I really needed the vodka, because McDreamy broke up with me. I didn't see it coming, and the best word to describe me at this point is "poleaxed." I don't want to get too deep into his business, but suffice it to say that he is working through some issues, long distance relationships are stressful, and my presence and love were no longer desired. I'm heartbroken that more than five years of my life and such high hopes came down to this. It hurts far worse than my divorce. The other day, I had the joy of telling my children, because they were pestering me about when they might see McDreamy next. We all had a good cry, and then we ate tacos while watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seemed as good a coping method as any.
When McDreamy suddenly told me not to buy a plane ticket to come visit him for July 4th as we'd planned, I decided to spend the money to visit Monica in Philly, and it wouldn't be a real "fuck you" vacation without a stay at the Ritz Carlton (that should totally be their new slogan). At the Ritz, if you're not familiar (I wasn't), you can get "club level," which means for extra money, you have access to a lounge with an open bar, plus all kinds of food. I was born for club level. We had originally thought of visiting museums and being all cultural, but it was hard to leave the hotel. Also, Monica has little kids and hasn't had a good night's sleep in about 7 years, so we ended up sleeping until noon and then spending the rest of the day in the spa.
A bit of background: when I was going to get a massage a few years ago, McDreamy told me that he didn't like the thought of another man touching my body, even in a strictly professional setting. It was such an easy request to grant that I switched to female massage therapists from then on. But at the Ritz, my massage person was a tall, attractive man who brought me champagne and let me pick my essential oils. He gave me an amazing massage, and his voice when he asked if I wanted more pressure or would I mind turning over was as gentle as a lover's. If he noticed I cried, he was gracious enough not say so. It wasn't at all sexual; it felt ... cathartic. I don't know how else to describe it. It felt like I was getting a small bit of myself back from the void of despair I've been trying to scramble away from these past few weeks.
I emerged from that weekend with the conviction that I'm actually going to be OK. I'm as surprised as anyone else, but I hang onto that belief, even when I cry so hard I start dry heaving (which is not even every day anymore, so I have that going for me). I have a sense of big-picture optimism about my life, and I have no idea where it's coming from, because I fully expect to die alone surrounded by cats. Still, I'm strangely hopeful, and I refuse to give this the power to knock me down. I'm worth more than that.
As much as possible, I'm trying to focus on being kind to myself, body, mind, and soul. Grief has to happen, so I might as well let it. I'm pulling out of a phase of incandescent, mind-numbing anger, which had the liberating benefit of burning away my tolerance for any degree of anyone's bullshit. I'm making plans with friends, whereas before I often held off until the last minute in case McDreamy might be available to spend time with me. I'm finding glimmers of relief each time I realize that the worst has happened, and I'm still breathing in and out. My kids still hug me. My garden still grows. My pets still think I'm super.
I hesitated to blog about this because it's so personal, and the hurt is so incredibly raw despite my efforts to joke about it. In fact, I started this blog at McDreamy's urging, in a blush of excitement about how my life had turned out to be happy, notwithstanding a substantial detour through the shitter and back. Part of that happiness was finding the man who I thought was the eternal love of my life, and who I still love with all of my shattered heart. The reason I started Middletini, though, was to reach out to people whose lives had gone off the safe path they'd expected and who had to start over, to show them it doesn't have to be the end of the world, that the new path can be even better than the one you previously couldn't imagine life without. Now, apparently, it's my unfortunate duty to tell you that this is not necessarily a one-time experience. Dammit.
I've been trying to come up with an image that summarizes where I am now, and the best I can do is the montage scene from Notting Hill, where Hugh Grant has been dumped on his ass by Julia Roberts, and he has no choice but to keep moving forward. Despite the sun and being able to lounge by the pool and wear flip flops, my heart has plunged from summer to winter. I live in faith that spring will come eventually.