Today is hard. A buyer took my bed this afternoon. I went to the farmer’s market for the last time. Almost all of my belongings are gone. A lady shouted, “Fat-ass!” at me on the street. And photos of my ex-husband’s second wedding are popping up on Facebook.

Normally those last two things wouldn’t bother me too much, but they’re more like salt on already-gaping emotional wounds. My amygdala is going wild. Am I really that fat??? (No, I’m not.) Oh god she’s a much more stylish bride than I was. (Duh. She’s something like 36 or 37, and I was 24. I was a child.)

Because emotions don’t play by logic’s rules, I’m swirling around Self-Pity Town. It’s a grotesque combination of regret, loneliness, and fear. Regret for the past I’ve left behind and all the unfortunate decisions (buying a dress at David’s Bridal) I’ve made along the way. Loneliness of being in transition and having no one else to move through this with me. Fear of failure and uncertainty ahead.

I just want to be held and told everything will be okay, maybe have my hair stroked a little.

Aside from the fact I would never ask for such a thing (it’s one of those great-in-theory concepts that, in execution, would end up with me accepting a single hug, then chattering away for hours until I got hungry and sent the person away so I could eat in peace), who do you even turn to in the midst of upheaval? The people you’re leaving have their own emotions, and if they’re close enough to you to be able to provide any solace, they probably aren’t in the right headspace to tell you that, yes, your departure is a great and wonderful thing. Others are too far away, physically, to appreciate the depth of turmoil. They can’t walk into your apartment and feel the shock of its emptiness the way you do.

Mostly, I self-soothe. I’ve learned many coping mechanisms, and writing is definitely one of them. I also use food (irresponsibly) and exercise to great effect. But the only thing that’s guaranteed to work when I find myself mired in the past is to start planning for the future. Whenever my gaze starts creeping to the rearview mirror, I do something to jerk it back to the horizon.

Today it was as simple as checking in on roadtrip plans with a buddy. Talking about the fun ahead and giving myself something positive to look forward to cheered me up. It helped me remember what I’m heading toward and how lucky I am to have such exciting things waiting for me.

I’m not completely out of the funk, by any means, but shifting focus helped, even if just a little.

I know this is just one of many hard, low, and lonely days ahead. Some days I’ll have more luck than others, but if I have at least a few tools in my pocket, hopefully I’ll be able to pull myself out of despair.

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