Why is this post significant?
Because its the first time I felt any genuine joy and happiness for a length of time, the kind that you can’t help but grin ear to ear.
I’ve been in a spiral since April of this year, it all came to a head in August as my job was ending, Tony was treating me poorly when I still believed in him, and my kids were just on my last nerve. Its when I made the final decision and payment to go to Mexico for the surgery. Once that decision was made, it was like a door slammed on any sense or will to live.
The only person I pleaded with to help me was Tony, and he wasn’t capable. To be fair, he wasn’t the right person.
I should have sought help and I didn’t, but now I am slowly recovering from 4 months in a pretty dark place. August-September- October are still surreal. November was finally the time I began to hold my head up somewhat. I know agreeing to the party was risky because the day could come and I would be “too tired” or “depressed” to attend. I challenged myself with this by inviting a friend for Thanksgiving – which was an immense help because she was a second pair of hands and took the pressure of the disappointment with my family not helping me.
Thanksgiving day was nice. I was able to tolerate all the foods and had a taste of everything. I loved having the company of my friend. My Dad loved having my eldest home from college to watch the game with. It was a nice day overall.
For the Football game the next day, my friend had asked her boyfriend and I asked Rob, so we were a party of 4, which also made it impossible for me to back out.
The party was hosted by a cousin of mine with a large family. I am very lucky to always be included because my mother was an only child and well-loved by her cousins. This particular part of my mothers family is my favorite. They are such a big, loving family. Not perfect by far which makes them all that much more relatable. Good people through and through, generous, kind and loving. I should spend more time with them and have it on my list of “must-do’s” for the future.
There is a large football game for about 2 hours, then food trucks, tons of food, a dessert table and a real-live Santa for all the children. All the single “kids” get presents and sit on Santa’s lap. My cousins hire professional photographers for all their parties so every moment is captured and everyone can come away with their family photos and share on Facebook. My x and my kids never liked the party. I never understood why and eventually we stopped going because I was miserable when they were with me. I have gone alone to some of the parties since just before divorce because I realized they were ruining my ability to have a good time – I was always sad that I didn’t have “my own” family to share it with so sometimes I would shy away if this was how I felt in past years – but I made a point to have “my squad” this time around. Even if it was just friends and a 3rd date!
I couldn’t help but laugh and smile from the moment I walked in. My cousin, who helped me greatly through the entire trauma, had spoken to her family and they knew I had been sick – so no one asked a lot of questions. Rather, everyone was just happy to see me and complimented the weight loss and happy face. All of my cousins were so loving and welcoming, and there are so many of them, that I found it impossible to be unhappy for any reason. But the best part, was the company I brought.
Rob played football and was a star athlete. My boy cousins were teasing that he would have to play a lineman since he was new, but he was quickly put into the QB position and they won the game. I was in and out to watch the game (it was freezing here the day after Thanksgiving) and saw a couple of great plays – but more importantly to me, I saw him laughing, interacting and having fun with perfect strangers. He wanted to be there.
Inside, my girl friend and her boyfriend were chatting up all my cousins and playing indoor games. I didn’t have to worry about taking care of anyone except myself! No matter where I turned there was a safe and secure, warm and happy feeling. We stayed much longer than I thought I would. The best part, I got an amazing professional shot with Rob and my cousin posted it on Facebook. Normally, I wouldn’t post any man, but I just didn’t care. We both look happy in that photo – and its the perfect capture of the feeling of the day.
I was grateful.
I have forgotten what gratitude feels like in my depression and trauma. I had been happy for moments, but not true, unfiltered joy the way I felt on November 23rd.
I would like to say the feeling carried through, but the depression is too great a weight as well as my physical recovery. I slept for 2 days post the party. But, I think that was ok.
After the party, as we were driving home, my friend decided they wanted to come back to my home for a drink. I told Rob he wasn’t under any obligation to stay with me, but of course I would love if he did. He agreed. We ended up having a few more cocktails at home before the boys decided the Elks club would be a good idea! I couldn’t believe I was going there again! Turned out to be packed to the rafters, like a local Cheers bar, and the guys could watch multiple games while the girls chatted away.
I was really exhausted by 11pm and asked Rob to take me home. I knew I would be too tired for much, but a few kisses goodnight would be a sweet way to end the day.
A little more than that happened and I don’t know what to make of it.
And, I’m trying not to put much more thought into it.