I am Ready to Swim

Ready to Swim

Separation is like treading water; I am exhausted from the effort involved in keeping my head above water, yet I make no progress in moving in any one direction. So many things are uncertain: housing, assets, health coverage, college tuition, visitation schedule, retirement, and more.

Even when it comes to relationships, I am in a constant motion of treading water without progress. My soon-to-be-ex and I had an understanding within weeks of separating that we had no intention to reconcile and were free to each date and move on with our lives. A document was even drawn up to make it clear. Nonetheless, we are married and there are restrictions as a result.

How can I really move forward (or even make big decisions) when every aspect of my life is uncertain?

The answer is simple: I can’t.

Now that I am almost at the end of this process, my body has grown tired of the repetitive motion of treading water. My muscles are ready to start working together to swim a stroke. Swimming away from the deep end to a shallow area where I can stand is so close to being possible.

As fatigued as my muscles have become, the time in this phase of my life has been necessary. It gave me time to grieve, reflect, discover, and heal. I am now ready to swim to the shallow end and I find that I have the much-needed clarity in my life as I wait to begin a stroke.

There is comfort in knowing I will soon be standing in shallow water, resting my weary muscles.

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54 comments on this post.
  1. Ethan:

    Being that I am one to take analogies one step further and having a penchant for double entendre… Will your first stroke be the butterfly?

  2. Naked Girl in a Dress:

    I think I will swim anything but butterfly to ensure I don’t drown!

  3. alonewithcats:

    You’re probably all pruney from being in the swimming pool for so long. Fortunately for you, a lot of people think pruneliness is next to godliness. That’s how the saying goes, right?
    .-= alonewithcats´s last blog ..Shit My Mom Says =-.

  4. T:

    Oh I get this.

    I was separated for 2 years before I was finally able to file for divorce. I really thought I was going to lose my mind.

    Hang in there.
    .-= T´s last blog ..The Power of Compassion =-.

  5. Naked Girl in a Dress:

    Thanks T! The longer I am in this treading state, the harder it is on me. I have no certainty in my life in so many areas and really want closure so that I can just move forward.

  6. xylia hall:

    Call me stupid, but why can’t you move forward while in a state of uncertainty? Or rather have you considered the notion? I’m impatient, and hate not having control over certain aspects of my life…but the reality of it is that even if I believed I had some control – I really don’t. Everything changes. Nothing will ever stay the same. Scary!! But can be exciting too! Stop treading and let the current just carry you!!! You’d be surprised where it might take you…if you let it.

  7. Cheryl D.:

    Happy SITS Friday Potluck! That sounds like a tough situation–kind of like being in limbo! Hopefully, everything will go smoothly and the divorce will be final soon! Good luck!
    Cheryl D. recently posted..Club Med Without the Alcohol-My Profile

  8. Patty Reiser:

    I believe it’s time you take charge of your life and move on. Life is too short to not enjoy it.

    Celebrate Life and Capture It!
    Patty
    Stopping by from SITS
    Patty Reiser recently posted..Scott Kelby’s 3rd Annual World Wide Photo WalkMy Profile

  9. Rachel:

    oh. hug! stopping by from SITS.

  10. Jessica Anne:

    I think that feeling of treading water happens with any major life change, having children, divorce, new jobs, until you get used to the new status quo. I hope that feeling ends for you soon. It is exhausting. Stopping by from SITS Friday potluck. :)

  11. Elizabeth:

    I totally get this. Moving forward during such a time of confusion and upheaval is a hard thing to do. I’m glad that you are finally feeling able to take that stroke.
    Stopping by from SITS – Happy Friday!
    Elizabeth recently posted..30 Day Blog Journal – Day 15My Profile

  12. Cheryl @ Mommypants:

    Over from SITS – they featured this post! I can’t imagine that feeling. Here’s to hanging in the shallow end!
    Cheryl @ Mommypants recently posted..I’m a weaner wienerMy Profile

  13. New Jersey Memories:

    It’s a bittersweet time in your life because you’re sad about the relationship ending and yet hopeful about a fresh new start. But you’ll make it through.
    New Jersey Memories recently posted..Wordless Wednesday 3 – Cherry Blossoms- Newark- NJ- April 2010My Profile

  14. Crystal:

    Wow, that was so beautifully written. Absolutely loved it, although I don’t love what you’re going through. Breaking up is never easy :(
    Sounds like you’re keeping your head above water though.
    Happy potluck Friday! It’s great to meet you!
    Crystal recently posted..Worlds Sexiest 30 Year Old-My Profile

  15. Robin G:

    I’m sorry you’re going through this difficult time right now. So much turmoil. So much uncertainty.

    Please be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to take the time you need when making decisions. If you’re not sure, try not to feel pressured to decide right now. If you are sure, give yourself permission to go ahead and do what’s right for you.

    You are the only person who can take care of you. You are the only person who knows what you need and what you want. Trust your heart. It’s wounded and struggling right now but it will heal.

    And then it will be stronger than ever.

    May you find the peace and comfort you are seeking. I will pray for you.

  16. CK:

    Keep your head above water! I know difficult and I am sorry for the situation. It almost seems like there is limbo phase when going trough a divorce. My friend wore all black as she mourned and went through a loss in her own way during her divorce. I wish you clear waters and many life lines along the way.

    Visiting from SITS,
    -CK

  17. saretta:

    I considered seperation, but we worked through it instead. I remember the paralysis and fear of that period and I can empathise with what you are going through. Believe in yourself and give yourself time. Hugs
    saretta recently posted..Its Only a GameMy Profile

  18. Embejo:

    Just came past from SITS pot luck. Having never been in yr situation I can’t say I can relate, but I can only imagine the stress you have been under. Hope things work out for you and your children.

  19. Babes about Town:

    It might not feel like it, but you are already moving forwards. Just by the process of thinking through and exploring your emotions and finding your feet, it’s inevitable. Uncertainty is part of life, we just have to learn to go with it. That said, I’m rubbish at dealing with change myself!
    Babes about Town recently posted..Hoola Hooping on the RooftopMy Profile

  20. Jade @ No Longer 25:

    I’m sorry to hear about your divorce, although I do love the way you have described it. I’ve never read anything that conveys this so well, it must be so exhausting for you. I really hope you are able to swim forward soon.
    Jade
    Jade @ No Longer 25 recently posted..Inspiring JulyMy Profile

  21. Elizabeth:

    Having not been there I can’t give much in the way of advice. I can say instead of treading water maybe give floating a chance? That would rest your weary muscles somewhat and let you relax as well.

    Happy SITS Potluck Friday! visiting from SITS
    Elizabeth recently posted..Sis- Boom- Bah- FireworksMy Profile

  22. BLOGitse:

    Been there, done that. It was hard but I survived and found my soulmate – happy together twenty years!
    I wish you strength!

    BLOGitse
    BLOGitse recently posted..more womenMy Profile

  23. Grace:

    I know exactly what you’re saying. It feels like you’re running in quicksand. I’m so sorry. My divorce took nearly two years, but now, I’m so happy. My ex did me a favor when he left me for a shot girl he met in a strip club!
    Grace recently posted..The Paradoxical PrincessMy Profile

  24. Sorta Southern Single Mom:

    Oh, I so remember this feelings. My separation/divorce was completely unexpected, and in the state in which I lived, could have been completed in 90 days. That made me feel so panicky in the beginning, but when it was all said and done (it took about 9 months) Boy was I glad we hadn’t lived in one of those states that required a mandatory year-round separation!

    Congrats on being featured on SITS Friday Potluck!
    http://www.singlemominthesouth.com

  25. Tina @ Life Without Pink:

    Happy SITS Friday Potluck – wow I am sorry about your situation and I am sure it has to be so hard. Keep your head up and do what is best for yourself! Good luck :)

  26. Angelia Sims:

    My soon-to-be-ex (at the time) wouldn’t sign the papers. He said it was just too painful. I even mailed it with a stamped return envelope, but still, he wouldn’t. I was able to file without as long as he was served by a sheriff. Those few months waiting for him to sign before he disappeared…..I’ll never forget the terror.

    I guess when it’s over, you just want the end finished. It is very, very difficult to tread water. Maybe you can float for a while and take a breather?
    Angelia Sims recently posted..Sliding momentsMy Profile

  27. juanette:

    I have a friend who is going through a similar time, she is ready to move forward but can’t do so with abandon because of her marital situation. I am going to send her this post and hope it helps her. Thanks for the great post! Stopping by from SITS. Juanette

  28. Jackie:

    I’ve been there and it is very tough. While going through it, my counselor told me that my kids and I were like a peony bush trying to poke through a layer of black plastic (my ex). We would keep striving for the sunlight and once we broke through it, we would all be blooming beautifully. He was right – it took a few years but we’re all doing very well now that we don’t have the verbal and emotional abuse to deal with. Hang in there. Happy SITS Friday Potluck.

  29. LisaDay:

    I hope you rest your muscles for a while before diving back in.

    Good luck.

    Happy Potluck Friday.

    LisaDay
    LisaDay recently posted..Rich for the weekendMy Profile

  30. Lynn:

    Visiting from SITS. I will be sure to revisit your blog, especially if I ever find myself in a similar circumstance. The odds are that I will since 80% of marriages with a special needs child end in divorce.

  31. Lindy Leigh 56:

    Visiting from SITS!

    You’re doing great…you’ll find your groove.
    Lindy Leigh 56 recently posted..Wooly Worm Song and DanceMy Profile

  32. IASoupMama:

    Oh, dear, please remember that you have friends and people who care about you who will help keep you afloat.

    And Happy SITS day, I think. ((( hug )))
    IASoupMama recently posted..Negative Nelson- A facebook FableMy Profile

  33. Elly @ The OCD Chronicles:

    Stopping by from SITS. I think this is the least anger I have ever seen from someone talking about separation. I haven’t been through it myself (as I haven’t even been married), but I have watched my mom go through it a couple of times now. It’s so painful to watch, but she’s almost to the shallow end, too. I’m anxious for her to get to rest, because it really has been like treading water.
    Elly @ The OCD Chronicles recently posted..ProgressMy Profile

  34. Kristy:

    Congrats on your SITS feature! I’m going to check out some more of your blog. Beautifully written post and I’m sure a comfort to others in the same position.
    Kristy recently posted..Scenes from an Airport- Part 2 or- Read This to Feel Like a Better MotherMy Profile

  35. Diane:

    interesting perspective. when i got divorced we separated without that clear vision of where we were headed. that uncertainty was tough for me. i think if i had known we would NOT reconcile it would have made it easier. so, is the treading because assets aren’t divided, properties dissolved, etc? and of course, if there are kids who are caught in the dynamics it makes it much harder.

    anyway, good luck on the next phase of your life. moving on feels very good–a bit scary at times—even after a decade but it’s nice to be in control and moving foreard.

  36. Beth Zimmerman:

    Thank for sharing your heart! I know it’s hard but you’re going to make it!

    Stopping by from SITS.
    Beth Zimmerman recently posted..Correspondence from My CornerMy Profile

  37. Licia:

    You are a strong woman, treading water in that separation pool for so long. Making a clean cut from someone is much more complicated if you are married and have children. I am glad you will soon be resting. It will allow you to get on with the rest of your life.
    Congratulations on your SITS day!
    Licia recently posted..a world run by womenMy Profile

  38. Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17:

    Beautifully written. Not many people have the talent and grace to discuss their divorce with such eloquence. I wish you rest, continued healing, and happiness on your journey.

    Stopping by from SITS.
    Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17 recently posted..BABY FOOD Cupcakes Your Guests Will Go GAGA Over and a free printable to use for favors too-My Profile

  39. Sarah:

    Happy SITS day! You have amazing clarity and a wonderful attitude. Soon you’ll be swimming in a new direction without struggle. Good luck.

  40. jessica:

    I know how you feel. I have been single for close to 6 year now and it took me quite some time to swim again. Ironically, I always hated swimming, even though I’m very good at it. then 3 years post divorce, I hurt my knee and could no longer run and was told to swim. Well, I’ve been doing it ever since and now I love it!

  41. JoJo:

    Stay strong! I loved your metaphor and your fluid writing style. Stopping by from Potluck Friday at SITS!!
    Have a great weekend!!
    JoJo recently posted..STDs Of The BlogosphereMy Profile

  42. Sunday:

    I went through a divorce 2 years ago and while it was the best decision I ever made it was not without its intense difficulties and drama.

    Kudos to you for going through the process of letting yourself grieve for the loss of your marriage.
    Sunday recently posted..The homes that built meMy Profile

  43. Angela:

    Hello from SITS. Having been where you are I can promise that you will not drown. It is obvious by the raw emotions that you have shared that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for.

  44. Aine:

    Stopping by from SITS good luck on your progress forward.
    Aine recently posted..Present and Contemplative FridayMy Profile

  45. Young Wife:

    Happy SITS Potluck!

  46. Vicki:

    That was very well written. I’d throw you a floaty, but I’m sure you know the importance of doing things yourself.

    Happy SITS Potluck! I was a lucky feature too! :)

    http://crowningvictoria.blogspot.com/2010/07/sits-friday-potluck.html

  47. Nolie:

    Coming on over on your SITS potluck day. I have been there and it’s not easy. When it is all done you will be a much stronger woman ready to take on the world.
    Nolie recently posted..Blissdom Canada – I got my ticket-My Profile

  48. Coco:

    I’ve been there. Its scary but awesome at the same time. Divorce/separation gives you a chance to rediscover yourself. MAybe gt some of the “old you” back. It can actually be a wonderful thing. Glad you’re ready to swim. Believe and trust me when I say you wont drwon honey!
    Coco recently posted..Coco So Random- I had to fake it till I made it HOMEMy Profile

  49. Naked Girl in a Dress:

    SITS Ladies,

    Thank you all for stopping by these last few days to visit. Your encouraging words regarding my writing as well as my future post-divorce are appreciated.

    My heartfelt thanks for the support!

    P.S.: I am spending the weekend reading all of YOUR blogs.

  50. Mandy:

    I also had that feeling of treading water until my divorce was final. You have to listen to your inner voice – it will guide you about what’s right for you. Don’t cave to pressure from others or our society’s expectations.

    I wish you the best with your journey to your new life.

  51. ericka @ alabaster cow:

    hello from the red dress club!

    oh man how i know the feeling! you’ve done an incredibly job in describing the “head above water” phenomenon. i wish you well on your swim! :)
    ericka @ alabaster cow recently posted..stick figure saturday- ava is the new kateMy Profile

  52. Michele:

    I can’t speak to divorce but I remember the treading water feeling after a long-term relationship ended. I was left not knowing what to do with myself or my life and even though I could see the other end of that pool it was impossible to figure out how to get there, as though it were a maze and I just kept going down the wrong path. But the cliche is true, and time heals all wounds, and it (somehow) makes the muscles remember how to swim and make it to the shallow end. This is such a beautiful piece that really depicts the struggle your are facing. I hope that you make it to the other end soon :)