Please let me welcome you, as well! I found your post to be really thoughtful and interesting, and I hope I can offer you some support with my comments, too.
I can relate to a lot of what you said right off the bat. There something about
the late-thirties/early-forties that makes us re-evaluate things and try to find out if we need to make a change in our lives. I won’t go into the whole “mid-life crisis” jazz, because I think that term trivializes the importance of this kind of soul-searching. I am very close to your age, and the past few years have been full of life changes, and a ‘re-learning’ of how to deal with personal problems, and a renewed sense of self in many ways. It’s been a difficult time, but also a time of important discoveries. I’m still working on it, too.
I think Grizzly has a good point about
romanticizing the past, and the shame it would be to write off the years you’ve had up until now, living in the North. Please don’t focus on these years as wasted time…..you obviously have a great deal of love for your wife and child, and I feel certain that you have had a host of wonderful experiences, even amidst the sadness. I really believe that everything we go through is an important part of the journey, and your time up North would be no exception.
Jamie also makes a good point that we can’t change the past, and you might be sending yourself down a sad and unnecessary road if you spend too much time thinking about
‘what might have been’. The important time is ‘now’, and how you are going to deal with the feelings you have at this moment.
You gave some details about
why you left the South in the first place, and I can’t help but wonder if you are at a similar point of ‘crossroads’, just with different circumstances. I hope you will give yourself as much time as you need to think things through, because it sounds like you have some heavy decisions to make.
I like Erik’s idea of making more visits to the South, maybe for a few weeks at a time, in order to fulfill the longing you have to be there, and to allow yourself some time to really evaluate what is true for you, and what is (or might be) a false sense of comfort about
‘back home’ after so many years away. Please understand, I do not mean to say that you don’t know what you’re talking about
, or that you are merely fantasizing about
things…..I guess I’ve just had too many experiences myself where I have idealized people and places after much separation, sometimes to find out later that these people and places weren’t exactly how I remembered them to be. There is a certain ‘honeymoon period’ that goes along with reacquainting yourself with familiar things, and I just don’t want to see you crash, or feel regret down the road. I sense that you have enough of those feelings already, and I am truly sorry for that.
I do understand why you would feel sad about
sacrificing your happiness for another person, over the long term. I have done that in relationships too many times, not even realizing it at first, and it has taken a lot of time and therapy for me to get over that…..and it’s still an ongoing process. That being said, weigh your options carefully over the next while, and (if you don’t mind me suggesting it) perhaps re-consider counseling if you feel up to it. It can be extremely helpful with the right person.
I hope you will feel comfortable to keep posting with us. Your story has undoubtedly touched a lot of people, including the many who come here to read but not post. I wish you the best, and look forward to you writing again.
Moderator, Depression Forum
“Sadness is but a wall between two gardens.” ~Kahlil Gibran
Post Edited (Raniah) : 6/23/2009 2:18:20 PM (GMT-6)