There. That was easy enough.
I wrote and re-wrote the opening paragraph to this post about 30 times over the past few months. I've tried just about every permutation of that sentiment, only to highlight-all and delete and start over. Days and days of blank stares at a blank page, all of them filled with thoughts which amount to "How in the hell am I going to address this?"
I've also sought the advice of many of my friends on how to handle this moment. Suggestions ranged from "tell the whole story" to "don't say a word" and everything inbetween. And there were days where I set upon writing this out and thought "okay, I've got this... I know what I'm going to say, and how, and today's the day" only to sit there at my keyboard, elbows on table and face in hands with tears streaming down my fingers and wrists and forearms.
And why? Why would I bother writing this out in the first place?
Writing is how I handle shit. Everything -- Every. Little. Thing. -- That happens in my life ends up in words somewhere in my world, sometimes publicly and sometimes in private. But I write. It's how I deal with everything. It helps me sift and sort through thoughts and ideas. It keeps me sane. It gets problems out of my head and into a physical (or digital) form for me to work with them.
So it makes sense to write this... To me, anyway. And I've been fighting it for a long time.
It's obvious by the timestamps on the posts on this blog and at the sites I write for, it's been a while since I've written regularly. The past 10 months have been some of the roughest of my life, without question. The downward spiral that was our final days as a couple took all of my energy. So there was a substantial period of time where I simply could not find the energy to do much more than repost shit from the past as a feeble attempt to keep at least some form of content current on this blog.
So last week, I made a decision to get back to it. I've been posting my notes to self, keeping blog posts going, contributing to HuffPo and some other periodicals, and even working on a new book. And I guess the sudden reemergence of my writing, posting and chatting was enough of a trigger to get people asking questions.
I've gotten a lot of email, messages, texts and calls from folks the past week and some days. Folks have noticed a distinct change in my activity online the past few months. No articles, no blog posts, staying off of instant messenger, and most notably, a distinct lack of mentioning my ex-wife in status updates and posts. I guess seeing me reemerge was enough to get folks comfortable with asking what the hell has been going on.
Some of you have been reading my writing for going on 15 years now, and you've followed just about every nuance of my life through my books, blog, articles, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. And because of that, you've read about my life with my wife and all the facets therein. Our successes, both together and individually, were part of your life -- if only through a computer screen or on paper. But you've grown with me, and you've become involved with my life. And it may be a stupid thought, but I honestly feel that you deserve to know.
So there you go. I'm divorced. It's really simple, right? And yet, it's not. There's so much I want to say about it. And I'm sure it'll come out in posts in the future, as it's sort of spilled out over the past few weeks. There's so much I never thought I'd have to face, and even more I had no idea was even an aspect of what happens when you lose your partner in life.
I'm 10 months into watching my relationship dissolve, 7 months into separation, and a month and a few days into being divorced. And one thing I've learned beyond a shadow of a doubt: It takes a LOT more than 1, 7 or even 10 months to get through this shit. I've done all of the classic band-aid bullshit: rebounds, traveling obsessively, running, shutting myself into my house for extended periods of time, and disappearing into just about every distraction possible.
Last week, I just decided it was time to stand up, dust myself off, and get to work getting better. So that's why the writing. That's why the new articles. That's why the newfound commitment to fitness. And that's why this post.
This is my mile marker. I'm starting it at zero, after crawling out of the negatives. I'm done avoiding. I'm done ignoring. I'm done patching. It's time to repair.