Put the pieces back differently.
When we went through our first crisis a few years ago, I read a quote somewhere that was akin to - you don't know this new me, I put my pieces back together differently. It was true. In retrospect, maybe I hadn't refashioned myself different enough. Or maybe, as I am beginning to realize, I hadn't broken as much as I thought. Kinda like when you think you are in labor but they are just Braxton Hicks contractions. But you, as a first timer, are so sure - Nope. This is it. It is go time. Then the real labor comes and you are like - ooooohhhhhhh, gotcha, now I see. The depths and pain of those few years ago pale in comparison to the past year. Still, I survived the first which has been a good thing to remember.
I have been thinking lots about old and new. Then and now. Dream and reality. That's what happens when anniversaries come up. A reckoning. A performance review. A renegotiation. Lots of thinking. Here is what I have decided. I survived. Like a boss! I am upright and breathing and laughing and smiling (and meaning it) and working my businesses for my health (mental, emotional and physical). My kids are smiling and lighter and reveling in being kids.
I am grateful for the last year and the affair and all the nuclear fallout. Because it didn't break me. It held up a mirror and redirected me. It showed me who I had become and reminded me of who I had been and who I had wanted to be. Even if I wanted to, I couldn't fit into my old life anymore. I said as much to him when I knew we were done. I was fundamentally different and I was not sure he could, or would want to, love this me. The person that I had allowed myself to become. The one I had always been. What a freakin' gift!
Does is still suck sometimes? Um, yah. Am I whole? Not yet. But it's coming. I can feel it.