Writing my way to sanity

The question has come up more than a few times since I began writing a blog, with regards to why I am writing about my divorce experience for all of the world to see. Why can’t I just write it in a personal journal, to keep to myself? Isn’t therapy enough of an outlet to clear my head, and my heart, on a weekly basis?

Why do I need to air my “dirty laundry”?

I’ve been called classless and destructive, defaming and selfish, add in a thoughtless and uncaring parent, and I’m pretty much a social media monster.

At first I felt incredibly guilty, so sure that it was all true because someone else felt that way and had said it, or written it, to me. That’s always been a weakness of mine, believing another person’s opinion of myself over my own.

But then I remembered, just because they say it or feel it doesn’t make it true.

When I first began blogging a few years ago I was looking for my voice, for a way to hone my writing skills, and maybe find a new outlet for my creative brain. I had tried so many other outlets over the last half of my life: aerobics, bootcamp, scrapbooking, camping, school volunteering, crossfit, etc. but none had ever addressed the running commentary going on inside of my own head.

No, I wasn’t hearing voices, just my own.

My own view of the world, the events that affected me and my family and friends. I was almost constantly internally narrating, like an episode of the “Wonder Years” or “A Christmas Story”. My mind a constant screen playing the continuous film reel of my life on scratchy, jumpy 8mm film without a soundtrack.

Okay, maybe a soundtrack sometimes.

One day, a few years ago, it occurred to me to write it down. Get it out of my own head and into a space made for such things. I started off with the desire to write a book. Why not? Isn’t that what all writers aspire to do in their lifetime? That’s the only way to become a “real” writer, isn’t it?

I tried to make that happen for awhile, the outline was completed and I just needed to fill in the meat of the stories, but it was more overwhelming and challenging than I had ever imagined. So many directions to go, where to begin, how to end? I read about “building characters” and plot lines, I even joined a writing challenge to motivate me to get it done. I thought you just sat down and started to write!

I had no idea how wrong I was.

Plus, it would be  time consuming, and as the mother of three, I couldn’t justify carving out the time needed to put my whole heart into it.

Wanting to write a book was like realizing one day that other people were eating and enjoying pie, not just a piece but a whole pie. Pie is good, and I like pie, so I should eat pie, too. Not just a piece of pie, to make sure that I like that kind of pie, no I would get the entire pie, like everyone else had, because I was certain that I would enjoy it as much as everyone else did. Who wouldn’t like to eat an entire pie??

Me. An entire pie is too much pie if you’re just starting to eat pie. Make sense?

So the next best thing was to blog, to write “episodes” of my life instead of an entire made-for-TV movie. Start small and see if it fits. It was a test, really. Can I really write something that other people will read and relate to, or do I only sound interesting inside of my own head?

I stumbled along with the blogging idea for awhile, not really knowing how to hone in on any one area of my life or interest to write about. There are so many possibilities! I was so excited when I had two followers, the thought of having many more than that was beyond my imagination. Who would want to read what I had to say about anything? What made my life so interesting that anyone would care to read about it?

But then life presented a topic.

A topic that affected so many areas of my life, my world, my family and my friends. I began reading articles, books, and blogs on the subject, to understand more about it, but noticed that nobody was really talking about it the way I was narrating it inside of my own head. Not every experience is the same, not every narrative is the same, obviously.

Not every divorce is the same.

I also began to realize that my experience was a slowly growing trend. Friends and acquaintances began approaching me with similar stories once they had heard that I was going through a divorce, looking for support and guidance, someone to say “me too” so they wouldn’t feel so alone. And for some reason nobody was really talking or writing about what was really going on in these divorces, from this point of view or experience.

They felt scared, embarrassed, lost. They felt used and mislead.

Divorce has been around for quite some time, I know. My parents divorced when I was  nine, so it’s not something I had never encountered. But midlife divorce, or what is now coined as “gray divorce”, is a fairly new idea and not one that most people even think about. Once you make it past the twenty, fifteen or even ten year mark you’re solid, right? It’s an easy road from there, you’ve put in the hard work years, sacrificed and raised children together, now it’s smooth sailing and fun until the end of time. Now you’ll travel, take long walks on the beach, grow old together.

Nothing is guaranteed.

So, I began to write. I began to express the voice inside of my own head, my own dialogue, to clear my mind and heart. I also wanted to be a voice for those women in a similar situation, and to let them know that they are not alone. They are not the problem, or a bitch, for feeling this way.

It’s not completely their fault. And it’s okay to have the feelings they are feeling.

I want all of my friends and acquaintances, who are at all of the various points of this process, to know that while it is hard and hurtful, it doesn’t have to destroy you. It can make you stronger, it can make you appreciate who you are and create an entirely new and happy life – now and in the future.

But it will take time.

You can live again, and you will. You can love again, even marry again, but you don’t have to. You just have to find the best version of yourself for yourself, nobody else.

But it will take time.

You have to do what works for you, what fits for you, what makes you feel whole again. Screw the haters, the judges of your life choices, and the stiflers of your voice. Everyone is entitled to their own story and how they choose to tell it, and to whom they choose to tell it to. Privately or publicly, as long as you express the truth, nobody can tell you not to.

But it will all take time. And that amount of time can only be determined by you.

So, I write. It’s part of the process of rebuilding for me, it’s part of the “time” I need. Eventually my plot line will take another turn, new characters and other life events will fill my blog, plus opinions and views that I have on it all…and other people will be upset and judge and hate on it. But that’s okay.

They should write their own story.

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13 thoughts on “Writing my way to sanity

  1. Tammy says:

    Keep writing my dear friend. It has helped me so much to know I am not alone. Love your stories and to those who do understand or think you should then they don’t have to read it it. They can change the the “channel”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Tammy, that means the world to me to know that my writing has helped you. You are definitely not alone, of that you can be certain. And we will all get through the tough spots better with a supportive community.

      Like

    • Thank you Tammy, I cannot express how much it means to me to hear your encouragement and your connection to my blog. You are truly not alone, it’s a bigger community than I think any of us ever imagined sadly. And you’re right, if they don’t like it then don’t read it. The Internet is a big place with plenty of other options to give your energy and time to, just change the channel.
      Hugs ā¤ļø

      Like

  2. Love, Laughter & Truth says:

    Great post that I can really relate to, I’ve gone through many of the same thoughts and feelings. I’ve actually pulled posts from my blog together into a book – maybe something that you could do? Keep writing!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great to see you sticking with this. Your writing opened up my thinking and feelings around the circumstances of the divorce of someone close to me and allowed me to put myself in their shoes, with empathy and a listening ear in place of judgement. Can’t thank you enough for that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, that is so affirming to hear. I am glad that you have gained a different point of view from my experience. I have to admit, before it was happening to me, I was pretty judgmental of others myself with the opinion that they just didn’t try hard enough or they gave up too easily. But we never really know what goes on in any relationship if it’s not our own. Thank you for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Tricia, GO FOR IT!!!! I know how long you have been busy with this writing and I know some of the other blogs you have started. I think the way you write is beautiful, and the subject is something you know about so why the hell not.
    It is way too easy to hate on social media and that people feel the need to do it only shows something about them and has NOTHING to do with you. Instead of hating and spreading bad feelings, they could much more easily just stop reading things they don’t like.
    I may not be divorced but nearly every member of my family is so I know a bit about it too. And the internet can only be richer for it if people are willing to share their truths and feelings.
    100% behind you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my dear friend. I appreciate the boost to my writing confidence, I really do. And I think that no matter what we think we know about any subject, every person has their own individual experience and view of it when it happens to them. Always something or someone to learn from, isn’t it? That’s what makes the internet such an awesome place!

      Like

  5. It’s a sorry fact that so many people are going through the heartbreak of divorce, and I have been writing my own personal encounters with the demon. I started writing my blog here almost a year before divorce and now it’s about four years since my world was turned upside down. Yes, writing helps heal. Sharing helps heal. Comparing notes helps. I can honestly say that now, I often can make jokes about what used to make me cry untrollably. Your key words… it takes time. That’s the key. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but time does allow the wounds to scab over and form that protective surface. Eventually the scab falls off and the faint scar remains to remind you, but not define you. I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I really love the way you’ve described the wounds healing and forming a protective scab leaving only a faint scar in the end. You have defined what I could only feel, and hope for eventually, and it’s a relief to think that someday it will hopefully only be a faint scar. I’m glad that you are getting to the point of acceptance, or moving past it enough to laugh about some things. I hope that I can get there, sooner than later, this part of the healing process is exhausting in my opinion. I hate being this out of control with my thoughts and feelings so often, and for so long.
      Thank you for your encouraging words.

      Like

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