Alone

For the first time in about 30 years I am alone. I am by myself with absolutely no one near. For once I am completely and utterly alone. It feels strange and I am not really sure I like it. I wonder…is this what divorce feels like?

I thought being alone would feel wondrous…and it does. Walking around in my underwear has its perks. Sleeping alone naked in bed does too. Having a clean kitchen when I woke up just like I left it the night before seems analogous to some sort of religious experience. Eating when I want, if I want, brings new meaning and new tastes to food. I can sit and type all day or take a nap with no schedule to tether me to the world’s beck and call.

Yet, being alone feels uncomfortable too… like a woolen sweater meant to keep you warm but instead of the comfort it is suppose to provide it drives you crazy with an itchiness that you just cannot scratch. It feels raw like a Chicago wind in the middle of winter or that elusive pebble in your shoe.

The silence here is deafening. I hear the hum of the refrigerator and the click of the heater as it turns on. Every noise is amplified because of the stillness and as I sit outside sipping my coffee it sounds like I am on a school playground with the calls, caws, and swoops of the birds flying about.

The freedom to do anything I want is almost like a noose around my neck….so many things to do with so little time. I count the hours until I have to leave as I wait for the telephone repairman to show up so I can get on with my day. I have cliffs to climb, trails to follow and things to discover. I want to know if these things are as meaningful when discovered alone or is there a greater meaning when it is a shared experience with someone you love?

Alone is freeing. Alone is confining. Alone is amazing. Alone is lonely. Alone is what I want to be right now and I am thankful that I get to experience what it feels like to be alone. Just me, myself and I.

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Later as I walk the cliffs I discover that I really am not so alone after all.IMG_6923

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Chiggers

 

My therapist tells me that I need to “just sit with it.”

Don’t make any decisions and don’t go planning out your entire life

In a moment of fear or concern

Just sit with it…listen to it

But how does one do that with this sort of news?

Because as I sit in the silence

Trying to meditate myself out of the place I am in

I hear the incessant buzzing of an annoying insect

Trying to tell me something

That I don’t want to hear

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Just sit with it…feel it

But instead I feel the sharp bites of chiggers

Trying to get my attention

Biting around my ankles

So I will get up and move

From this place that is suppose to be a refuge

Away from what is suppose to be a peaceful spot in my mind

While agreeing with myself that sitting with “it”

Is much too hard

I know I over think… over analyze

I have enough 20-year freeze dried food

In my pantry I feed us for a year

In case of a holocaust

I am prepared for every disaster, every emergency

Except this….not this

B says, “I don’t want to think about the future

I just want to live in today”

Smart man

I wish I were that way

Able to block out what I do not want to deal with

Or compartmentalize things in lockers so deep

You die with them stuffed deep inside

Locks rusty and worn but secure

Taking them with you

To God knows where

Maybe that is hell

Having to look at those items over and over again

The things you refused to see

When you were alive

The things you could change  but chose not to

Or maybe hell is that place

Where you go over your plans a million times

Trying to change the outcome

But are unable so you remain in that

State of anxiety for eternity

Neither sounds appealing

So I will go and get the bug spray

In an attempt to remove these distractions

And sit with “it”

In the silence

Alone

 

 

Sitting In the Silence

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I don’t do silence well. I do limbo even worse. I don’t like surprises, boys who wear their pants to their knees and men who cheat. I don’t like bologna, sweat pants and gossip. But lately, most of all, I don’t like silence. And lately I have found that within two seconds of quiet I usually fall asleep. Silence also hurts my ears, my sonar, pinging off distant objects trying to track where the stillness is going and what it might lead to.

Recently my therapist, Pema Chodron, and Chel Hamilton have convinced me that I have lots to learn about myself and that sitting with silence may be a key component in my thirst for self awareness and knowledge. I have struggled as I have realized that quietness has brought with it anxiety and fear as I travel this journey called a M.A.Y.B.E. D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

One of the things that I have been trying to learn while sitting in silence is to stop pushing for my desired outcome. I am realizing that I need to let what happens do so in a natural way without undo interference.

Another thing I am working on is to learn to observe rather than act. Acting is fraught with incorrect assumptions and interpretations which often come back to bite me in the butt. But observing when undisturbed gives me a chance for clarity as there is nothing to muck things up.

But perhaps the most important thing I have to do is to train myself to do is to sit in the silence and just be comfortable with it.

Why?

I am told that sitting in/with the silence will teach me to say the things that are important to say rather than chattering away to fill up empty space. The problem with idle chatter is that it is not thought through in a way that provides clarity and offers truth. Rather it often causes more problems due to misunderstanding of what has been said in a haphazard manner.

They also tell me that by sitting in silence it will reduce negative thoughts and shape my thinking in a way that brings greater understanding and peace. By noticing my thoughts and the immediate reaction that occurs upon feeling them; I am told I can let go of those ideas that no longer serve me well. Hypnotist Chel Hamilton has me repeating “Cancel, cancel, cancel” every time a negative thought pops into my head and then replacing that negative with non-emotional observations and it is working. While I was originally “cancel, cancel, canceling” so many times a day I lost count; in the past three days the numbers have come down and I am actually feeling more positive overall.

Sitting with silence is a new concept for me and its a difficult one for someone who likes to put everything under the microscope and examine it in fine detail. But with a soft butt pillow and some duck tape I think I may just be able to pull it off…if I don’t fall asleep first.

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In the Stillness…315 Days To Fix This

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Do you know that blessed silence just before dawn? Those moments before the first chirp of a bird, or toss of the newspaper the second before it hits the pavement and before the first car on the block roars to life and exits the driveway without the driver looking in the rearview mirror because she is always the first on the road?

It’s that peaceful time, a sleepy lackadaisical moment when everything seems right and nothing could possibly be wrong or go south. It is a time for hope, daydreaming, and a mug of hot coffee laced with sweet cream and steam that floats so high in the air it looks as if it is the tail on the end of a kite sliding towards the moon.

Those are precious moments, silent moments, that are yours alone until…

Your wife opens her mouth.

Blaise Pascal said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

I am sure my husband would agree.

When B first mentioned the M.A.Y.B.E.  D.I.V.O.R.C.E. one of the things that made him unhappy (or so he thought) was that I didn’t get up with him in the morning. I didn’t because I thought that it was his private time. A time to relax before the day began and I didn’t want to intrude. But sure, I could accommodate him and in that vein, I told him to wake me up in the morning so that we could spend some time together.

He hated it.

All of a sudden his quiet was gone, vanished like a cockroach in the light. Skittering away to small places where the quiet became the smallest of silent echoes. And where peace once reined now there were questions.

“When did you first feel like you were not happy?”

“Gracie seems to be developing an attitude. How should we fix it?”

“Do you think that love gets easier or harder the longer you are married?”

“Do my thighs looks fat?”

“The dog needs his anal glands expressed. Can you do that?”

I have to confess that the morning togetherness lasted about a week and then he just stopped waking me up. I’ve asked him about it and he says that he needs his time in the morning and if I want to join him I can knowing that he will keep doing whatever he has been doing for the past 10 years. And it makes me sad. I enjoyed connecting in the morning with him but it appears he can do without connecting with me.

But I have a plan. Tomorrow I will get up with him and just sit quietly. I won’t ask questions, I won’t make comments and I will just sit. Peacefully. Mute. Serenely. And utterly still.  Because sometimes in those stolen peaceful moments just before dawn you can find things by just observing in the stillness. And I am looking…for what’s left of my marriage and myself. Perhaps, I will find it in the quiet right before the muffled sounds that signal a new day and a new way of relating.