Monday, October 19, 2015

Why Being a Mess is the Perfect Place to Start

"Here is what big life changes pull back the curtain and reveal: we are a mess. We are never the story we construct - whatever that story is - and that’s such good news. Because my story, your story is ALWAYS removed from life itself. Our task, and it’s so hard when comfort is ripped away but that's what makes it good news!, is to shift our allegiance from thinking about our lives to being alive."  ~Jen Louden


  1. Another timely post. I have been having a difficult time holding it all together. I thought I was doing ok and making progress but the last few weeks have been so very hard. Nothing new has happened, I don't really know why it suddenly started to hurt so much again. I have been going over everything in my head. Every word he said when I found out, all the answers to questions I asked. The whole horrible mess! I'm not sure why I am doing this. I feel like I need to stop going over the past and live in the future, but it's so hard. It's like I know what I should do but I can't stop myself thinking about it and it feels like I'm missing out on living. My husband even asked me why was I still talking about her when we should be talking about us. I thought I was doing so much better than I am but of late it feels like I have been fooling myself and I'm still such a mess.

    1. Alone,
      When we feel as though we're slipping back, we fall into the "shoulds". I should be over this. I should be doing better. I should be talking about us not her. Healing does NOT subscribe to the "shoulds".
      You need to give yourself permission to slip back. Maybe you're going over this now because you're in an emotionally stronger place to sift through it all without completely falling apart. Maybe you need to examine it all before you take that next step forward. Be honest with yourself. If you're pain shopping -- simply hanging onto the pain for less-than-healthy reasons -- then take steps to stop. Maybe it's time for an appointment with your therapist to see what's got you focussed again on this. Maybe journalling about it will reveal something. It's often when we're sailing along that we stop doing the things that have got us this far -- the walking, the journalling, the being gentle with ourselves, the self-care -- and then, not surprisingly, we lose our way.
      But sometimes we just need to wallow a bit before picking ourselves back up.
      In the meantime, tell your husband to stuff his "shoulds". He should have kept his pecker in his pants.

    2. Elle has written about recycling through the pain, and that concept has really helped me. I would have some good days, and then when the bad days came, I felt like I was regressing. But it's part of the process, and I am actually making progress, even when it feels like I'm not. I have a bad habit of falling into very black-and-white all-or-nothing kind of thinking. Yes, it would be great if healing was a straight trajectory, but it's not linear. Just like the grieving process. And this is a grieving process. We have to grieve our old lives, the lives we thought we had, before we can move on into a new normal.

    3. I hadn't really noticed but I have let the busyness of life get in the way and have found myself giving up the one or two moments a week that I had devoted to me and my healing. I didn't even notice I was putting my needs below everything else until I read your reply. I am sure this has contributed to the way feel. As I feel sad I will try and look after me better and hope some happiness and calm returns.

    4. It has been 1 year four months and 18 days. Not that I'm keeping track. I have a Pinterest (several) pages and have been having fun with the pinning. So after a year of my being invisible to the OW on the internet, she finds me. And THEN emails me! About what? To leave her alone! LOL. I will say I am with my husband, our marriage is golden, and he has lived up to what a husband should be. As far as I know he has no contact with her (I think it's going to take a long time to trust him). The pain today is the deepest it's been for nearly 3 months. IT DOES GET BETTER. I have read nearly a hundred books and taken the most useful ideas for a daily read. I agree GEE this is a grieving process. I look forward to the day when I also will be able to think "GOSH it's been a few months since I thought of THAT!"

  2. What a great truth- I need this truth. The fact that I am so stuck on thinking about my life and wounds rather than being alive, which is how I'm certain is the only way to heal from the wounds. I love a good nugget of wisdom and you provide and share so much if it. Thank you Elle!



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