Reclaiming My HEA is a monthly feature talking about my progress through my separation and divorce.
The holidays were challenging for me. Maybe it was just the usual family-oriented stress but I found myself dealing with a fair amount of depression.
I want to believe that great things are ahead for me. That all of the hard work I've done to reclaim this part of my life will let me move forward into a happier, more connected life. But I've spent a long time trying to manage my expectations and shrinking my dreams to fit into what I thought was possible.
At a deep level, in order to keep going, I had to convince myself that it wasn't possible for things to be better. That real life meant compromise and settling.
Maybe having to break those reduced expectations is what triggered the anxiety and depression. Humans do better when things are predictable. Even if what they're predicting is absolutely horrible, it's easier to manage awful known catastrophes than dealing with uncertainty of not knowing what will happen next.
I don't know what will happen next. Maybe I will find myself alone and I'll need to find a way to be okay with that. Maybe I will find someone who makes me happy, and maybe it will work out and maybe it won't. I can't know unless I try.
Trying is scary. It means opening myself up to rejection, and a particularly personal rejection at that. So it's okay if I take my time. I don't need to rush and push myself into more stress than I can handle.
Because no matter what happens in the future, I need to take care of myself.
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