Just a couple weeks ago I went and saw Bohemian Rhapsody. What a movie! There was a moment, when Freddy Mercury was talking with his future lover, Jim Hutton. He said he was afraid of life’s “in-between” moments. Before that moment, the movie showed his wild and lavish lifestyle. On the outside, it appears as though he has everything. But the movie shows him in his mansion, with his cats, all alone. He has no idea what to do with himself. My heart broke for him. And I understood exactly what he meant by those “in-between” moments.
When I first got separated, I remember the first night my kids spent away from the house. I was alone. Sure, I had friends. But when all your friends are marriage friends, it gets pretty awkward. And these friends were not ones I felt like I could call or text when I needed someone. I never nurtured my friendships to create that type of a relationship. So, those “in-between” moments, well, they were all the time. I would get anxious just anticipating them. I felt alone, even before the house was empty, just knowing the torture of it. My family was amazing at checking in on me. But I lacked those friendships we all need. No friends were checking in on me. I felt as though I just didn’t matter.
So, I filled that alone time? I drank a lot and I went on dating sites trying to find someone to fill that void. Really, what I found, was that the dating was mostly rejection with some dates that ended badly because I wouldn’t sleep with someone on a first date. The “in-between” moments were still there, only much worse. I had the rejection of dating and still no friends to check on me and see how I was. Clearly, drinking and dating were not the answers.
On a whim, I searched for local divorce groups. I found this amazing group for women going through separation and divorce. We all had something in common. It took time to nurture those friendships, but it has been amazing. As a group, we try to get together fairly regularly. It can be tough, as everyone with children has different custody schedules, but we make it work. Normally we meet out somewhere, usually a restaurant. We’ve gone to concerts as well (and I danced so much I could barely walk the next day). I had my first get-together at my home with this wonderful group of ladies. Okay, so the get-together was supposed to be a game night, but we never opened a single game. I did a take two of game night, but still, no games were opened. But the company was great.
Apart from the group activities, I have made some amazing friends who I have come to rely on and enjoy spending time with. Some of my “in-between” moments are starting to be filled with brunches and movie nights and impromptu drinks. I got a text the other night “I’m bored. Let’s get a drink!” It was out of the blue, but it made my day. Coming home to an empty house doesn’t feel nearly as alone anymore. I don’t need to have someone on the couch next to me, nor do I have to have someone constantly texting and checking in on me. I have some pretty amazing friends, that I know have my back. And they know I have theirs. I have an amazing family and they are my rock. It has taken me a long time to realize just how much I have in my life, but I’m so grateful for all of it.
I do still have some pretty torturous “in-between” moments. And I feel sorry for myself. And I’m pretty miserable to be around. But picking myself up from that is much easier. And each and every day, I like myself even more. That’s the ultimate key to being alone. Finding yourself again and learning to like what you see in the mirror. It’s still a work in progress, I will always be a work in progress. But with the help of amazing friends and family, I make many more steps forward than I do backwards.
When those moments of torture get the best of you, reach out to a friend or family member. Find a group and make the most of it. Step out of your comfort zone to meet new people. It’s not going to happen unless you make it happen. But when it does, girlfriend, you are going to soar!!!!!!!!!