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Well, I did a recap of the year, last year, so it makes sense to compare it with this year.

Having realized how much I wanted out of my marriage, but not having yet gathered the will to do something about it, I fell into a fairly deep depression at the beginning of this year. We began sleeping apart, and we had some trouble with financial issues (I had given her control of all the money, some time back, and she didn't feel it necessary to spend any of it on feeding me.)

Amusingly, although I reached out to my birth family for help, I still couldn't summon the courage to just leave. Instead, possibly because my family did help me, she filed a preliminary protective order against me, and I was forced to leave by the police with just a suitcase packed hurriedly at 5:30 a.m. on February 25th.

So, after ten days in a hotel and with a new used car, I moved into an unfurnished apartment. I slept on the floor until a new bed was delivered on the weekend. I still live there, and I've only bought a couple of lamps and small tables. I guess I don't really feel like making it "home".

But much of my focus, this year, has been on the people that I've met here on this site. It has helped me so much to talk to people here. Some of the help has been the direct support that they so freely give. But a surprising (to me) amount of the benefit has come from what I've learned while supporting others.

For one thing, I've found that I can do it. Before that, I had thought of myself as a relatively emotionless person, who wouldn't be able to say anything to help someone else. Not only did I find out that that's not true, I observed how I did it.

Knowing how to comfort another person in pain can be a way to figure out how to comfort yourself; has definitely been helpful to me, to figure out how to comfort myself. {I do sometimes still have to rewrite passages that I find myself having written in the passive voice, the first time.}

I treasure the time I get to spend with my friends, now. I've learned a lot about how people think (and feel), and it's painful and beautiful at the same time. For all that this place is chronically full of suffering, I find hope in it. Not necessarily because the suffering will ever end, but that I can see all the people rallying around, to try to make it end. Just the trying is glorious.

I've also recently rediscovered a love of writing and story-telling that I had half-forgotten. Sure, they mostly have to be silly (perhaps because I'm mostly silly, too, and that's fine), but maybe they can touch people in some way, and if so, that's good enough for me.

All in all, it's been a good year. As Allan said elsewhere, it's the end of a decade, and the beginning of a new one. That has special significance for me: in the past one, I turned 40, got married, tried it for seven years, and realized that it was a mistake. I'm ready to see what the next one holds. :-)

Who's with me?


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