In mid 2019, I experienced one of the biggest life changes anyone can go through----I went through a divorce after almost 20 years of marriage. Despite the parting being amicable, I have to admit that the aftermath was tough. I felt lost, scared, and anxious, as I have never been truly alone in my entire adult life. Though I am an introvert by nature, the thought of actual solitude was terrifying and I equated being alone with being lonely, in a way only a recovering codependent will ever truly understand.
I would have overwhelming episodes of sadness, feelings of loss, and I would be gripped by incapacitating feelings of anxiety because I felt like I was losing control. Even worse, I could not recognize nor process these feelings. All of these difficult emotions would be masked by a huge smile, denial, and protected by impenetrable walls.
In November 2019, before thoughts of the pandemic were even in our consciousness, my therapist suggested I take a break from dating and having sex. She thought this would help me grow and find out what I truly want as I was vacillating between having casual sex and wanting a relationship at the time (which was just mere months after my divorce, by the way). I was aghast and indignant, feeling betrayed, as if she had no idea who I was after months of seeing each other on a regular basis.