When you spend a long period of your life defining yourself in specific terms, it's hard to imagine who you are when you no longer have those terms confining your definition.
Wow! That sounds a lot more sage like than I usually do...
Let me see if I can explain.
When I used, it was part of how I defined who I am. Even before I got sober, I defined myself as a drunk. Part of my personality was wrapped up in finding the next drink or drug. Part of it was defined by the need to do so.
Once I got sober, I replaced that part of the definition with alcoholic and addict and the part of me that was wrapped up in getting wasted was now wrapped up in staying clean and sober.
That's an easy one though.
I went from one thing to another.
But this point in my life is different. Really different.
I'm going from something to nothing. And everything has changed (or is going to). Even my name.
If you've defined yourself as half of a whole, who are you when the whole no longer exists?
A large part of my definition of myself over more than a decade was as a wife. As my ex's wife. As almost an extension of him.
How do I define who I am now? How do I recover the pieces of me that I've lost?
I guess that I try to remember who I was before. Not that I want to go back there, but to remember what I liked, how I defined myself.
Because one of the things that I blame myself for in the failure of my marriage is that I didn't stay true to myself. I liked the things that he liked. Even when I didn't. I let him steer our lives for the most part, even when I disagreed.
I subjugated my own desires, wants and needs to his.
The advantage of having a long divorce is that you have time to think about all of these things. You have time to figure out which things you like because you like them and which things you like because he liked them. I've done a lot of work on it because I don't want to make the same mistakes in my life twice.
I've spent the majority of the last two years asking myself the following question:
Do I really like this or do I like it because he did?
I've gone back to liking the music that I really like. I've gone back to acting the way that I like. I've gone back to thinking about things the way that I used to. Mostly.
As with anything, it's a work in progress. I can't undo more than a decade's worth of confusion in two years....
But if I take a snapshot of my life now and a snapshot of my life when my marriage broke up, I'm a very different person.
Now, I'm almost me again. And I'm ready to move on.
Just Keep Coming Back
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