Yesterday I had a tough day, full of lessons about living mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually everywhere but in the present. I woke up with a splitting headache, an upset stomach, and a feeling that I could hardly catch my breath. Ahh, something about this was wa-a-ay too familiar. Still, I wanted to think maybe I really was sick. I took some ibuprofen. It didn’t put a dent in the headache. I ate a small, easy to digest breakfast. My stomach was no more settled. I drank several glasses of water, just in case the headache was from being dehydrated. I live in a semi-arid climate, and pretty high altitude. How I hoped what was wrong could be solved by water.
Eventually I had to admit it. I was full of anxiety. Crippling anxiety of a kind I haven’t experienced more than four or five times since those years in my thirties when my life was pretty much run by it. It was a beautiful morning, the air was clear and cool, the trees are letting go of their leaves and the colors of the landscape are warm and comforting as the earth prepares for winter. I made myself go to my Sunday morning meeting to spend an hour in a good place with lots of other people, some of whom are good friends. A friend of mine asked me how I was as I went to sit near him.
“I feel terrible,” I said. “I’m having a lousy day. That’s how Chris is today,” I replied.
“Let me guess,” he said. “Something’s happened and you are just going round and round in your head and you can’t let go of it.”
Today is the day the lawyer mails the letter to my ex-husband that will require him to put the house on the market. The letter is not something new I’m initiating, it’s just a legal process to finish what’s already in the four-year old divorce decree. It’s taken me four years to get to the point where I am willing to stand up to a very volatile personality and request what is mine already. To take what is mine already is a better way of putting it. I thought it wouldn’t bother me so much to actually do this. As I’ve said before, the legal process is pretty simple. It’s pretty cut and dried. In my head, however, it’s anything but.
“What if my children are mad at me? What if they judge me for taking their father’s home away from him when he is in a not-so-fortunate financial cycle in his life?”
What if they are? That’s not my problem. He’s had the same opportunities in life that I have, maybe more.
“What if my ex-husband is truly angry at me and does his best to poison an already difficult process of change between myself and my adult children?”
What they all think of me is none of my business. I have to do what I have to do to take care of myself. Taking care of myself, in the end, also takes care of them.
Does that matter? I don’t know any of these things, anyway, and the man lives two miles away. What I need to let go of is the picture in my head of my family. A non-existent, old, limiting, stifling to be exact, way that I left years ago. The house is simply a symbol of what was. The divorce decree said it was to be let go. I guess on some level I had a hard time letting that happen. Not so anymore. Time to say goodbye so I can move on and truly create a new life. Yes, I’ve already done that on lots of levels, but now it’s time for the real moving on. Time to drop the past, which is gone anyway.
The rest of my day yesterday wasn’t much better. After my meeting I tried to go up to another town where Colorado State University plants thousands of flowering plants in a public park. I wanted to take pictures to accompany my blogs before the cold comes and the flowers are gone for the winter. I got about three-quarters of the way there and I had to come home. The anxiety symptoms got really bad. The headache was blinding. I thought I’d get sick in my car.
I came home and went to bed. I took an anti-anxiety med a friend had given me a long time ago but I had saved. Who knew if it would work? I slept a couple of hours, and eventually did go back and take some nice pictures. Later I watched some mindless TV with my little dog and went back to sleep.
Today is a whole other day. The light is again beautiful and the trees are full of gorgeous color. My daughter is coming over after work and I plan to tell her I’ve sent this letter to her father, just so she can hear my side. Just so she knows. I had hoped I would call her father and tell him before the letter shows up, too. The thought of that is what started the anxiety yesterday. Thank God for email. He’ll get one later, just in case the letter is going to show up tomorrow. I really do know how to take care of myself; sometimes I just need to get out of my own head.