The good news is that you will have more bad days.
I say this not to scare you, but to give you hope. If you are currently going through a divorce, experiencing the pain that comes with an unfaithful partner, or wondering where you are headed when it comes to a serious relationship, you might feel like this is the very worst thing.
Israel and I both know what it feels like…
to not have the capacity to see past today
to cry so hard it physically hurts
to cry out to God in profanity
to not have even one tiny ounce of hope
to want to give up
to feel like a pawn in someone else’s game of life
to feel abandoned
to feel unloved, worthless, unattractive, and worse
We both know.
You might know, too. And if you don’t, chances are you will feel something like this at least once in your life.
Now, the weirdest part for me was the hope I felt when terrible things happened after my divorce. (I wrote about it here.) Why? Because with each hardship I endured, my divorce became further and further from the “thing I had to get through” or “the thing that defined a huge chapter of my life.”
When I found myself mournful about something completely separate from my own divorce, I was moving beyond it. I was healing beyond it. My heart was healing from something else, growing scars and tissue and blood and muscle over the divorce, which was indeed shrinking. This took years, unfortunately, and the timeline is different for everyone.
Bad things will continue to happen. New pain will replace the old pain. New chapters that define parts of your life will continue to be written. Some good things will happen, too. But in my experience, those don’t count for much until the new hard thing happens.
EVEN BETTER NEWS: even if you find love again and remarry, tragedy will find you.
If you’ve been keeping up at all with israelandmelinda, you may have noticed that lately, depression has knocked on our door. I naively thought that marrying Israel would be the solution for our sadness and pain. I was frustrated in the first year or two when things weren’t amazing.
We’d found each other! We were soul mates! What the heck is all this sadness for?!
And now, five little tiny years in to the rest of our life together, I am finally realizing what I should have known all along: that just like bad things happening being a promise, so is unhappiness and clinical depression and sadness and everything else… even in the right marriage.
We both know we are in the right marriage. We know if for many deep and personal reasons.
Yet, six months ago, I was in a darker place than any other time in my life. Now, my husband is finding himself there. Just like kids, we are apparently taking turns with who is having issues. It would be fantastic if everyone could just be great all at the same time and possibly sing kumbaya around the fire.
I have struggled with anger, when it was my dark time. Resentment, questioning my purpose, wondering if my life mattered, and truly feeling like someone forgotten by God… those were my main feelings. EVEN THOUGH Israel was right beside me. EVEN THOUGH I had a good, safe, and loving marriage. Israel couldn’t make those thoughts go away – all the affirmation in the world couldn’t make those thoughts go away. Not until I sought out help and decided that I couldn’t stay this way forever.
Now that it’s my husband’s turn, I have to admit that I have been embarrassed. I have done what we’re probably all guilty of: made someone else’s struggle about myself. Why was I not enough? Why is he so sad, when I am doing better and trying to make each day a good one? Why wasn’t he depressed before, when everything was the worst of the worst of the worst? Why, now that we’re in one of the calmest chapters yet of our marriage, are we dealing with this? Why can’t he see that our life is good?
Well, why the hell couldn’t I see it before? Easy. I was simply unable to. And he didn’t try to force me to see it. Which is what I now need to do for him.
I honestly don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but like Israel has so bravely shared lately, I feel a need to share this part of the story while we are living it. Brené Brown’s Day Two – The Messy Middle.
Someday we’ll get to share Day Three, when things are resolved and better and the new chapter of something terrible is yet to be discovered. Until then, we’ll keep sharing. We’ll keep being vulnerable. We’ll keep talking, loving, feeling our feelings, and supporting one another.
Thanks for joining us in that.
With love and sadness and grief and hope,
Israel and Melinda