A celebration of emotional sobriety…

14 Dec

Five years ago today, a Clearwater judge disconnected the life support from my dying marriage and granted me a new life as a single person.  The day was quite different from the beginning (my wedding day) — there was no fanfare, no celebration, no friends around to bid me well on my new direction in life.  Looking back, it was one of the most pivotal days of my life and marked the beginning of the life intended for me… one filled with emotional sobriety!

Now, do not get me wrong – I was in love with the person I thought I married and had hoped for a lifetime of wedded bliss, but things seldom turn out as we plan.   I do have two wonderful adult children who bring joy to my life and who are, in my humble opinion, a gift to the world around them.  I would never go back and make any decision that would invalidate their existence even for a minute.

Without delving into any details about what happened or led to this fateful (and wondrous) day, I would like to share with you some of the learning points from the past 5 years.  It’s been filled with a pile of firsts – the first time in my life I’ve lived alone (I was a mere youngster when I moved away from home to become a wife, and more than 25 years since); the first time I’ve had to deal with an inflated mortgage in a down turned market; the first time I had to make tough love decisions.  I am proud to say I’ve survived!

So, here’s some of what I’ve learned (with gratitude to those who said it better than I ever could in the quotes below!)

  • It is better to travel alone than with a bad companion. – African Proverb
  • The best gift you can give yourself is the present.
  • Language… has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. – Paul Johannes Tillich
  • There’s a reason that counselors are paid – no one really wants to know the truth when they ask, “How are you?”
  • The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it. – W.M.Lewis
  • Being alone is a million times better than being with a narcissist.
  • To dare to live alone is the rarest courage; since there are many who had rather meet their bitterest enemy in the field, than their own hearts in their closet. – Charles Caleb Colton
  • Mean does not go away. Amazingly, mean people are never alone because misery loves company.  Don’t waste even one heartbeat on a mean person when you can walk away and be with yourself.
  • Letting go has never been easy, but holding on can be as difficult. Yet strength is measured not by holding on, but by letting go.  – Len Santos
  • The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself. – Mark Twain
  • We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell
  • Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward. – Unknown
  • No one can ever love you as much as you can.
  • There’s no need to miss someone from your past. There’s a reason they didn’t make it to your future. – Unknown
  • Wisdom is not the domain of the aged but of those who speak with compassion at any age.
  • Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian. – Shari R. Barr
  • The measure of a friend is not if they are there during daytime hours, but that they are there for you when crisis strikes.
  • You cannot build happiness on the unhappiness of others. – Unknown
  • “The Royal We” (me, myself and I) make for great company!

While my life is not perfect, I know that I am on the right path headed in the right direction for my life.  I am grateful for life, and I love the solitude and security of being in love with myself. It is great to know that my intuition and my powers of perception work just fine.  I was never as the song says “Crazy after all these years.”

Wishing you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season!

p.s., To all of you who responded that you support my writing of this blog – thank you!  I appreciate that you read my posts and are a part of my virtual community.  While I enjoy my company, sometimes, it’s nicer to be alone with all of you.



6 Responses to “A celebration of emotional sobriety…”

  1. Bill Ravensberg Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 9:13 am #

    Thanks for sharing your journey Carol and all the best through this Christmas season and onward into 2011. I know you will continue to do well and grow in your relationships and work adventures.

    BTW … Do you want any snow? I’ve had enough already as we’ve been getting dumped on for the last week and a half.

    It sure does look like Christmas now though!

    Do you miss your Canadian Christmas and winters at all?


    • Carol Dekkers Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 10:41 am #

      Bill, Thanks for the comment!

      No, (hell, no) I don’t miss my Canadian winters – AND – it is interesting to experience FL cold (we’ve had over 5 days of freeze warnings). It feels quite brutal (relatively) – especially with the non-insulation we have in our walls (I think the power companies must have a stake in making sure that we use poor insulation!) To keep costs down, I’ve been avoiding the use of indoor heat and this morning it was a brisk 49F (9C) inside1 – I need mittens!

      Happy holidays and stay warm!


      • Bill Ravensberg Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:12 am #

        Brrr … It’s amazing how much of a difference some insulation makes!

        I thought I might share some snow pictures so you can visualize the cold that you feel too! I hope I’m not bringing up any bad memories by doing this. 😉

        I took a few pictures during a break from shovelling snow on Tuesday (Dec. 7) afternoon. This is after going from green grass 2 days earlier. I posted them at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/b_ravensberg/sets/72157625426262625/

        The main objective was to send them to my brothers. One lives(bout an hours drive away where they still didn’t have any snow at the time and the other is in Brisbane, Australia where they are heading into their summer weather. After all, I have to share all this wealth of snow with them somehow, eh!


        • Carol Dekkers Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:38 am #


          I LOVE the photos — you have a great eye for beauty (and the COLD air does come through the stills…)

          Stay warm and indoors! I can’t believe that I once endured (and survived) walls of snow and months of winter upon winter upon winter in the GWN (Great White North)…



  2. Bob Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    You should have told me that today is a special day in your life. It’s always fun to talk about ex’s. I got divorced over 17 years ago. Because we have a son, who is now 20, we still have to communicate and try to be civil.


    • Carol Dekkers Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 11:40 am #


      Thanks for the comment. Sounds like two reasons to hoist a toast on the golf course… I’ll take the 1st hole for my toast, which one do you want to commemorate your toast?



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