It was towards the end of September  that I had my big breakdown. I mean, I had pretty much been sad every day since June. Sometimes I would go a couple days without crying and then cry for a couple days straight. I tried to maintain some kind of control over my grief. It took every effort I had and finally, I guess it all just came to a head. I felt sick. I felt hollow. I felt paralyzed. I felt like I was rotting from the inside out. I was living in our house that was now just my house. There were reminders everywhere. Changing the look of it was successful. Erasing the memories in my head, not so much.
Grocery shopping made me cry. I couldn’t remember how to shop or what I liked. The thought of eating made me want to vomit. I would wait until I was completely out of food and then rush through the grocery store before I burst into tears. Maybe my next book should be called Divorced? Relearn how to shop and cook for 1. Or maybe I can develop an opposite of Costco for singles. I could call it SoloCo and sell everything in packs of one. Would you like A pork chop? How about A chicken breast? Perhaps A banana? But, I digress.
The new TV season was starting. Every funny moment made me look to the other side of the couch – where The Ex was supposed to be sitting – to see his reaction. I desperately wanted to ask him if he’d seen that new episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and laugh about it with him. I wanted to sit with him on our couch that was now just my couch and make fun of the people on Wheel of Fortune. But I couldn’t, so I just cried each time Vanna turned a letter. Actually, each time she touched a letter. She doesn’t even turn letters anymore. Tough job.
So I was feeling particularly miserable, I could barely get myself out of bed, I couldn’t stop crying, I hadn’t showered in three days, and I had an appointment with my chiropractor the next day. I needed to call in the troops. I sent a text to my sister and all my friends saying something like: I’m in a bad place, I need help, can someone come over and get me in the shower?
Tiramisu called first and a split second later Suzanne called. I could barely even talk to Tiramisu because I was crying so hard. She is one of the sweetest people I know, so she completely shocked me when she harshly said, “Jen, you need to calm down! No one is going to be able to come over right away so you need to calm down!” My tears almost turned from those of the broken hearted to those of a punished child but I was afraid she’d yell at me again if I kept crying, so I held it in as much as I could and whimpered, “okay”. She said she could come over after she put her kids to bed.
When I called Suzanne back she said she could come over in a half hour. The rest of my friends would soon follow. Suzanne brought chocolate and wine and movies. She poured us some wine and then put me in the shower. While I was in the shower, she scooped my kitty litter, took out my trash, and washed my dishes. After my shower we sat outside and drank more wine while we waited for the rest of my friends to come over.
I don’t remember the conversations we had that night. I don’t remember how many bottles of wine we went through (is ahelluvalot a number?). I do remember that when I needed help, I got help. I remember that not one, but six people came to my side. I remember feeling very lucky to have such good friends.