I've been putting off this blog post for several months. The time wasn't right until now. I couldn't write this until I could use it constructively.
Many years ago, a good friend pulled me back from the abyss. I've held onto her words like a mantra:
"As long as you're alive, you have a future."
Since then, I've had three additional close calls. In 2000, I lost a girlfriend and an internship in the same week. In 2008, I lost a job and my grandmother within two days. In 2010, my wife came out to me and I started my final year at PSU.
Each time, I held onto that mantra like a life raft in a storm. I changed but I survived.
I learned very quickly that divorce is nothing like a normal breakup. It's far more difficult. Divorcing a gay spouse adds additional complication. Whenever I thought I was okay, I would return a stage of grief that I was certain was over with.
When I moved out in April, I set ground rules. I refused to use alcohol as a crutch, I refused to be childish, and I refused to hate. I restricted drinking to the weekends and concentrated on learning to be a bachelor again.
Eventually I accepted that this wasn't done to me. I had no control over it and it wasn't anyone's fault. I was bitter over the timing of the whole thing, but I can't change what has already happened.
Once the worst of it was over, I began rebuilding myself. If I had to go through this, I wanted a better version of myself to be the result.
My attitude was first. Negativity had to go. It was a waste of energy and was hindering my survival.
My body was second. Until this year, I ate badly and avoided working out. The week the divorce papers were filed, I turned 30 and joined a gym. I've been working out and eating better for three months.
So far, I've dropped 10 pounds and a majority of my bad eating habits. I allow myself one "cheat day" per week to eat junk food and pasta.
My spiritual health is third. I'm starting with writing and meditation, but it's still early days.
I haven't made it this far alone. My family and my roommate have helped me tremendously.
If you're overwhelmed and if you feel as if you're losing faith, don't suffer alone. Talk to someone, ask for help, and remember that it will get better.
As long as you're alive, you have a future.