Letting go doesn’t hurt, either.


Egmong, BC – Museum

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving Day. This is the day when I’m supposed to be grateful for all the good things in my life, and emotionally let go of whatever negative things are holding me back from a happy and productive life.

All of that is good. In theory.

But it’s hard to do. It’s a lot easier to list the things I’m mad about, or for which I’m resentful, than to account for all the good things in my life, for which I’m grateful. That’s not to say that I’m not, that is, not grateful.

I’m grateful for the people in my life who go out of their way to make my life better, of which there are any number, including my domestic partner who puts up with my frustrations and anxieties, and continues with me in her life, despite no longer wanting to be married to me, or believing that there is any romantic future for us. She’s probably right but still has simply accepted me as I am, despite my faults. So the two of us struggle to go forward in this fundamentally undefinable relationship and cause each other, and ourselves, the least emotional damage possible. And although this relationship isn’t what either of us imagined forty years ago, it continues to sustain me in the present. She still inspires me with her generosity of spirit towards.

I am grateful to my family, including my kids and my siblings, trying not to let resentment fill my heart for all the things I’d hoped would be, but are not. When people love me its hard when its not exactly the way I’d like to be loved. But who am I kidding? The fact that they are willing to be a part of my life is what is important, and I am appreciative when they do spend some time with me.

I’m also happy with my progress towards a healthy future. Intermittent fasting and lifestyle changes I’ve already made are making a real difference in my health, even just a few months into the process began with my decision last spring to reevaluate my medications and side effects. My son’s consistent input about carbs and sugar has encouraged me to stick to my guns when comes to fasting, and has helped me to lose 35 pounds. I do feel better, and I’m grateful for that.

But I still have a hard time not being angry about the things I’m facing in the future. It doesn’t matter really if they are a direct result of my own actions, or not. Chronic pain is very difficult to ignore, especially when it is quite severe, most of the time. I’m taking it on faith that losing weight will improve matters a little, but I’m not counting on it. Pain has become my constant companion, and it’s damned hard not to complain about it. Not that it does any good, but saying something does relieve some of the pressure of feeling so isolated and alone in the pain. Sometimes people think that I resent them because they don’t really express much sympathy, or even really seem to understand what the hell I’m talking about. Actually I don’t resent them, what I resent is the pain itself, and the fact that nothing really helps.

I’m also really resentful about the total destruction of my business and professional career, as a result of having made some stupendously stupid mistakes which cost me everything, including putting limits on my future I’m not quite sure how to endure. It doesn’t actually help to know that there were things I could have done differently that might have made all the difference. I didn’t do those things, so here I am. I’m critically broke, impoverished by the consequences of these mistakes. I also resent being ashamed of my mistakes and lack of better judgment. How can I be sure that I’ll do any better in the future?

International Symbol of gratitude

But today is Thanksgiving Day, so I’ve thought a lot about those things that matter to me. There is a better future ahead, even if I’m not quite sure how to get there. I’m still alive, and I’m in better health than for a long time, and have more energy than for probably ten years. So I grateful for that.

I’m also grateful for my blog. Expressing my deepest feelings helps me come to terms with them. So I’m also grateful for my faithful readers, who have been so encouraging to me as I have been on this fasting journey. Thank you.

50 thoughts on “Letting go doesn’t hurt, either.

  1. Wow, this is the first I’ve read your blog, and I see you’ve got a lot going on. I know that depression can really do a number on our psyche. I pray that God will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. The best advice I’ve ever received is to lean into God. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make in your life. Good luck!

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    • Thank you for your concerns, and yes, I do have a lot going on in my life. I do not get comfort from religion, although I respect that you very well may. I do practice meditation, and centre myself in the universe to achieve peace. I do believe in nirvana, and in the silence there is only the ever present now.

      Like

  2. Hi Donald 🙂
    Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I understand where you’re coming from. Even though our struggles may differ. And like Pam, I will pray for you and your family. Happy (one day late) Thanksgiving with many blessings too!

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  3. Hi thanks for sharing and this post makes people realise that everybody has issues that they are dealing with. I read a quote once that said ‘ you are not starting all over , you are starting over with the experience you have.’ So I hope that brightens your day Sir. I was busy typing an article and I saw the pink notification dot , so I left my article to find it was your pink dot like notification , so I had a look at some of your articles and I noticed that many of them were about fasting , at that moment in my mind I was thinking no way Im just doing this once off kind of article on the same topic which Im going to post right after your notification , this guy is going to think I planned this after seeing his article!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lots to be grateful for, even when there’s slim pickings from which you can choose. You could be homeless, in stage four of some horrible disease that forces you count the rest of your life on a few fingers. You could flat broke with creditors hounding you. I try to practice gratitude, but it’s not always easy.

    I see you’re like me….trying to lose weight. Good luck on your venture. Continue to keep is posted on your progress.

    Enjoyed your post,
    Lk
    Texas

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  5. Gratitude is such a sticky topic. I appreciate your honest approach and look forward to reading more of your posts. My partner suffers from chronic pain, and it’s not something most people can understand, so this really stood out to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Featured Blogger (Part 1) for October 17, 2019 – Wildindigoprisms

    • Thank you for making my blog a Featured Blogger (Part 1) for October 17, 2019. I really enjoyed reading your response and story, and feel a lot of compassion for both you and your lover.

      At his point in my life I’m basically celibate as well, not having a sexual relationship with my life partner, but also not having any other intimate relationships either.

      I have been in an open marriage, as well as in a marriage that was “don’t ask, don’t tell” with my current partner until recently where she recently changed the rules to just “don’t or else”. This at the same time as declared that she no longer considers us married but rather just “friends” living together in a domestic partnership. WTF!
      I totally hear you about your lover, and I understand him not wanted to leave despite how he feels. Obligation comes from inside, not from your partner.

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  7. I’m not sure what to comment, but I get how blogging is something to be grateful for. I’m relating to you there. Somehow writing helps to get you over a hump, and even possibly let some of it go, though I understand that pain is a tough one. I don’t understand it on the level that you or my husband does, but I’ve seen how it wears on him. It’s tough. Sorry to hear that you’r going through that.

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  8. You are in a genuinely interesting situation. Very few people are given the “opportunity” to learn as much as you have been challenged to learn. Just one of the challenges you are facing would take someone’s full energy and attention. So of course, you get — all of them. My sincerest sympathies. I’ve been through some of the challenges you face today. Some I solved, some not…. or at least not yet.

    On relationships — have you read _Passionate Marriage_ by David Schnarch? It is by far the best book on understanding relationships that I have ever read. (And I’ve read a lot.) . Fair warning, though. It’s graduate-level reading and a hard go. Worth the effort, though.

    On Intermittent Fasting — I do not do intermittent fasting; it doesn’t work for my body. But I know it works for a lot of people, probably more men than women. I really enjoyed John Berardi’s e-book on their (his company is called Precision Nutrition) experiments on Intermittent Fasting. It explained a lot to me about why it works for some and not others, and I like their agnostic approach to all things related to eating and food. Here’s a link to the first chapter, and from there you can download (for free) the full PDF. https://www.precisionnutrition.com/intermittent-fasting

    Disclosure: I’ve done their certification level 1, and am doing the level 2 certification now, as well as receiving more than a year of coaching from them to continue my own journey toward health.

    One last thing. Don’t give up. You are in a very, very hard place. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. I would like to see how it turns out.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

    • An additional recommendation for a book on marriage: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman Ph.D. and Nan Silver. Recommended with reservation as I am only 1/2 way through! But it seems very practical and you seem like a practical person. It is based on a lot of interesting research. If you can get through the boasting and a few obvious patriarchal statements at the beginning, I’d like to know what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Featured Blogger (Part 2) for October 17 2019 – Wildindigoprisms

  10. You are on a road of self healing and self discovery. I’m glad your meditating. I started a year ago and have had so much value from having done so. I use Vishen Lakhiani’s 6 phase guided meditation. What do you use?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pain is The most debilitating injury anyone can have. Donald have you ever been asked to try medical marijuana. It may sound like the worst thing on earth and I’m not trying to lead you down any unwanted paths. The people I know around me use it and swear by it’s values. It’s just a thought 💭. I am looking into it as well for the pain I deal with each day. I don’t smoke that stuff and get high. I’ve never been in that group and choose not to. Give it a thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I appreciate your sincerity and revealing a part of yourself in this post. There are and always will be challenging times in life but there also the good times. After my 70 some years, I learned that one must live for each moment and stop to smell the roses. Peace and light, my friend, and thank you for following BrewNSpew.

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  13. Not expecting life to be a particular way, but allowing it to be, accepting what is, and taking it moment by moment is liberating. i.e. Letting go of expectation. Re chronic pain – “as we age, chronic pain is just a fact’ (Anne Sandler above)??? Er. No. It isn’t. I don’t know a single older person who suffers chronic pain, I’m 48 and have no serious ailments – at the mo some tendonitis, maybe a rotator cuff issue… but that’s probably from falling over while trail running! My parents and in-laws are in their 80s and none of them suffer from chronic pain.
    Just a thought – how much water do you drink? It might not be the answer, but worth considering your hydration. Read this; https://www.outsideonline.com/2377851/water-gallon-challenge-month. Take care. x

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Donald,
    Thank you for sharing. It is incredibly brave to face yourself especially in an open forum. I am certain that many of us can relate to some of the things you are confronted with. While I wish there were answers to what are most likely many questions, please remember to be kind to yourself. Judging yourself for past actions will not change them, but could potentially bring you more pain. Make friends with the pain you have, you may not be together forever, but while you are bound you may as well have a good relationship instead of a struggle. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Your advice is right on! I have been a pain seeker for many years and also a BDSM dominator. It’s time that I accept the pain in my body, and learn to squeeze out the pleasure that can be gained from submission to it. Resistance is futile! Better to be open to it, and revel in it, make my tears the tears of joy rather than the tears of resistance.

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  15. Pingback: Feel the Pain, Move Around Anyway and Accept It – Peak Potential Coaching- Live the Life You Want

  16. “Feeling isolated from the pain”. I had a fortifications car accident 30 years ago, broke 11 major bones, I have tremendous opportunistic arthritis , cervical stenosis and MS. Life is a dailyAss kicking but you just deal with it. ….like me, you learn to live with it. And give yourself permission from time to time to feel sorry for yourself. Some self-pity. You’ll snap out of it but it’s ok to mourn the loss of who you once were. You’ve earned that right,

    Greetings from Texas
    LK

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Hi Donald, I understand your feelings totally. My significant other, Richard, when we met (I am older than he is) was always able to do things, and he was loving and there was good sex, etc., but those things have all gone away and now I am his caregiver after he has had two cervical surgeries and some minor ones in between, and now he cannot use his right arm for the most part, and his whole right side is a problem for him in walking, etc. So I know what it is like to suffer changes in our lives that seem to happen to most of us as we grow older. People who were once passionate with us seem unable to show that much passion; perhaps they have aches and pains or feelings of disappointment the way things have changed too, but are unable to express it well. I guess in the long run, getting older is not an easy thing for any one of us.

    When my younger brother came home from Vietnam 100% disabled with a TBI, a spinal injury, and severe PTSD, as well as potential Agent Orange damage (which soldiers are having difficulty proving and getting reimbursed for). When I saw how he had changed and realized the effects of it, it gave me a heart to work with children and adults with all kinds of physical/developmental/emotional challenges (all interrelated) and I have done so ever since. So now that I am my dear one’s caregiver and have so much frustration at times dealing with it, I always stop and think about my brother and how he changed, and so I at least understand it, and I give him attention that makes him still feel as though he still has it, even in if reality he does not. A little pretending doesn’t hurt either side, and it gives him a feeling, even for a few minutes, that there is still something that is good in him and in me, and that we are close as we were in the beginning. I make sure to give him plenty of kudos for everything and there was a time when we were having challenges with our communications, so we went to a counselor for a few times together and what came out was that we both still loved each other, and that each of us has changed physically and we have more stress now dealing with things outside of us. It helped us a lot, and now we are both more calm, and we both are more playful, going by one another and giving each other a pinch, or stopping and kissing the other one. It IS better for sure. Thank you for this good post. I think a lot of us go through these things as we grow older. It is definitely a very different kind of change, sort of like when the leaves begin to fall off the trees in the fall. Hang in there and do sit and talk openly with your partner because she might have some of the same feelings. You just have to risk and talk to each other and see what you can do to bring some of that loving feeling back.

    Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Anne for your inspiring chat. Life is long, and not all of it is positive, by any means. Sticking with it can also be hard, especially if what you want differs from what your partner is interested in.

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  18. Much of this spoke to me, though my relationship is past the issues of sex. I, too, suffer chronic pain, so I understand that this unseen malady does not elicit much sympathy. If someone asks, I will tell them, otherwise I get through my day, on force of will alone . I wish you the best and am intrigued to read more of your work.

    These days, I try to treat each day I wake up is a good one. Or, as I read: Show Up and Be Kind. Thank you for liking my post Taking Flight..

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Your post is wonderfully honest! I think there are actually a lot of people who could identify with what you describe as the challenges in your life. But most people don’t face their lives with so much honesty. So I applaud your courage! Best wishes to you!

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  20. Thanksgiving is coming up here in the U.S., and, I was pretty much thinking of writing the very same post, right down to the resentment, pain, fasting, health, and relationships. Somehow it helps to know that I am not the only one feeling this way. I wish I could tell you how to move forward, but, I don’t know how to myself. I am worried about myself a little. I am worried about the people whom I have allowed to insert themselves into my life. Sometimes I feel it would be better to be alone to spare others my pain and frustrations in their lives. At the same time, like you, I am thankful for them and appreciate them being here for me. Thank you for writing this post. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Your ‘domestic partner’ sounds like an absolute gem. Sometimes I feel the need to pontificate, and when I do I can do no better than spout these words—

    And these few precepts in thy memory
    See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
    Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
    Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
    Of each new-hatch’d, unfledged comrade. Beware
    Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
    Bear’t that the opposed may beware of thee.
    Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
    Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgment.
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not express’d in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
    And they in France of the best rank and station
    Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.

    Good luck …

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  22. Hi Donald – I have had to let go of somebody who I loved dearly recently because of my mental health issues. It was incredibly hard, and still feels sometimes like it was the wrong decision, but deep down I know it was for the best. For both of us it was incredibly hard to live with my issues of depression, anxiety, jealous and ability to cope with various emotional situation. We had given it a go 3 times and I felt like the relationship (not the person) was just too much for me and I had to call it a day. Probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life because I didn’t want to let her go, but had to.

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    • I’m going to respond with a more fulsome answer tomorrow, as your story resonates strong for me. I had to removed myself from my daughter’s life and her from mine for exactly these reasons, about four years ago. It was incredibly hard, and the repercussions are huge, both for her and I, as well as for my two grandchildren who had to be removed from her care. Decisions like these are never easy.

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  23. Donald, life is full of ups and downs and it seems that you have had your fill of them. However, with Christ no matter where we find ourselves know that He is just a prayer away.
    Praying you and your beloved find that peace that passes all understanding through Christ.
    ps thanks for liking my blog post on the Prophets of old. Advent has taken on a whole new way of seeing Christ in the scriptures.
    Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your blessings, but I am not a Christian and so I don’t really appreciate the message in the way you intend it. To me it’s really not much different than if you had merely said, “have a good day” and really meant it. Telling someone else what they should believe in is not a good look on you.

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  24. I can certainly empathize. I feel naive because it is only recently that I have come to realize just how many people actually suffer with Chronic “idiopathic” pain. Always thought it was just me. Maybe I was a weakling. Maybe I complained too much. Maybe I was a hypochondriac. Years ago a Pain Management doctor advised me to “not make a crusade” out of my quest for an answer. I was annoyed. I wanted to ask if he suffered chronic pain, but I didn’t because, like always, I kept silent. After so many years I made other changes which simplified my life to an extent and that reduced my “burden”. I began to accept my pain. There is a concept! Who wants to accept it. But if it won’t go away, the best you can do is learn to live with it. Not making a crusade…I see now what the man meant. I have days when I can barely struggle out of bed but then I return to the medication that helps and I am like a new person…until it builds up in my system and makes my head feel like it’s made of lead. So life is a bit of a seesaw, but I have only to think of so many friends who are all so much worse off, not to mention the millions of people around the world suffering from hunger/war/discrimination, on and on. I used to say thinking of those people only made me feel worse, and yes, when I am at a particularly low ebb, it still does, but most days it puts things in perspective.
    Everyone’s experience is different, but I find it helps to read about other people and it certainly helps to write because, like you, I felt that people I knew didn’t want to listen and I felt people didn’t understand that I felt ill so often. It’s hard for people to understand something they don’t personally experience.
    In any event….there are a lot of us and I find a great deal of support in these sorts of messages. It seems that you do too. I wish you strength.

    Liked by 1 person

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