It was not fair what happened, and in many ways, my ex-wife was the architect and builder of the divorce.
Depression showed up in many ways in my life. My management of these dark moods has become part of my lifetime discipline. Long-term sadness may be something deeper and more serious. Learn how to take charge of your depressive or manic cycles with mindfulness and a good support team.
Here are a few of my latest posts about managing my moods. Your results may vary. But, here’s the answer: keep going, depression comes in waves, you just have to keep moving forward, back into the positive things in your life. Sometimes it takes someone else to help you see the good in your life.
- Gone Dark Again, and Again: Reanimating After a Quiet Period
- A Covid-19 Panic Attack, Breakdown and My Fear of Depression
- Voyeurism, Sadness, and Traveling Alone: a Tincture of Depression
- Low Power Mode: Managing Depression and Energy
- We All Need Someone We Can Lean On
- DRINKING: Dancing with the Ghost of My Dead Father?
I have written mostly about my experience of depression after divorce. But I had depressive tendencies before I was married. And I still struggle with depressive episodes from time to time. Often triggered by a traumatic event, like a job loss or a relationship coming apart, being sad can become more of a personality trait if depression is not nipped in the bud.
Mindfulness is my answer to depression and my own depressive thoughts. It is critical for each of us to learn our depressive patterns, triggers, and solutions. What can I do when I’m starting to feel the dark slippery slope of depression?
In this day I release my ex-wife. I release my two lovely children from any frustration I have at not being able to book time on their busy teenager calendars. I release myself from my expectations of where I would be at this point in my adult life.
As I licked my wounds alone, I could only imagine the parties that were still going on in my old house. The bathtime fun, the friends over on the weekends, the breakfast and dinner routines. Time. That is the real loss in a divorce. My ex-wife got most of it. I got the dregs on alternating weekends.
I have approached dating as a process to identify, qualify, and ultimately partner with a single woman. The dating part is essential, but dating is not the goal. Sex is essential, but sex, also, is not the goal. Working to identify and explore a combination of these three factors, is how I am navigating my approach to finding my next long-term relationship.
It's been a hard journey as a single dad. But out of this wreckage, I hope I can bring the stories and lessons I've learned and continue to share them with others. Dads don't have to lose everything in a divorce.
Love your kids with everything you've got. Let go of your ex, as best you can, and focus on the impact your love is having on your kids. Stay true to that value and you will always choose the high road.
But at that moment, in the end, I still loved her, still wished it had worked out for us. I still felt the dream we had written for our future. But somewhere along the path, we both turned away from the relationship and towards our previous dysfunctions. I was sad. She was drinking. And we were going out separate ways.
My ex knew I would not sue her for 50/50 custody. She didn't want to lose 50% of the time with her kids. 30% sounded almost palatable. Painful, but well worth the freedom she imagined just ahead, as she headed towards becoming a single mom.