My name is Adam and my divorce has been final for about five months. For reasons that I will go into at one point or several, my wife left me about a year ago and still no therapy. I know that it is a step in the healing process but I have yet to seek professional help and, at this point, I do not intend to. One reason is that I have had seven different therapists over the last seventeen of my forty years and I have used all but one of them just to justify who or what I have been. There was one therapist that I did not use for my own justification… I will go into that one at another time.
Another, huge, factor in my not seeking out an eighth therapist is that my divorce left me broke and I cannot afford therapy like I used to. (I’m sure that there is some irony in there, somewhere.)
Shortly after my wife left, I was told that a common step, in dealing with the wonderful array of emotions caused by divorce, is drinking. That I am doing. Started almost immediately after she left. It is awesome. I am probably never going to stop. I am a divorced writer and, if my assuming serves me right, I have forty years of heavy drinking before things go bad for me, physically. In forty years, I will be eighty and too surprised that I made it to eighty to bother with regretting whatever ailment drinking brings me.
If you follow me on Twitter, on Instagram… or into a bar, you know that I drink whiskey and that I drink it neat. I am often asked why I drink whiskey. I have been told that beer is cheaper and that you can drink more of it. My answer is always the same: “Whiskey works!” (I am usually drunk, when asked this so I yell.) Whiskey is the pill that you take once every whenever and as often as needed. Because it works!
Another step, in recovering from the magic that is love’s disappearing act, is one that I have come up with all by my lonesome: reviewing the tape.
In sports, teams review the tape or watch the video of their performances and practices in order to perfect what works and to correct what does not work. If I am right about what I think I know, professional football teams dedicate the entire day after a game to reviewing the tape. They sit together as a team and review their performance from the previous day. In these tape sessions, there are pats on the back, kicks in the ass and, if we are talking about the Oakland Raiders, there may be vomiting.
These tape sessions are vital to the goals of the team. The team wants to get to the Super Bowl and, to achieve that goal, they review the tape to make sure that what they are doing is what they are supposed to be doing.
Why is this an important step in divorce recovery? Because, when we get married our goal is to die married and a divorce, for whatever reason, means that we did not achieve that goal. That’s called failure so I need to review the tape because we… I… I need to see. This is about me. I need to review the tape need to see, no matter how big or small, what I did in the marriage that was unhealthy and contributed to my divorce so that I can grow.
Not good enough of an answer? How about this: I need to review the tape because the fact that I was dumb enough to get married once means that I am dumb enough to do it again!
Now, I know what you are thinking, “After my divorce, I learned my lesson and I am never getting married again.” I thought the same thing, at first, but that thought morphed into, “…I’ve learned my lesson and I, now, know what I am going to do the next time I get married,” without me even realizing it!
After I caught that thought and thought it over, I realized that I was just doing what people, like myself, do: Looking for “the one”. I look for “the one” like I am Morpheus, from, The Matrix, and only “the one” can save Zion. (I watched all three. The third one, I hated a little bit.)
Do you want an example of people like me? Of course, you do. The great television and radio personality Larry King is on his eighth marriage. He has been divorced seven times and almost divorced from his eighth wife once. For his insightful and inquisitive nature, he is one of my heroes and if he keeps making a run at “forever” then I am certain that that is just the way it is. (Okay, he’s not “like” me in as much… You get the point.)
Need more examples? Here you go:
Mickey Rooney was married eight times.
Lorenzo Lamas, Geraldo Rivera, Billy Bob Thorton and Martin Scorsese have each been smitten enough to commit their lives to another person five blissful times.
Jerry Lee Lewis has been married seven times. (I do not like this example because one of his ex-wives was his thirteen-year-old, first cousin. If you review your own tape and see this, turn the tape over to the authorities.)
Now, knowing that, I have to review the tape before my next “game”. I don’t want my next divorce to be caused an issue, or issues, that caused the last one. (I want a hole knew reason; Like how I don’t get homonyms.)
In the interest of full disclosure, I know for a fact that I will marry again. I am a divorced, serial monogamist who is a helpless romantic and hates himself a little bit. It is people like myself who keep wedding planners– the most ridiculous profession on the face of this planet- in business. I am going to review the tape so I can catalogue and correct my unhealthy issues so that, when the next Mrs. You Wanna Give This A Shot arrives, I will think that I am ready. (I won’t be ready but I will know that I’m not ready and that will mean that I am ready. #Jedi) (Wait. Wouldn’t it be Ms. You Wanna Give This A Shot?)
The point of the blogs to follow this one is not to blame my ex-wife, in anyway, and not to just type away about the things she did or did not do. This is about me. (I write that, to remind myself.) The point is accountability. I may deal with an event or a bunch of events that led up to my divorce but the focus will be my reactions and/or responses to those events. When you review the tape, you cannot forget that you are the one to watch the hardest. You are the only one that you control.