I’ve been going through another bout of depression since the argument with my husband I mentioned a few weeks ago. There are things that gnawed at me, played in my head repeatedly because I fixate on everything and I analyze the words until I can’t break them down anymore. Then there are some things that were said that simply changed things between us. Those are the things that clung like a 1000 pound weight to my face and dragged me down. I couldn’t breathe. Even in the aftermath of the fight itself when I started to sort through the rubble, I replayed those words and knew I would be thinking of them for a long time. They were weapons and they were chosen, aimed, and deadly—and they hit their mark. People can say they are sorry, but in every heated moment, there is the possibility of some truth that comes out, so even during “reconstruction” you ask if there is still some truth to it. It doesn’t go away.
While the words hurt and certainly changed things between us, I had a decision to make. I wasn’t exaggerating when I said my world fell apart. I had no clue who I needed to be in those moments after the words were said. I had no footing, no bearing in my life and I felt that way for a while. I knew I didn’t want to be in that position again. I knew I needed help and that anything I did wasn’t about my husband—the next steps were about me. They were about looking forward and making the choice to do something different, to take control of my life rather than control everything around me. That’s a novel approach. Immediately discomfort washed over me. How do I function, how do I lead without setting expectations and having people follow them? How do we get what we want out of life if we don’t do what we are “supposed” to do? What do we tolerate and allow as far as straying from the path before we need to walk away without it becoming a control thing?
As it would happen, when I felt I was at my lowest and ready to give up, I came across some posts from a few people I follow. One of them is an inspirational leader and she happened to be re-hashing the story of how she started doing what she was doing. She shared that she had just finished grad school and was out of work. She had moved to another state with her husband and couldn’t find anything. She shared how she needed to go to the deepest parts of herself to heal and work through the fear she experienced at being relatively alone with no way to support herself. She had to learn to take care of herself in order to move forward. She learned to share her healing with others and it started a business for her and she said that it was in her “dark night of the soul” where she learned all the skills she needed to move forward successfully. I started thinking about the argument I had with my husband and the things he said. Yes, they were hurtful but was there a reason behind them? What and who had I become?
When someone you’ve been with for over two decades starts saying things they’ve never said before, you have to examine the whole situation. I realized I was in my dark night of the soul. Lost, confused, and alone. I was acting completely out of alignment with my values and who I am and I began to see glimmers of the frustration my husband had and why. I wish he was able to see the same from my perspective, however, I know now I have no say in that, no control. This had to be about me and learning to redirect my focus inward. I have to learn to love myself again. It’s time to complete the past and give up on “how it’s supposed to be” and fully embrace the present. Fully embrace building the new rather than “correcting” or rehashing the past. What’s gone is gone and done is done so take the pieces you have and focus on building the new. Focus on what feels good.
I was uncomfortable so I controlled. Now I’m learning to be me so I allow. Unleash the authentic me. It’s amazing how we create these facades to protect ourselves and we integrate them so deeply we confuse that image with our identity. Ironically what we use to protect ourselves is so far from who we are and it gets so heavy that holding it becomes impossible—but so is putting it down. We can’t be vulnerable. I did the same within my own family. I wanted things to look a certain way and that control was about protecting myself. THAT is what I need to work on. At my core I’m a deeply fun-loving person with a wicked sense of humor and I see the possibilities. I just have to allow. Release the fear. So while the initial argument took me for a spin, I know more about who I am. My dark night showed me the light—the light from within. The bottom becomes the beginning.