My mind has been a little topsy-turvy the past few months. My recent divorce and my relationship with the ex (is it going to be civil or ugly today?) plays more havoc with my emotions than I at first realized. You tend to think that you're ok, that you've made it out of the black hole, that you're going to be just fine, thank you very much. And then loneliness strikes on a Saturday night and you realize that there's not a man to cuddle with on the couch and watch a movie with, or a man to go out on a dinner date with. While I do not need a man in my life right now, that loneliness tends to tell you differently. Getting through those times is difficult, but a necessary part of the grieving process.
I never realized how many different emotions would be involved with a divorce. Even when I'm not thinking about it, it's still there, lingering in the background. After being with a person for ten years, building a life together, and watching it systematically implode in a variety of ways, it's incredibly difficult to just forget about it. And really, I don't want to forget about it. Instead, I need to work through it, step by step, to see where I went wrong, to fix those things about me that impeded the relationship, and find healing. I journal a lot, and do probably too much thinking, but again, it's a necessary step.
All of that takes a lot of energy, both physical and emotional. While things are getting better, it's still hard to figure out this new relationship with my ex, one where we're not husband and wife anymore, not really best friends, but friends nevertheless for the sake of our daughter - and darn it, friends because we do still care about each other, despite everything that's happened.
Maybe that's why I'm having difficulty losing myself in my story. I'm not quite connecting with my characters yet. Perhaps it's because my emotions are engaged elsewhere. Yet that isn't acceptable to me right now. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but the reality is that I love to write, love to dive into a story and immerse myself in my characters' lives, and in essence take a vacation from my own struggles. I need that right now.
So I plan to take all those emotions I'm experiencing in my personal life, put them in a room in my mind, and shut the door when I'm writing. When I'm finished writing for the day, I can open that door and let those emotions back in. The key here is to take a break from the personal emotions and instead let my mind dwell on my writing and my characters instead.
To that end, I'm working to regain focus on the writing. And I believe that when I do that, it will give me the necessary perspective to look at my life differently. To me, the writing life encompasses so much more than the writing - it's our emotions, our thoughts, our everyday experiences. It all shapes the words on the page.
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