This will be the last entry on this blog.  I am beginning anew and leaving this part of my life behind as part of that fresh start.

The past two years have been unreal. Today, I take the time to reflect on what I have gained, and what I have lost.

I lost my best friend, my partner, my wife, the love of my life.   That she would hurt me so deeply by cheating on me, and then lying over and over and over about it, even when she knew I knew the truth, was more than I could bear.  That she would not only continue on with the affair, but intensify it after I learned of it, truly put me over the edge.  I almost didn’t come back from that.  I contemplated suicide many times.  Sometimes passively. Sometimes actively. I had, what my therapist called, a break from reality.  I was too far gone for far too long.  My meds were no longer effective, and I sought comfort in anti-anxiety meds and alcohol.  They numbed me. I didn’t have to feel anything.  I didn’t WANT to feel anything. And so, I self-medicated.

I gained new strength. Not through alcohol or pills, but through a part-time job I took on, caring for an elderly woman with dementia.  I learned grace. I learned compassion and patience. I learned that forces in the universe often conspire to teach us something about ourselves, just when we think we have ourselves figured out.  Caring for that woman taught me so much about myself.

I lost my sister and my daughter.  I am very okay with that today – more so than I could have thought possible.  I have tucked them into a quiet room in my heart, where I can still love them, but also where they are unable to hurt me any more.  Lisa inhabits that same room with them.  I pushed them out of my life – I own that, but I am also very okay with that.

I have gained an interesting, diverse, and creative group of new friends.  I’m not a huge fan of the “bar scene,” but that doesn’t mean I’m not up once in a while for a get-together at 140 Alex or like venue.

I lost my hopes and dreams, and my plans for the future with Lisa.  The dream of a house on the hill at the farm – one that would be OURS. The dream of a comfortable retirement so that I could be home, taking care of things, while Lisa worked at her job and the farm.  The dream of taking Lisa to Hawaii upon my retirement.  Even the silly dream of having a cat habitat at the new house.  Gone. All gone. Without any dreams or goals, I wandered about aimlessly for almost two years.

I gained total possession of the farm and the tractor, and all of the assets associated with it.  I paid it off with the money I had saved up from tax returns and the sale of personal possessions.  I put it up for sale and, within 2 months sold the farm and the tractor.  I walked away from that with $52,000 in my pocket, WITHOUT having to reimburse Lisa for the $12,000 worth of retirement money she put into the farm as a down payment.  I paid off $40,000 worth of debt, and put the other money into savings.

I gained new furniture, throughout the entire house.  I bought rugs and art and accent pillows and everything that makes a house warm and inviting.   The stink of Lisa and our life together is completely gone now, and this house now carries my personality, and my view of the world.  It is accented with reds and browns and beiges and teals and rich, dark wood.  I even splurged and bought myself a 50 inch Smart TV.  I am sometimes tempted to invite Lisa over to show her how I spent her retirement.  No – I didn’t lose any evil thoughts.

I gained a girlfriend.  Lynn.  I used to tell Lisa that I loved her with my heart, not my head, meaning that I was truly IN love with her with every sense of my being.  I love Lynn, but find myself numb in the heart where she is concerned.  I worry that this means I have lost the ability to love again, that I still have walls and barriers between me and any potential hurt that I could encounter.  But, I’m not going to over think it. I enjoy being with Lynn. I love her (with my head). And for now, I’m just going to enjoy day to day with her.

I gained new strength and determination to look into the future and write that chapter of my life by myself.  Only I can control the direction my life will take.  I can pick and choose what characters will inhabit my story and I will not allow people into my life who cause me pain, stress, or misery.  Having said that, I made the decision to retire early from MCC.  In 2015 I will live off less than half of what I made working, and yet I look forward to this coming year in spite of concerns about money.

I’ve spent a small fortune on getting the house ready to go on the market, and still have some more to go.  In the Spring, I will put the house up for sale and after that, I have nothing to tie me down to any specific place. I will go wherever the universe finds a place for me.

Most importantly, as I look back over the past two years, I can now say that I am finally WHOLE again.  Some of you will find me at my new blog. Most won’t.  But as I close this one out, I do so with the lyrics to a song that I recently heard.

Be well. Be kind to yourselves. Be kind to others. Own your life and your actions. Believe. Question. Love. Laugh. Cry. Sing and dance. Live your life for yourself. Write your own story.

It’s been a long road

Get’n from there to here
It’s been a long time
But my time is finally near

I will see my dreams come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they’re not gonna hold me down no more
No they’re not gonna change my mind

‘Cause I’ve got faith of the heart
I’m going where my heart will take me
I’ve got faith to believe
I can do anything
I’ve got strength of the soul
No one’s going to bend nor break me
I can reach any star
I’ve got faith
I’ve got faith
Faith of the heart