Zen and the Art of Disaster Recovery

Facebook post announcing our divorce:

Dana and I were talking about getting married and all of the issues that we’d been struggling with over the last few years came to a boiling point in a way that you’d think we’d be able to fix by now…. and yet, not so much. It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that we announce our separation, and hope that you will continue to pray for both of us as we go on with our lives. Neither one of us could have undergone the type transformations we have over the last few years and still be the same people we were when we started. We’d hoped to have a long marriage with lots of kids and grandkids, but had to put that to a halt when we realized that we weren’t even healthy enough to be in relationship right now. I know you’ll all have a metric fuck tonne of questions, but keep them to yourselves. All you need to know is that Dana and I love each other, nothing will ever change that, but we have reached a fork in the road. It doesn’t mean that our roads are separated permanently, but it does mean that they are separate right now. We each have mental health issues of our own that need addressing. We need time to be us. We need time to find out who we are. If that takes us ultimately back toward each other, great. But no one can plan that far ahead, least of all a couple with two ADHD halves. Please respect that I am absolutely laying as much on the line as I can without breaking confidentiality, and that if there was anything more that either one of us could have done, we would have done it by now. For those of you who expected a phone call, we do not owe it to you. We do not want anyone to feel like they are more important because “they knew first.” It would also not be me if I didn’t end with two things. The first is that we go out with joy. This is not an end, but two new beginnings. The second is that may God forgive us for all the things we have done, and all the things we have left undone.

It’s over. It’s really, really over. Dana and her family are blocked on Facebook, that’s how done we are… but this is not an angry, aggressive move. I do not want to see all the support that pours out for Dana, because I need to be reaching to my own people and not hers. We love each other very much, but it is still not good for both of us to be pouring our stories into the same people, particularly each other.

When you go through a divorce, you learn quickly who your friends are. I mean, the ones that will rush in. The ones who are in proximity. I even mean this with Facebook friends, because miles do not equal distance. There was a period of about six months that Argo and I went barely an hour without flipping each other some sort of shit… sometimes it’s about God (and Not God). Sometimes, it’s about each other’s jobs (Edna’s bringin’ cookies), and sometimes it’s about rap (Andre be praised).

Last night, it was my friends Robert, Stacy, and Ramsey that rescued me. We did nothing. We watched Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day and Steve Carell knocked me on my butt with the funny. There was very little post-mortem and a whole lot of “let’s just do nothing and relax. All of our problems will still be there tomorrow.” That works for three hours.

Too much to think of to let my brain slide out my ear. Actually, that’s been the biggest side effect of the divorce. I cannot control my eating or sleeping…. and by that I mean that I don’t. I can’t make myself sleep more than three hours at a clip, and yesterday my calories consisted of an energy drink early in the day and a shot of amaretto at about 0. I’m going to buy a case of Slim Fast or Carnation Instant Breakfast because I can drink ok, but I have a block on eating. It’s a luxury right now. Too far down. Too anxious. Today I managed lunch. It’s a start.

All the rumination isn’t bad. I am actually very happy to be single, and not in an “it’s great to start dating again” sort of way. Everyone my age knows that shit sucks. I’m just not going to do it. I fell for Dana because she was my friend; she cared and still cares about who I am in joy and pain. You don’t get that from dating. You get that from day in, day out proximity. You get that from knowing the person so well you can read them like a book before you actually start thinking about whether it’s friendship or that OH MY GOD set of fireworks.

No, right now the happiness of being single is being let off the hook for the family obligations of being married. The happiness is being able to bury myself in work and not worry about when I come home or when I stop writing. And for those of you who think that having separate bedrooms made a difference, let me stop you rrrrriiiiiiight there. Our sex lives got HOTTER when we were inviting each other into our beds. So please shut that down. Unrelated.

No, our relationship broke with one fight, kind of like bands that work for 15 years to become an “overnight success.” All of the things we’d done to each other started to show like scars on a battlefield, because while we are fun, funny, and wonderful friends, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a dark side to both of us- I mean, come on. You and I have met.

We have both started to turn toward light- I have found a new psychiatrist/therapist and we’re talking possible med changes, but taking it slow since I’ve been relatively stable on the ones I’ve had for 12 years. Maybe 12 years is long enough for those. I know that I am never going to be stable enough chemical-wise to be off meds, but I am not opposed to new things if they are genuinely better for me. The cycles in my bipolar disorder seem to be less dramatic, but happen more frequently.They used to last a few months- now I’m lucky to get a few weeks. Since I am Bipolar II, I do not truly go into mania. I just get very busy. Sleep is less important and writing becomes more. People think that I write because I am truly manic, and that is incorrect. My lows can go so low that I take the busy when I can get it, capiche? When I’m in a low, I am doing well to function at 85%. There’s no room for things like fun, because my worthlessness loop kicks in for no reason at all. I mean, I always know it’s there, but when I’m in a low, my ATTENTION turns toward it. When I am on the upswing, it’s not that it’s not there. It’s that my attention isn’t glued to it.

I owe a special thanks to Argo. I never would have realized just how much help I needed without her loving and attentive ear, even when I’m being a total douchebag and don’t deserve it. I am lucky that grace and mercy mean a lot to her, because even when we’re mad at each other, neither one of our mother lions turns off. That’s how we roll. She may be a burger-flippin’ ho occasionally, but she is also smarter than I am, and you’ll never hear me say that again out loud.

And on that note, it seems fitting to end with the image that I now carry as my iPhone wallpaper:

keep-calm-and-argo-fuck-yourself

4 thoughts on “Zen and the Art of Disaster Recovery

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