I used to do a lot of writing. Journaling. Stories. Poems. Songs. I played guitar so I could (okay, I admit…badly) accompany myself as I sang the songs I wrote. I sang on the worship team at church for years. I read voraciously; books and magazine or web articles. Loved computers and computer games. I designed web sites. Logos. Learned new software. I took different classes. Ballet (it was a sad spectacle, but mostly fun). Computer programming. Spanish. Computer networking. Whatever held my interest at the time. I sewed a little bit. Loved to decorate. I also loved shopping for bargains and kept tabs on my favorite finds, waiting for them to go on sale. Enjoyed walking around the mall. Getting out and going places. Antique shopping. Going to the flea market. Eating out. Trying new things. I collected angels. Ornaments. Tried my hand at different crafts, like jewelry design. Attempted to learn how to work with stained glass. Loved to drive. Hike. Travel. Ride bikes. Run. I had dreams too. Of getting better. Healing. Someday being a writer and speaker. Sharing my journey to help others who were coming along behind me. Dreams of having a good marriage, a profound closeness with my husband. Of having deep connections with friends. Of having enough money so I wouldn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay the bills every month and handle emergencies. Of making a difference in the world. Of leaving behind a legacy. There was some life in this old girl! And then, I wasn’t interested. It didn’t happen overnight. Not like a flip of a switch or anything that dramatic. But life narrowed over the passing years until there was practically nothing left of the person I had once been. I became numb. Dead inside. So depressed I couldn’t move. The realization of how much had been lost recently struck me hard when I saw how few things remained of the things I had always loved to do. And how hard it is to do even those things that I once loved so dearly. Simply put, I don’t do most of the things I used to do. I’m not interested. In much of anything. I have no energy. I have no focus. I have no drive. I have no desire. I have no interest. I think I still have a pulse. There are many reasons for my dilemma. Reasons and excuses, I suppose. The fact that I was married for a long stretch (22 years) to a man who didn’t love me had an impact. Maybe I could have responded better than I did, but I did the best I could given what I had. I tried to keep going, to go through the motions even though they felt very empty. Even though it was horrible once I found out he really didn’t cherish and love me during our first year of marriage. I was fairly successful for a long time…at going on. But it became harder and harder and harder until I just couldn’t do it any more. I died incrementally and there came a day when I was so numb and so depressed, I couldn’t keep it all up. Things had begun to drop off all through those many years, but the last 5 to 7 were pretty bad. I remained faithful. I kept believing God would work a miracle if I just hung on. But eventually, all I was doing was hanging on. To be clear, I don’t blame my ex for not loving me or for leaving me for another woman. Admittedly, I’m not an easy person to be around. I’m damaged. My abusive childhood left me bloody, broken, totally messed up and horribly wounded. So I don’t blame him for rejecting me, though I don’t understand why he wanted to marry me to begin with. I do blame myself for being stupid enough to stay all those years. I know others who are bloody, broken, totally messed up and horribly wounded, but they have husbands who love them, cherish them and who have stood beside them as they have gone through the healing process. I could have used that. That support. That love. That acceptance. Tolerance was better than nothing, but not much. Working like a fiend took a toll too. I put in a lot of crazy (no, make that absolutely insane) hours as I tried to succeed in my career. It was demanded. Expected. And since I was the wage earner, married to a man who had no ambition and no real drive to try to support us (he held a low-end job, but never came close to providing for even a minimal existence), I had to do what was expected. It drained me physically, mentally and emotionally. Burned me out. In job after job. Until there wasn’t much left. I did it for “us.” And then, there was no us. Just depression. That seems to be mostly what is left. Little by little, I stopped writing songs. I stopped riding my bike. Didn’t take any more classes…hey, I was too tired after work anyway. Didn’t enjoy getting out like I used to. Couldn’t even get my housework done, much less do something fun. Stopped going to the flea market on Saturday morning. No more concerts. Dinners. Computer programming and computer games took more focus than I could muster. As did learning new versions and tricks with Photoshop or Bryce. I don’t read much now. I write this blog, but rarely write poems or stories these days. And my dreams have mostly died. I did try to start an artisan jewelry business, hoping it would supplement my retirement (assuming I ever get to retire). It’s generally just a hobby that I rarely participate in now because I can’t sell much of anything and I have a vast inventory built up from long sleepless nights after my divorce. Activity has basically stopped. I stay home with my dog when I’m not at work. I try to play with her (my one reason for living) enough to keep her happy and engaged. She deserves that…and more. I get out when I have to…to work, to get groceries, gas, prescriptions, go to a meeting. But rarely for fun. And fun is…work. I have anxiety about having fun. I can’t afford it. I can’t see well at night to drive to an unfamiliar place, so I’m nervous. I don’t know what to say to people any more. I don’t feel that I have anything WORTH saying. So it’s hard to “chat” and keep up a facade. And then there’s my eating disorder. It demands time. I have to take away from it to do something with someone else. It’s all very complicated. Which means I avoid it. Which means I don’t do activities or events very often. Life has become quiet and empty and lonely to the point that it’s hard even to survive. And sometimes, I’m not altogether sure I’m all that interested in just surviving.