If I had a dime for every time I was asked the question, "How are you doing?" I would have been retired long ago resting on a beach somewhere. Years ago, a dear friend of mine, and therapist, told me that the word fine is a cover up word. A what? A cover up word for, Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.
I remember thinking about that acronym for several days. I was, at that time, all of those things. I don't know if my friend had lovingly presented those words to me because she knew I needed them or if we were talking about someone else at the time. I don't recall. However, those words have stuck with me for more than fifteen years. As a result, I am very thoughtful about how I answer that question, "how are you doing?"
When I was in the midst of my second divorce I was mostly neurotic. Divorce effects every aspect of your life, and I was no exception to that rule. I was unstable, just barely hanging on and it took everything I had to get out of bed and start a new day, each day. I had no idea where I was going, I had no idea who I was- I lost my identity.
I'll never forget the night I went to the grocery store to stock my new apartment. Glad to be on my own, and in my own space, but completely lost at the grocery store as I tried to think of what I liked to eat? I couldn't believe it! I actually had forgotten what I liked to eat! Then, I got mad at myself for allowing this to happen. How could I have this menu in my head memorized for someone else and not consider what I like to eat? I was so pissed off!
I walked around the grocery store for three hours. Not kidding. I realized that all my moves were controlled for the past 17 years of my life by someone else. Even what I shopped for. And I had no idea, until that night in the grocery store. First, I headed to the frozen food section for some egg rolls, one of the foods I was not allowed to purchase in the relationship. Then, over to the wine department because I knew wine would taste amazing with my egg rolls that night!
Then I started loading up the cart with all kinds of awesome things that I had not eaten in years! Forget the damn potatoes and pork chops, I bought three different cheeses, some crackers that "I" like and fruit. That was my first dinner in my new apartment. I went home, put in a DVD, opened my bottle of wine and set up a nice buffet of cheeses, fruit, and egg rolls. It was the best damn meal I had in a very long time!
That night was the first time in my life I felt free. I realized that I had the rest of my life in front of me and no one would stop me from living my life. I was free to wear the clothes I like, go to shows, read when I want, take walks, go to church, pray, and return to my creative side. I could meet up with friends and be myself without getting questioned when I return home. I could speak to whomever I like, and I knew that I never, never had to explain myself ever again!
I began a journey that night in the grocery store that I was always meant to be on. I am able to look at my past as a great learning experience. I have many wounds that have healed, a few scars to remind me of who I was and who I will never be again. And so, I am here with you, inviting you into your life. A life free from the loneliness of a broken relationship. There is a way to heal and to move on. You were meant to live a life using your gifts!