From Hell to Happiness: Advice from a Betrayed Wife
In my last post, one of our commenters, Eat My Scabs (love that name!) noted that she'd moved through the numbness, a stage that trips so many of us up and holds us too long.
I asked how she'd done this, as I feel I've lost some of my former passion for life.
Here's what she said. Wise and do-able. We would do well to take her advice, perhaps one piece at a time if that's all we can manage.
Emotions can be so crazy, can't they? For me, post D-Day was the most difficult phase to get through. It's like you say, bland. I felt lost and numb. Like residual Novocaine spreading into my gut and through my limbs. A coma. I remember spending lots of time on my couch in my sweatpants with a bag of cheesy popcorn. Staring at the ceiling, comatose. This isn't wrong. There is a time for wallowing and grieving our losses. I remember the day I decided to get up. The thought had to come to my brain and then I told my brain to tell my heart and then my heart told my feet to get up and change my life and be happy. There have been many phases since that day, anger, bitterness, loss of hope, loss of respect, hatred, nothingness... I can create a peaceful life around me even though Mr. Scabs' life may be hectic and hellish. It's not my life. Sure it's part of my life, but it's NOT my life. My friend made a list about this very thing. She outlines 8 things that made her accountable for her own happiness even after her husband of 6 weeks left her with no explanation: •Only engage in relationships that make you feel uplifted. Let go of the people who pull you down. •Make better use of your time. Minimize your obligations to the most important tasks and get rid of all time-wasters. •Train your mind to think positively and look for the good in yourself and in the world. Purge your mind of toxic thoughts and stop being self-destructive. •Try to improve your better habits and minimize your poor habits. You will feel better about the person you are. •Be courageous! Don't be afraid to walk against the crowd if your values don't align. Live what you think is good! •Be emotionally independent. Don't let yourself rely on another person for happiness. Be in control! •Think more compassionately! Imagine what it's like in another's shoes. Be patient with people. •Serve. Be completely bold and sincere when loving and caring for other people. I believe thoughts are more tangible and real than we think. Not that we can actually touch them, but that our thoughts become real. Focusing on MY happiness, on my life makes me happy. I had a hard time with this because i felt like it was selfish, but it isn't. It's our gateway to freedom. Plus, as we can see, giving anyone the the power to make us happy/or unhappy seems like a loss of my own free agency. Does this make sense? Am I rambling? I know we feel numb from this trauma – but if we start the seed of happiness in our minds, we will be able to feel passionately again. Numbness is part of grieving and then as time goes by it seems like numbness just became a habit of protecting myself. I remember being afraid to take the leap and start feeling again – it's like a step into the unknown. Opening ourselves to feel is scary – but life will become more full when we do open. And when the bad comes our way (no one is exempt) we will be able to feel it and it won't destroy us. We will know how long we can "wallow in it" (which I like to do for a bit) and then we will know when it's time to stand up, choose happiness and move on. Pain scars all of us. It may come in a million different ways – death, disease, betrayal, loss, addiction...but it feels intensely our own. We need each other. Sharing our pain lightens the load. I guess, ultimately, I want to feel joy, so my brain starts to think of joyful things and my body starts to feel it and then before you know it I'm happier than a bird with a french fry.