Punches to the Gut

I walk around on a daily basis feeling relatively normal, happy a lot of the time (sometimes truly, sometimes just on the surface), moving forward with life in general. It’s during these times that my inner sadness seems to plan its’ sneak attacks. It was beautiful outside today and the sunshine always puts me in a better mood, I had just gone to a yoga class and felt good about doing so. I headed to a nearby grocery store to pick up a few things. I’ve always really liked the summertime campaigns at grocery stores at this time of year. Sunglasses, pool noodles, goggles, sandals and sunscreen all scream summer fun. This grocery store had a huge s’mores display right inside the main doors. Hershey’s chocolate, Jet Puffed marshmallows and graham crackers all sat atop multi-coloured cardboard shelves. My first thought was ‘man, I would crush a s’more right now.’ My second thought was that I hadn’t sat around a bonfire in a while. My third was that a bonfire would be fun. My fourth was the punch. It was the thought that I normally would’ve grabbed these items, gone home then had a bonfire with my husband. I call it a punch because the thought actually takes my breath away. My eyes get watery and it’s like my mind doesn’t always conciously remember that I’m not in my marriage anymore. I’m reminded that my heart is still broken into a million pieces. I leave the sadness there and push on through the store.

Following our split I had multiple punches a day that were physically and mentally crippling at times. When I think about it now they are much less frequent which I know is a good sign. The punches can be anything, sometimes I say things out loud that remind me of him. The other day I saw his favourite football team on a keychain. I saw my shadow on the sidewalk last week walking my dogs and it reminded me of a photo I had taken of us last summer. Last night at dinner with a friend my server had the same first name as my ex. I pause the sadness when these punches happen so I can continue what I’m doing. Later in private I’ll recall the punch once more and let myself feel sad in hopes of moving on from it. I want to one day be able to look at my memories with joy. I want to be able to acknowledge special moments in my life over the last 10 years for what they were. I don’t want them to be tainted by a relationship that went bad. I’m working on it, is anyone there yet?


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