My Silver Linings Playbook

So it’s no secret that I’m divorced. And if you didn’t already know that, hey guess what? I’m divorced! I got married when I was 29 years old to someone I really loved, and it lasted for almost three and a half years before we split up. It was the most devastating thing I have been through in my life thus far, and I do not wish or plan to repeat it again.

But it was also an opportunity to shed any expectations I had for the direction my life was going in as a whole, and to open myself up to all possibilities, any possibility at all. For me, the key to surviving this dark period was establishing the positive side of every situation. I had great days followed by weeks of not wanting to leave my house or speak to anyone who wasn’t delivering me pizza, wine or bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. Finding silver linings was imperative, or I would have curled up in a ball at the bottom of the shower and never gotten up again.

So here are a select few of the times I found to be the most difficult to survive, matched with their extra-perky, optimistic cheerleader counterparts. Ooh, but let me be annoying for a second and remind you to always have safe sex. Divorce is hard enough to swallow, so make sure you don’t garnish it with a side of herpes.

Sad Part: A big, empty bed without your former partner in it.

Silver Lining: A big ass EMPTY bed all to yourself!!! Roll around, spread out, and best yet, you now have the authority to invite whoever the hell you want to join you in it. Just make sure to buy new sheets first. Basic rule: If your ex’s skin touched it, replace it. Now you can get those pattern-drunk Vera Bradley towels you’ve been coveting!

Sad Thing: You have to go back to that hellish dating scene.

Silver Lining: You get a whole new stable of “Sex and the City”-style dating stories to horrify your friends with! One of my favorites is the guy who wore an ill fitting Hanes tee to an upscale restaurant, peppered our appetizer without asking (DEATH TO HIM), and then insisted on taking me to a piano bar on Karaoke night even though I told him I basically bathe in desperation for a living. Oh, and then there was the chef who instantly proclaimed his inability to socialize with women unless he had a drink in his hand. What a fun future that promised to be! But a few hours on some crappy dates led to some of the best bonding sessions I have had with my friends, recapping these terrible evenings over a glass of wine or frozen yogurt. And speaking of friends…

Sad Thing: You REALLY don’t want to repeat your sad story over and over again to every single person you know.

Silver Lining: This is one of the only opportunities you will have in life to figure out who your friends really are. As we grow older, we collect friends from various jobs, schools, homes, etc. until we feel like we don’t know anything more about them than what they post on Facebook. But something as deep and intense as a severe breakup or a divorce will immediately establish who is in it for the long haul with you. BM6MZ75CcAA8ixBIt’s a very difficult process to completely extract yourself from a marriage or a relationship, and sometimes it feels like it will never end. So the friends who actually want to be there as you alternately obsess over the new person you’re dating and sob angry tears over your ex for hours on end are the ones you keep forever. Just make sure to keep them hydrated and well fed.

Sad Thing: You realize that you have no idea when you’re going to have sex again. It could be never.

Silver Lining: It most likely isn’t never. You WILL have sex again, and who knows who it could be with? How exciting is that??? It could be with a hot neighbor, or a longtime crush, or that really attractive person you swiped (swept?) right. In my case, it was an NFL quarterback. Yeah, that’s no joke. The Divorce Gods were seriously on my side there. I mean, if I were less mature, I would say that I’m preeeeeeeety sure I won the Rebound Competition with that one. But I’m not, so I won’t. #butidid #iwon #reboundcompetition #NFLQUARTERBACK #IWINDIVORCE

Sad Thing: You can’t concentrate on anything.

Silver Lining: Sometimes the best things happen when you don’t pay attention to them! I Klonopin-ed my way through an audition and two callbacks for a show, barely remembering any of it because the rejection wounds were so fresh. Somehow I booked the show, and I’m convinced it had to do with the fact that I didn’t enter the room with that God-I-hope-I-get-it attitude that can lose actors more jobs than any other factor. The less you care about something, the more it will want you. So take advantage of this moment and go book some jobs or win the lottery or write that best-selling novel!

Sad Thing: He took the dog.

Silver Lining: I can’t help you here. This is the worst feeling ever. All I can say is wait until you’re ready and get a new one. But it hurts.

Sad Thing: You now live alone.

Silver Lining: Throw a party! When I decided to stay in my ex-marital home for another year, I threw what I called a Re-Housewarming Party. It was an all day affair, and I invited all of my good friends to stop by whenever they wanted. The only rule was that they had to bring something that I could put in my apartment. BM6td0bCcAAHX-GIt didn’t have to cost any money, it just had to come from their heart. So at the end of the day, I had a home full of new things that reminded me of the people who loved me most in the world. Pictures and homemade potholders from my best girl friends, a crystal passed on from a good college friend that still travels with me wherever I go, a “Scandal”-sized wine glass from a newer friend who just innately gets me. And the best gift of all, a set of St. Louis drink coasters from the man who is now my fiancee. That day he began as my friend and ended as the guy I drunkenly made out with. Those coasters now live on the coffee table in the apartment we share.

See? Possibilities and adventure are everywhere. If you are brave enough to close a door and stand in a seemingly empty room for a while, your eyes eventually adjust to the dark. And then, you will finally be able to see how many things have been waiting in the shadows for you.

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26 thoughts on “My Silver Linings Playbook

  1. Patti, I enjoyed reading this post a year ago and thought it was entertaining, although I couldn’t personally relate. Fast forward. My circumstances recently…changed. I’ve Googled it to read again because I recalled, rightly, that you offered a great perspective. Thank you for the piece, which I will no doubt read again and again. I aspire to your level of awesomeness…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Im what should be called a widow but I call myself single on the way to getting married again. Eveyone expected my life to end, but guess what, it didn’t. Every older woman who loses her husband looks at me like we are in some secret club together, but I was never invited. Im fine, have been, will be for a long time to come. It was a desperately sad period in my life when my husband died, but I don’t see any benefit to be gained from clinging to a life that’s over. Being single again was hard, at first, but so much fun and of course there is the opportunity to find an UPGRADE!
    Cool blog!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ITHINK WHEN a person experienced divorce in their household, then should it not make us sad, rest assured there are still many people who love you in the future and keep excited in this living, salam succes from Indonesia.

    Like

  4. Girl, You are one of my favourites already. Your blogs are funny, Inspiring and nostalgic (except I wasn’t married or divorced but went thru a real bad breakup). All of us go through such phases in life where in we lose something that means a lot to us however more often than not it turns out to be a blessing in the end since when you lose all you have , You re-discover yourself.

    I engaged myself in hobbies I wanted to follow, read books, travelled, made new friends and now I feel a stronger, Calmer and better person. The breakup turned out to be the biggest blessing. Yes, I do miss the old times (when I was in a relationship) however I love the current ones even more and wouldn’t want to replace them with anything.

    Happily Single since 3 years 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: What I should have learnt but now have learnt from my last relationship | Travel, Book, Music & All Positiveness About LIFE

  6. I was married for 16 years to a military man, he left me by text the day before my 40th birthday saying he didn’t know if he loved me anymore. Fast forward almost 2 years and just as I was about to think I was over it all and could start again though I did get the kids and the dog! I find out he was having an affair at least 6 months before he left as she put it on her Facebook page! Oh and also got engaged even though he’s still married to me and to make it worse so called friends of mine lied to my face and knew all about it. He’s also being dad to her 3 kids despite not having any time to call his own kids let alone actually see them! So I’m thinking I now deserve a young hot toy boy to take my mind off everything lol

    Like

  7. I was sorry to hear that you were hurt. It is not an easy thing to get over, but you are a strong, beautiful and talented person. This is just a speed bump in the road, it may slow you down for a while, but you will bounce back better than ever. I hope to read about new successes and happiness in the future, and we know you have so many friends and a great family to support you through this time. Thinking about you, Bernie Leventhal

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the Re-Housewarming Party — Every divorcee ( and who isn’t ?) should do this –you realize “Hey Im not a loser –I just lost one thing –a husband –Im Temporarily Unmarried ” Things change Ill just throw a party and be fabulous ! Cue the opening of Mame! xxxjulie H

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Patti, you are officially one of my favourite people! You always manage to bring a smile to my face every time I read your blog because you always put such a positive spin on everything! As someone who is actively seeking out a relationship, I think you may have just convinced me that it will happen at its own pace, and probably without me searching for it. Thank you Patti!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Married for six years and divorced at 26. Afterward I moved to NYC, then to Scotland, (in the meantime experienced better sex than I ever knew was possible!) and am now happily coupled with the most incredible man, in every way I can think of. That divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I got married crazy-young and was deliriously happy for years and years. Two weeks after our 11-year wedding anniversary I found out that my husband was having an affair. My divorce was final two months ago. People don’t believe me when I tell them I’m fine, but I really am for the most part! We have two boys so I can’t really live in that bitter, I-hate-everything-about-him space. On bad nights I spend my time googling advice for divorce, or link to it from their fiancee’s facebook page! 😉 Thank you so much for this. It really does help to know I’m not alone.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. One of my favorite quotes: “You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” ~ Walt Disney It reminds me that no matter how bad things might be, there’s a positive to be gained and a lesson to be learned…ALWAYS. Sometimes they come in the form of a NFL quarterback while you’re waiting for your St. Louis coasters to come along. ☺

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Moral: Always prenup the dog. And thanks for the safe sex shout out. I work in a medical clinic, and divorced people, especially if they were married a long time, often forget about that. We treat a lot of sad walks home.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. This makes me happy. I went through a bad break up and was lost for months. i had my whole future (and wedding) planned and it all fell through. I eventually made the decision that from that point on, i would never worry about things that I could not control. So that is how i am! and you have now inspired my next blog post, if that’s okay with you! – Hakuna Matata!

    Liked by 3 people

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