I’ve lost myself.
No, seriously. I feel like I’ve lost everything that made me me over the last two weeks. My world revolved around him. He was the sun at the center of my universe, and now I feel left in the dark.
Before, we had a rule that there was no tech after dinner. We’d sit and snuggle on the couch and watch whatever series we were binge-watching on Netflix that week, usually alternating between food shows like The Great British Baking Show and Chef’s Table, documentaries about castles, or Outlander and Game of Thrones, mixed in with some schlock-filled trainwrecks like Riverdale. After, now, I’m on my phone or laptop constantly. I need to be occupied. I can’t be alone with my thoughts for any length of time because I know I’ll end up spiraling into something bad. I tried to put on Netflix last weekend, and found myself scrolling through the titles, moving past the things we would watch together. I can’t bring myself to watch those titles, he’s not here. I ended up logging off.
Before, I could get to sleep at a rational hour, because he had to be to work to open most days. “Five-thirty comes early,” he’d always say, and we’d be in bed by 11:15 PM. Now, I have to drag myself off to bed at a reasonable hour. During the week, I’m not too bad because I have work, and I can’t function without at least some shuteye. On weekends, however, when I have no where to be and nothing to do, it’s more difficult to go upstairs. I feel as though I need to exhaust myself before I can find the courage to get into my empty bed. I’ll crawl under my blankets hours after we’d do before and much later than I’d like, only to wake up almost before sunrise.
Before, we would cook dinner together. We would plan the week’s meals, taking into consideration what times our shifts ended and when we’d get home, or my workout plans for the week. There was always at least one “experimental” dish. We’d scour Pinterest for something neither of us had ever had before and make it together. It could be a white bean chili one weekend, Moroccan rice and chicken the next, or a Thai coconut curry. One weekend, when he had a rare Saturday off, we spent the day baking a cake. His only experience with baking desserts always involved a box, and he wanted to learn how I make them from scratch, so he picked out a cake and said “we’re making that.”
We loved cooking together, even though the kitchen is small and has no counter space and we would dance around each other, vying for a spot to put down a bowl or cutting board. Now, I come home and make something fast and easy that won’t make me blow my daily calorie allowance in single meal. Last week, it was chicken fajitas, falafel, and tuna. I branched out and had a steak sandwich on Saturday night, and had the leftovers on Sunday. Additionally, everything, EVERYTHING, was served in or on a pita, with the exception of the obscene amount of oatmeal I go through.
Nonetheless, there are positive changes. I might go to bed a little later during the week, but I think I’m also having a better sleep. Part of it is the anxiety of going to bed with him, and the wondering whether or not my advances had worked and there would be some bedroom action happening. It was always a gamble, and if I did anything other than outright spelling out my needs for him, there was a good chance he’d miss it. Several times, when I took a more blatant approach, he’d question it. “Are you trying to start something?” he’d ask, as though it was a complete shock that a wife would want to get down to the dirty business with her husband. Now, there’s no question what’s going to happen. When I get under the covers, I’ll put on some white noise and call the cats to the bed.
I’d like to think, despite the lack of variety, I’m eating better. There’s less creamy sauces, less empty carbs. My portions are a bit smaller, but they’re also more reasonably sized. I always felt like I had to eat more to avoid throwing out whatever was left over, because it was never enough for the two of us to share as another dinner, but always too much for me to take to work as a lunch. Now, I’m no longer eating the way I used to, and I’m feeling better about myself for it.
The biggest change for me is my mood and anxiety. I’m not reading into everything he says or does. There’s no more buzzing, anxious, internal voice asking “is he or isn’t he?” I know he did. I know he lied. I can’t be worried about the things that happened, because none of that can be changed. Eventually, everything will be out in the open, and I won’t have anything left to question. And then I’ll find me again.