Divorce is like getting into a car accident; everybody knows it happens all the time, but nobody ever thinks it will happen to them. So, when it DOES happen, you’re totally unprepared for it. All of a sudden your life is spinning and nothing makes sense. One morning everything was going according to scheme; by the end of the day your entire future is so murky a crystal ball couldn’t even see it. It hurts, but the shock numbs the worst of it. You just go into survival mode and tack off the immediate needs. Needs you forgot you even required! A new toothbrush, a laundry basket, boxing tape … Stuff you got used to never needing.
Then you start packing, and the physical show of separating your life from this person you’ve lived with for so many years builds it tangible. And that’s when the survival mode you’ve been operating on drops away like breakaway glass in a shitty action movie. This is really happening. It’s no longer something that happens to other people. It’s happening to you right now. You’re making the restart button on their own lives in your mid-thirties and hoping it’s not too late.
You have some friends who offer to help in nebulous ways. One or two even spend time with you to give you someone to rant to. But you go home alone every night. For the first time in years, you are alone when you go to bed. You are alone when you wake up, too. You go to work and forget how alone you are for a few hours, but you quickly recollect when you get home that day. By the end of the week you dread going home, because you know you’ll be alone.
So, you try online dating. You try Reddit. You try Doublelist. You gratify a few people online, maybe even one or two you eventually consider friends. You may even meet one or two people in person! That’s exciting because at the very least it means you won’t be alone for a little while. But nothing changes. A month afterwards, you’re still lonely. You check all of your online accounts for messages like an addict, detesting yourself for is just so desperate.
Then the fear crawling in. The fear that it will be like this forever. That you’ll never find someone else to be close to; to have sex with; to keep you company. Worse than that, though, you worry that you’ll never make peace with being alone. That you’ll never be brave and strong enough to merely be happy with who you are. To do that, you know you’d have to give up searching( for now, at the least ). And that’s fucking scary.
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