By Kenneth Stepp
There are changes that happen to many of us when we become single after living the married life for many years. Some changes are good, and some are not good at all. I want to make an attempt at explaining the three D’s of singlehood. Depression, despair, and desperation.
First, let’s discuss the meaning of these three words. Depression begins with doubting oneself. To believe, for me, that I am on the wrong course and can’t get myself righted. I realize I am in an unchangeable rut. Despair is when I have lost hope and feel I will never be able to change the conditions that have me depressed.
Desperation sets in. I become desperate to change what made me depressed in the first place. That might mean I feel I have to move, buy something I will never need (think Prime addiction), or find someone to date or anything along those lines. Depression and despair lead to actions we regret later. I had a friend marry someone because of this. It ended poorly.
I am usually a happy man. I am healthy, I love my house, and I live life my way. But I have my days. My normal routine is to go to bed early at night and wake up at about 5:00 am the next morning. This morning I laid there for an hour and a half not wanting to face the day. The three D’s are real and they affect all of us at one time or another. To my sociopaths out there, this is not about you.
Yesterday I was invited to a pool party, afterwards, as I was driving my friend home, we chatted about being single. I believe most of us want what we once had. She agreed, about the good memories anyway. I remember being so content. Being part of a solid intact family unit. Today I’m divorced and my children are scattered into 4 states. Life looks so different. Moreover, life feels so different.
I remember feeling part of something so important. I remember not being as important to myself as I feel I have to be today. I remember feeling the oneness of us. Now, I live for me. I live a life that only feels like survival now. I just want that oneness again, that family unit again. Am I alone in this? So many jump into relationships too quickly trying to recapture those old feelings. Aloneness has replaced oneness.
Imagine this scene. I’m in the den, my wife has planned a week long vacation out west and we leave in about 2 months. She says, next year we are going on a Disney Cruise with the kids. I remember not only this conversation, but I remember the trip out west and the cruise. Plans like those seldom happen these days. Planning a trip with someone 14 months away is tough. By then they could be with someone else, forgotten, or blocked everywhere.
Times have changed and I miss my knowns. Yes, my knowns. Knowing who I will vacation with next year, knowing who I will be doing life with from now on, knowing, knowing, and knowing. I miss my knowns. I know a few others who do as well. I miss knowing the small things and the big ones too. The biggest is having a forever tribe full of forever love…