Sunday, March 3, 2013

Giant Potholes in the Road of Life

There is a road not far from my house that has the worst potholes in the world. I'm talking about jaw-breaking, brain-rattling caverns that shock me every time I drive over them. Even though I try to avoid them, they are impossible to miss. The funny thing is that the road is in a really nice area with beautiful trees and charming homes.

Okay, maybe I'm overstating the size of the potholes...a little.

To outsiders my life appears perfectly lovely. I have a supportive family, a great job, a cute cat, a home, and look healthy on the outside. The reality is that I've hit a giant pothole in my personal life, which has shaken me to the core.

My husband and I recently divorced.

We separated a few months ago, and the divorce was finalized last month. When I got married in 2005, the D-word was never an option for me. I believed I would spend the rest of my life with this man. I would get healthy, and then we would have children and grow old together.

We were supposed to grow old together.

Unfortunately, the odds were against us. From what I've read, the divorce rate for people with chronic illness is higher than that of healthy people. My husband also brought his own mental and physical issues to the marriage, which compounded our challenges.

Suffice it to say our marriage is over.

What makes the timing of the demise of our marriage so much more painful is that I'm the healthiest I've been in a very long time (I'll write about it in a future post), our careers were going well, and we were finally reaching a point where we didn't have to worry as much about our finances. The future was looking bright.

Unfortunately, the future I envisioned for myself is gone.

I'm now in the process of regrouping and dealing with my grief. I'm seeing a psychologist to sort through everything, my family has been amazingly supportive, and I'm taking care of myself. I think I've been doing quite well under the circumstances, though I'm not entirely sure how much is denial and how much is me actually handling things.

Only time will tell, I suppose.

My mom bought me a magnet that I keep prominently featured on my refrigerator so that I see it every day. It says:
Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end. ~Anonymous

What's great about the road with the terrible potholes is that once I get through the really rough patch, there is a stretch of freshly repaired road. There are no potholes in that area, and it's a smooth drive for a while.

I'm looking forward to the next smooth part of my Road of Life. For now, however, I'm working on getting past this darn pothole.


upnorth said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear this. I have two, that's right,
two friends who are recently separated. It is so hard make marriage work even when healthy. I can barely manage the little social life I do have. Hang in there, you will move one. Don't forget to grieve for what you've lost. Take care Alyson, thinking of you.

Patrick W. Calvin said...

I am very very sorry to hear that Alyson. Any kind of life change causes stress, even when we don't feel "stressed" per se. It sounds like you are handling it well. I'm glad to hear that your health has improved lately and I hope you're able to enjoy that. I wish you the best in this new chapter of your life. Thanks for your excellent blogging.

alyson said...

Thanks upnorth and Patrick. It's been about a month since the divorce was finalized but about three months since we actually separated. I've been checking in regularly with my doctor and a psychologist to make sure I'm doing ok. I think I've been handling things pretty well, but it's always nice to get confirmation from professionals. I'm just taking one day at a time!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I can relate to you 100%. I am getting an EMG on Monday and will be travelling to get a thorough check up at Cleveland Clinic in three weeks. How are you now? Do you have any updates? Please let me know. Did you get the results from your genetic testing? I am sorry about your marriage. That is hard, but I am sure dealing with your illness is just as hard (if not harder?). You will get through it, just as you get through every single day with this miserable illness. My e-mail address is r e a d y f o r w h a t 7 @ the company that Marissa Mayer works at up in Seattle, WA. Good luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, me again. I wondered, have you gotten your DNA or mitochondrial test results back yet? Did they find anything with that? It's devastating to think we just have to live like this. I work 15 hours a week and can't even handle it. Thanks.

alyson said...

Hi readyforwhat7 - Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm sorry that you're dealing with so much illness.

Considering all that is on my plate, I'm actually doing pretty well mentally and physically these days. Thank you for asking! While I have not received my nuclear DNA test results yet, I received my mitochondrial DNA results in October. You can read about them in my Sunday, October 21, 2012 post "Mitochondrial Disease Testing Update."

I have received my CoQ10 results. The test showed that I had low CoQ10 levels, so the mito specialist recommended that I go on a high dose of CoQ10 per day. It took a few months before I started noticing any difference, but it has really helped. I'll be writing about CoQ10 in more detail in a future post.

By the way, my email is I wish you the best!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Alyson! May I ask, how much CoQ10 do you take? I am going to the Cleveland Clinic in two weeks. Had my EMG today (everything looked fine) and the neurologist was very nice. Would it be a bad idea to preemptively start taking a lot of CoQ10 (maybe 2000 mg, liquid form) to see if it helps me? I do not know if that would affect my testing. The neurologist doesn't think my issue is mitochondrial. Well, I cannot walk anywhere. I am going to sit on my couch the next 60 years of my life unless I get some help.

cinderkeys said...


I'm four months behind on all the blogs I follow, so I only read this now. I'm so sorry. Hopefully the potholes have become smaller since you wrote this.

alyson said...

Hi cinderkeys - Thanks for checking in! Yes, the potholes have become much smaller both figuratively and literally. I'm doing really well these days, and the city repaired most of the potholes on the street I wrote about! :)