I've never been okay. My entire life has been chaos, one fucked up mess, one big tangled ball of nerves sitting on the surface waiting to electrocute the next person who touched me. From being born to alcoholic parents and cleaning up after their drunken parties at 3 years old, to getting pregnant at 15 (and everything in between), my life has always been absolute chaos. Fight or flight mode for life.
As someone who thrives on chaos, I work best when things are in a tailspin. As someone who absolutely loves the “fixing” part of any situation, I’m having to learn something I’ve never experienced before: to be okay with being okay. Instead of having a laundry list of things that are wrong, my list is empty. Nothing is wrong.
Everything has been so okay, it’s been scary to me. I’m looking around, waiting for something to drop. How am I juggling being a single mom, without losing my mind? This was so difficult before, who is playing a trick on me? Why aren't my kids screaming and fighting like they were? Is everything really going to be alright? Is this really my life right now? Who is going to yank it away? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Why am I relaxed instead of so tightly wound I feel like my head could pop off? What is wrong right now?! Nothing is wrong and that’s the most terrifying feeling. The creativity that is usually pouring out of my brain has been a slow trickle instead. My head isn't spinning in 100 different directions. I sit on my bed and snuggle with my dogs and I just exist. I'm not drowning, struggling to breath, I'm just here.
I almost have a guilty feeling for not falling apart. Everyone keeps checking in on me, asking if I'm “really” okay. When I tell them I am, some are skeptical. I have a few close friends I've talked to throughout my relationship and throughout the breakup and they know I'm okay – it's weird for them, too, I'm sure LOL.
Having ADD and being bipolar (Bipolar? Should it be capitalized? Sure seems like it.) has its perks, like me being able to type thousands of words without coming up for a breath. Living in chaos kept my mental illness “in check” in some weird way, because I was functioning so well with the constant adrenaline of chaos surrounding every part of my life. Chaos would hit, I'd fix the situation (or try to), and then I'd go online and do amazing work… using that adrenaline as fuel. I'd make some money, and then I'd want everything to calm down for a bit so I'd go spend it. I'd take the family to dinner, or to a movie. I would always hope and pray for an evening of peace; it never happened. I hated the chaos that I thrived on, but I almost feel like I am waiting to get depressed because that “high” isn't there anymore.
A few weeks ago, I made the announcement that Rachel and I were getting a divorce. We had been together for almost 9 years. 9 long, wonderfully miserable years. I didn't even realize how toxic my relationships had always been until about a year ago. Not sure why or how but something clicked. Maybe I started growing up, maybe I was sick of seeing my kids live in turmoil, maybe I recognized it as chaos for the first time? No matter what it was, I fought it. I didn't want an answer to the question I kept asking “how do I find peace?”. I didn't listen to the answer. I blocked it out.
I tried so hard to make my relationship work, but I had grown too much. I wasn't the same person she met and fell in love with. I changed in positive ways; I moved on from negativity and just couldn't handle it anymore. I couldn't stand the constant complaining when there was so much to be thankful for. As someone who thrived on negativity and misery, she couldn't handle me moving on from it. We gave it a good ol' college try and after six months of marriage, we called it quits. Everyone asks me why we got married. We wanted to get married for SO long, it just seemed like that's what we still wanted – even though it wasn't. I don't know if that makes sense, but we held onto memories of our ‘past' life together, when we were both clinging to chaos and unpredictability, instability, and insecurity.
Once I let go of that, there was no way to fix it – and to be honest, I didn't want to. I liked the improved me. I love the improved me, and I want to keep moving forward and growing as a person… even if that means losing the longest relationship of my life. The one person (besides my kids) I loved more than words could say. The one person I could never imagine living without. I had to let her go, and I'm actually okay with that.