning trust. That trust issue is what has dogged him in other relationships. 

If he wants to divorce then say okay fine go ahead but you won’t be any further along in learning anything about yourself or is it that you think it’s everyone else that needs to change and work on things and not yourself!

I got news for him ..it’s a 2 way street. He has to commit or it’s done. 

My husband returned from the conference, ready to “commit”. He wanted the relationship but there was one hitch. He wanted me to leave India, to spend the next five months of my still new marriage, alone in the states.

I felt I had nowhere to go.

Friends

I’ve been thinking about all the important people in my life. There are family members, friends, people I’ve never met who follow my blog. My relationship with each is different; sometimes I want to be friends more than others do, sometimes their lack of interest or participation in my life really pains me. My son says to give up on those people, but for some reason, I keep trying again and again and again. Maybe I’ll learn one day, give up the battle; it’s one sided.

When I was in India, I felt very alone. Emails between some of my friends were few and far between. This made me feel sad and abandoned; I know my self-esteem plummeted, feeling certain people really did not care about me. The best thing it did was make me realize the value of true friendship. I now see true friendship as requiring loyalty, time, commitment. In a nutshell, work. But I don’t want to bad-mouth those who were such a disappointment and some of them ended up coming around. I want to write about the two people who, early on, carried me, who helped save my sanity while I was feeling more and more alone and despondent in a third world country. There are others who, later came to my rescue, but these two were the initial ones. They honestly gave me such hope and support, literally turned my life around.

One, I’d only met once. She had gone to high school with my husband.; we’d met at his high school reunion right before taking off to India. And she was going through terribly rough trials of her own: an aggressive cancer. This feisty woman sent me an email with a list of 10 things to consider. After that, there were emails galore, despite her daily battles, she was always there for me. I wrote about her in my blog:

Today I feel like I’ve been given an injection of the best medication in the world. A shot in the hip, that’s often where they give you the very powerful ones. Well, I’d take a shot in the butt every day to feel like I felt this morning when I opened up my email. I really appreciate the emails from the women who correspond with me, but today, well, hers was like ten billion cherries on top of the cake. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You know who you are. I’ll be posting those 5 new outfits as they come along.

The second, a part of a couple I met through my husband. Feisty as well, she was often calling “bullshit” on so many of my husband’s thoughts and plans. She was direct and honest and dealing with some very scary things in her own life. Due to privacy issues, I can’t write too much more about her here. But I can say she has been a wonderful friend.

Neither of these women wanted me to lose myself. There was no “Ok, honey, I’ll go along with whatever you say.” They told me to stay strong, not put up with all my husband’s bullshit. I felt validated and accepted and understood. They let me know I wasn’t crazy or asking too much. They helped ground me in reality. There were days when they both emailed me several times within a few hours as I dealt with extreme anxiety and fear over the next “talk”, or the ending of my marriage. These two women were always by my side (even though it was in cyberspace). I just want them to know how much I appreciate their love and support. This is not to say there have not been others (because there have), but these two were the ones who helped me survive, right from the get go. I will always love them.