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self-care Mar 18, 2020

It was time.

I stood in an empty room while he gathered the last of his things.

I was wearing my fuzzy robe.

It’s funny to think that a robe could be considered an act of self-care, but it is. Trust me, this particular robe has comforted me through all sorts of unexpected disappointments and losses. And this was a big one.

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I’d known the goodbye was coming. Our uncoupling had been planned the way most people plan weddings: with careful attention to detail, yet with a strange sense of excitement about the unknown future ahead. 

And then it happened.

Our eyes met as he walked toward me. My heart stopped and tears began welling up in my eyes.

I wanted to throw up right there on the floor.

As he got closer, he extended his arms and I immediately melted into them, just like I’d always done. It was a familiar place that I'd once felt safe. But it felt different now.

Everything felt different.

We said what we needed to say, and then all at once he released me.

Forever.

When the door closed behind him, all that was left was me...and my fuzzy robe, the only thing left to console me.

I was empty.

Every ounce of my energy had been consumed by the move, this big life transition that was never in the original plan. For weeks, I oscillated between grieving and checking boxes off my to do list. Now, there were just a couple items left: acceptance and release.

Both would take time.

With tears streaming down my cheeks I walked through each empty room, saying my final goodbyes -- to the remnants of my soul that would be staying behind with the gold curtains still hanging from the bedroom window.

Self-care.

It's what kept me from fully unraveling . It's what gave me the strength and courage to keep going even when I had no idea where I was going.   

From the front window, I watched the first van we bought together -- now towing a giant U-Haul -- inch slowly down the driveway. More tears spilled onto my cheeks. I was sobbing now, and it was all sorts of ugly.

In an instant the tail lights disappeared. And just like that, the life that used to be mine disappeared along with them.

As I slowly sank to the floor in my fuzzy robe, I knew that it was time to redesign my life.

But first, coffee.


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