When it comes to relationships, the holidays are like the Bermuda Triangle.
It’s an end of year clearance of emotions that ushers in the very worst that winter has to offer. Major depression is quick to follow when the sun becomes a rumor and happiness is out of stock.
This Christmas was a good one for me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I’m irretrievably single for the first time since I said ‘I don’t’ to my marriage a half dozen years ago.
I’m thinking maybe this new-found spirit residing inside of me was put there for a very good reason . . . I’m thinking this good place I have arrived at wasn’t designed just for my benefit, but for the benefit of someone I love very much.
This was the thought that crossed my mind when my sister told me she was leaving her partner of the last fifteen years. Their troubles had been brewing for a while but they came to a head on Christmas Eve. Six years to the night when it happened for me in the same way.
Holidays tend to work this way. People work up inventories and the bills come due when they ask themselves why they’re not as happy as they used to be. When you’re in something that’s not going to work, I think that’s the loneliest kind of lonely there is.
I spoke to my sister briefly on Christmas Eve but there was the rush of family and gifts for her to deal with and so the good long talk was put on hold. It’s the talk where I break it to her that those feelings of relief that are presently helping to keep her standing upright will be met with an uppercut full of grief before too long.
Fifteen years is a hell of a long time and it’s not going away anytime soon. The next couple of winter months are going to be useful in their dark resignation that things are never going to be the same again. The best thing she could do for herself is to cry these months away till spring decides to wake up.
Here’s the key- She’s got to do it alone. Her system is going to overdose on this bad medicine for a while . . if she knows what’s good for her.
She might not. I didn’t. Less than a month after my marriage ended, I was chasing a girl twelve years my junior. I needed to be ‘with’ someone. I needed someone ‘different’ from my ex. I needed the company. I was so lonely. It was all bullshit, of course.
My sister saw me at this exact moment in time six years earlier. She answered the phone at somewhere close to midnight on Christmas Eve and proceeded to listen as I deconstructed the last dozen years of my married life for her and then she told me the very same thing I’m about to throw back at her.
Whatever you do . . . don’t rebound.
I imagine her suitors are already lining up, ready to ‘help’ her through the trying times ahead. The impulse will be for her to latch on to someone for the company of misery. And no matter how hard she tries and no matter how much sense I’m about to make, she’s only human and it’s been a while.
The worst part is she can.
So, while it would be a very good idea for her to nail her front door shut as if a cold front of zombies was heading into town, she’s only human. And she can do whatever she wants now.
Words will never take the place of experience. Which is why God created anti-depressants.