Rescue yourself! As difficult as life can be sometimes, we need to do our best to rescue ourselves. There were times I could barely get out of bed, my body felt so heavy. If I could have ripped my heart out of my chest to relieve the pain I might have done just that. Husband and I would make progress and have set-backs. He was trying to do what he thought was needed to repair our marriage, but it wasn’t working. I felt he was still too controlling and he didn’t always tell the truth. And then, as much as my job was a good distraction in the beginning, it was becoming harder to leave my problems at home. I felt I was doing a disservice to my clients as I became more depressed. At the urging of Dr. P., encouragement from Dale and support from my boss and co-workers, I took a leave of absence from work to try to heal and figure out my life.
SOMETIMES YOU NEED TO ADMIT YOU NEED HELP AND SOMETIMES THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB IS YOU!
It was tough to admit I couldn’t do it all, but I needed to help myself and taking time off from a job I loved was necessary. I wanted to make the most of every day of my leave to get myself together, heal as much as possible, and decide if my husband and I had a future together, or not. Taking care of ourselves and doing things that will get us back to enjoying this one precious life is so important. Things like reading, journaling and counseling can be helpful. And sometimes…doing something completely out of our comfort zone can be just what we need. I did just that and it was the best thing I could ever have done for my mental, physical & spiritual health.
The first week, I retreated to the beach to contemplate my life, write, listen to music and walk along the ocean. I could feel the stress leave my body, and although I was still grieving the marriage I thought I had, I felt the cobwebs clearing from my mind. Something was missing from my life (other than the obvious big one – a good marriage!), and I desperately wanted to find out what that missing piece was. I believe in God and am a spiritual person, just not fond of organized religion, but it was more than that. Husband on the other hand found a church he felt a connection to and reconnected with his faith. It was good for him.
Next up was Bend, OR to stay with dear friends at their beautiful ranch where I bunked in their cozy casita for a couple of days, it was heaven. My friend is an Executive Coach and has the largest, most organized collection of motivational and self-help books I’ve ever seen in one place. The book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin jumped out at me so my friend kindly let me borrow it. Learning ways to appreciate life and be happy again sounded good! While on a hike around Drake Park and Mirror Pond, with a glass of wine in the evening or tea in the morning, we had deep conversations about life. The talks helped me realize I wanted to stay with Husband, but wasn’t sure how that could happen since I didn’t feel I could trust him. He WAS making progress, slow as it was. I was like a pendulum, with wild swings back and forth – be with him or walk away.
INTELLECTUALLY WE KNOW, WHEN SOMEONE IS UNFAITHFUL IT USUALLY HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH THE PARTNER WHO IS CHEATED ON.
When I went home for a few days I met with Dr P. who said the swings are normal and eventually I would land and stay in the middle. It’s part of the process. It was all still so incomprehensible to me that he would cheat and it hurt like hell. It wasn’t like I was a bitch of a wife, I was very good to him. We’d had a lot of good years together, not all of them bad, mostly good in fact. It was difficult to wrap my mind around it all. Back and forth the pendulum continued to swing.The Psychology Today article 13 Reasons Why Men Cheat offers a few insights why.
My next trek was to Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat. Talk about being out of my comfort zone, this was it, and it was my game changer!! I was looking for some place to go by myself and in my research, Breintenbush spoke to me. It’s in Central Oregon near Detroit Lake in the gorgeous Breitenbush Gorge. I reserved a rustic cabin built in the 1930’s with a bed, toilet, sink and thermal heat. No internet or phone service (only in the office & a couple of emergency stations), no alcohol or caffeine and three delicious vegetarian meals served each day in the lodge. I was able to listen to my music however, which was important to me. I scheduled a massage, took a yoga class, meditated, walked the labyrinth, wrote in my journal and hiked the Gorge. And…I soaked in most of the six hot spring pools…naked…and it was liberating! I felt so at peace and more connected to nature than any other time in my life. It was magical! As much as possible, it was a silent retreat. I spoke only when spoken to or when it would be awkward not to say something. Staying silent forced me reach inward to the depth of my soul and helped me find me again.
By the time I went hiking in the Breitenbush Gorge I was on a natural high, my heart was open and everywhere I looked there was such beauty, I savored every bit. I crossed several natural bridges made from fallen trees over water-ways and saw only two other people on their way down the trail. My ear-buds were in and I was listening to a mellow Spotify playlist I put together when the song “Mary, Did you Know“, by Pentatonix came on. I sat on a log to soak it all in, looked up at the majestic trees and blue sky and felt God’s presence. During that moment, there was zero pain in my heart. I had made a decision, I would continue to work to save my marriage and give my husband another chance to be the man he was meant to be.
NO ONE SAVES US BUT OURSELVES, NO ONE CAN AND NO ONE MAY. WE ALONE MUST WALK THE PATH ~ BUDDHA
Till next time…
Peace & Love,