Monday, 27 September 2021 16:08

One Night, New Perspective

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One night, I had an anxiety attack. I was in my apartment, with just my cat, Jinx. I had just indulged in one too many glasses of wine and a depressing amount of ice cream, trying to stuff down my sadness and quell my racing mind. I thought of reaching out to someone, a friend or my sister, but it was too late. I was inconsolable. I wailed and cried, and I couldn’t breathe through my nose. My shallow breaths caused me to panic even more. I heaved and wailed with my arms wrapped around my shaking shoulders, and tears stained the floor and soaked two dozen tissues. I couldn’t save myself from drowning in my own tears.

I kept chanting over and over, “Please come back to me, please come back. I promise to love you better. I promise I’ll love you right. Please just come back to me.” At that moment, there was nothing else in the world I wanted more than my husband to be in my arms.

After a few minutes of this, I had a sudden and uncontrollable urge to look at his picture. I hadn’t wanted to go back there since the day he asked for the divorce. It was too painful to see what we used to be. But for some reason, I wanted to see him on this night. I rummaged through my closet until I found what I was looking for: a mound of pictures of us in a Walmart photo envelope His was the first face I saw when I opened the pack. They were mostly on our wedding day, and again, I crumpled into tears, clutching the pictures close to my heart, promising I would love him better if he would come back to me.

With each picture, memories came with it. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life. Yes, it’s cliché, but for me it was. I was finally getting the love I always wanted. He would be the person to love me forever.

As I skimmed through the pictures, I noticed something peculiar. Maybe it was just my imagination, or maybe there was something to it, but for the first time in all the times I've looked at our wedding pictures, I thought I noticed a difference in my husband’s smile. It didn't look as happy as I once thought. It wasn’t as excited or loving as I once imagined it being. In some photos, he was barely smiling at all. Perhaps he was just nervous. Or overwhelmed. But still I wondered if that was doubt on his face in the photos? Was that why he wasn’t smiling with joy and excitement, like I was?

Still weeping, eyes stinging from the salt and nose stuffy to the point I had to breath through my mouth, I put the pictures away. Then I remembered my wedding rings. My engagement ring and my wedding ring were hidden in my closet, too. I desperately searched for the rings and when I found them, I irrationally thought, “If I wear my rings, it will be like I am still married.” I hadn’t put them on since January, a few weeks after he told me he wanted a divorce. Back then they fit like a glove. But when I attempted to slide them over my left ring finger like I used to, something didn’t feel right.

They were tight around my finger. They made my finger look bloated. What had happened? I gained weight? I outgrew them? I stared in puzzlement at the rings on my now bulging finger. I stopped crying. 

Something was different. The rings felt awkward, uncomfortable on my finger. It wasn’t just because I gained weight. It was more. For a marraige, rings normally are symbols for eternal love. But that night I felt my rings were symbolic for growth and change within myself. I was not the same woman I was when he slipped the rings on my finger. I had changed, just like the fit of the rings had changed.

With some effort, I wriggled the rings from my finger, washed my face, combed my hair, brushed the wine and ice cream taste from my mouth, and sat down to write this blog. Yes, just 20 minutes ago, I was inconsolable. Nothing could comfort me. Now, I am breathing normally.

My rings rest next to my keyboard, the diamonds winking up at me mischievously, as though to remind me they don’t belong to me anymore. I will put them back in the closet with the rest of my past for now. Now they are symbolic of how far I've come and how far I'm still going. 

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