February 18th, 2014, I became officially single after 7 years of not being single.
I haven't really told my story of divorce on this blog because this blog is still pretty new and I don't talk about divorce as often as I used to when my divorce was fresher and more painful. Although, who am I kidding, it'll always be somewhat painful.
Because now divorce is just a part of me. It always will be. Nothing is going to change that.
And that's really ok with me.
I still get angry sometimes. I still get so damn angry about what could've been or how much this affects the kids or how much I hate the aspect of dating all over again---this time with two kids.
It's still really hard sometimes. Really hard.
But I've realized that isn't going to change. It's going to be hard sometimes. It's going to be messy and confusing and really crappy.
Divorce is crappy, you guys. The only word more useful in describing how I feel about divorce starts with an "sh" and I'm not sure my mother would appreciate reading that here.
It was two years ago that I received a big manila envelope in the mail signed by an Arizona judge and realized that my divorce was final. It had only been six months since he'd left our home and I had been blindsided.
I had been waiting for that paperwork and I was anxious for it to be signed and done with because the process had been a bit confusing and extremely painful.
And when it came, it was overwhelmingly bittersweet. I remember laying in my bed in disbelief that this had all really happened. I was pretty sure I would wake up and we'd be a happy family again.
I had nightmares for a long time. Every. Single. Night. I had extreme anxiety. Every. Single. Day.
I had fears that everyone secretly thought this was all my fault, that I wasn't good enough or worthy enough for marriage.
It was so hard for the kids. There were tears most nights and they would go weeks without being able to sleep in their own beds.
His side of the bed was quickly taken over by them. It was now theirs. Because not only did they need me, I needed them. Our healing was and is a team effort.
It's weird because it actually feels like it's been longer than two years. I have a hard time remembering what it was like to be married and not doing all of this on my own. I have a hard time remembering so many things from my marriage but they still pop up sometimes and depending on the memory, I'm either hit with a wave of anxiety or a smile comes across my face.
I was close to tears because for some reason, I really just wanted to remember something good and not feel so hurt by the anniversary.
As I was driving and becoming more frustrated, a song came on the radio that hit me with an extremely vivid memory from a year before our divorce where we were driving to Tucson and I was singing AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS like a crazy person and all 4 of us were laughing so hard.
I could feel my lips start to curve upward and I started to laugh and sing with the radio.
When the song ended, I thanked God for sending me that memory.
Marriage was hard but it wasn't impossible.
I still strongly believe in marriage.
But as I look back on who I was then and who I am now, I am thankful for what divorce has taught me. I am thankful that I've been able to grow from this experience. And mostly, I'm thankful that God has been with me every step of the way throughout this journey.