Pulling the Pieces Back Together

Hoo boy, it’s been a long and troublesome hiatus. Over the past five months there have been some big shake ups, both good and bad. My marriage went onto the rocks and we are in the process of building it back up again, with some success (bad shakeup but improving). We moved houses in the middle of this into an area where there are more opportunities to socialize (good shakeup). A couple of my elderly uncles had some very serious health problems and are not recovering super well (bad). My health has skyrocketed and I am more motivated than ever to continue with this lifestyle (good). And so on. It’s not like these are particularly unique situations, but they all came crashing down on me. The biggest impact on me was my marriage. It has always been my rock, with my husband as my best friend, but the past few months have taken all that away. We ended up seeing counsellors, both as a couple and as individuals, and I cannot stress the importance of speaking to someone. We’re in the process of building our relationship again, though I can feel deep in my bones that it will not be the same.

A big factor in this has been that I have changed as a person in the past ten months. I’ve stopped drinking and got my shit together. I’m happy. I’ve made new friends. My husband has gone in the opposite direction and is slowly working on turning that around. I’ve had endless positive energy, and he’s had endless negative. It’s been exhausting and confusing, but I’m hoping we’re on the right path to pulling ourselves together again. Of course it’s been a rough couple of years for everyone and I’m shocked that it’s only recently that this has come up with us, but it hit us hard in August. However, we are committed to at least trying our hardest to make it work. I guess I can’t ask for more than that.

What do you do when it’s time to pull the pieces back together? For me I’ve depended more and more on physical activities, including volleyball, strength training and trail running. I’ve found solace from emotional pain in pushing my body to build more muscle and endurance, and it’s genuinely working. I’m not getting manic about it, but I feel ten times better after I’ve done some form of exercise. I’ve also made it into a more social occasion, bringing friends with me to go hiking, playing in a team for volleyball, running with a buddy of mine who used to do ultramarathons. My goal in the next few years is to try something like a Tough Mudder to push myself mentally and physically. Having that on the horizon is like a little beacon of hope that I can work towards.

My counsellor also suggested that rather than constantly discussing our problems and making ourselves feel terrible we should be looking at ways to laugh together again. Throughout these past two months there has been no fighting, no yelling – it’s been very confusing because we woke up one day and had nothing to say to each other. We realized whatever we were doing right now wasn’t making us happy and it went a lot deeper than we thought. So we’re slowly finding activities that we can have some amusing distractions with. We went to the pumpkin patch, go for drives, go bowling, watch live soccer and rugby games. And we are starting to laugh more together. It feels very healing, like even if we decide to part ways at least we gave it a really good chance. I don’t think it will come to that, but I didn’t think I’d ever find myself in this situation either so who knows.

Everything has become a one day at a time scenario for me so that I can examine each piece carefully before putting it where I want it. I have changed, and I don’t want to compromise on who I am now. My husband does support that, but it’s finding out how to fit together now. Perhaps this is my mid-life crisis at the age of 33. Whatever it is, it’s given me a lot of food for thought and also a lot of tools for dealing with hard situations in the future.

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