muscle memory

I usually love winter and the holiday season.

We have single digit temps, snow on the ground, holiday music already on the TV . . . but instead of feeling warm and sentimental, it feels like my chest wants to cave in.

My muscle memory has been in high gear, remembering recent winters and holidays – of falling in love . . . being newly married . . . newly expecting. Memories of special moments and events and trips that I carefully filed away to become woven into the story of us . . . our family . . . our lifetime. It hasn’t become engrained in every fiber of my being yet that this divorce is happening and the “our” we once planned for and dreamed of no longer exists.

So when I see snow or hear a holiday jingle, and my muscles perk up and start conjuring up all these old memories . . . my heart and my head just aren’t ready for them right now. Not today. And probably not tomorrow or anytime soon, I just can’t deal with the memories.

It’s like dreaming with a broken heart. (When you’re dreaming with a broken heart . . . waking up is the hardest part . . . thanks, John Mayer.)

I’ve hinted at the possibility of reconciliation . . . my recent posts riddled with an odd sense of happiness about our new “normal” and Sunday Fundays . . . but, honestly, that was all a coping mechanism. A thinly veiled attempt to pretend this all isn’t really happening. I knew that approach wasn’t a long term solution for getting through this or healing, but it was what worked at the time.

I did have hopes of reconciling. I really did. And I held out hope for a lot longer than I should have that we were capable of it. But, what I wish for isn’t possible and I have to let the idea go for good. Because, I wish for things to be undone. For things to be unsaid. To create a time machine back to August 26th . . . the day before everything came crashing down and approach our marriage differently and with more care. I replay the last month of our marriage over and over and over in the my head – trying to look for clues I might learn from or find peace in.


And, then I wonder what would that accomplish or change? Did I really do anything wrong? Could I have really ever anticipated my husband, the father of my newborn son, would have left me like that? And were we destined to have arrived at this conclusion no matter what?

I suppose that’s the gamble we take in life. There are no do-overs. Words can’t be unsaid. Actions can’t be undone. So, “what ifs?” don’t really exist. There’s only forgiveness left to be granted and I feel light years away from being in a place to do that. The hurt that I feel is so raw and physically hurts so much . . . my muscles need to relearn how to live this new life before I can even attempt to make peace or sense of the past.

I am slowly accepting I will never have the answers of why things ended up here. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I know I’ll never get answers. At least not ones I want to hear.

But, I know that hearts DO heal. Memories DO fade. And muscles WILL slowly forget.


In the meantime, I have to be gentle with myself. It’s okay I’m struggling today. I might not be struggling as much tomorrow. And there will likely be more days ahead where I struggle more. It’s all par for the course. Such is life.

All I can hope for is that next winter my muscles will remember this year and the pain and the struggle and will be able to rejoice in the fact things are so much better and for how far I’ve come.

That’s about as much as I can hope for right now.


  1. Hugs friend!

Speak Your Mind


%d bloggers like this: