I can’t tell you the number of times I have shouted, exclaimed and even whispered in exasperation,

“I don’t care anymore.”

I don’t care that he drinks.

I don’t care that he’s checked out.

I don’t care that he does nothing.

I don’t care that he is destroying our marriage.

I don’t care that the house is a chaotic disaster.

I don’t care that my kids fight.

I.

Don’t.

CARE!!

But of course I did care.

I cared deeply.

I cared that he drank and that he was checked out and that our marriage was being destroyed.

I cared that my kitchen looked like a meth lab and that the kids fought and that I would come home to a house where my husband had done NOTHING all evening.

I kept saying I didn’t care because I thought not caring was the way out. I thought if I could stop caring then I would be able to walk away. I thought if I could make myself completely indifferent to the pain and grieve of the alcoholic marriage, I would do what I needed to do in order to end the marriage. (And save my own life and soul.)

But I was wrong.

Not caring is not not-caring.

Not caring is hurting so much and wanting so badly for things to be different that you shut down. It’s your heart’s version of shock. The body goes into shock when there is a physical pain so great that it can’t be endured. The body “stops caring.” But that doesn’t mean the pain isn’t still there. It doesn’t mean the damage isn’t happening. It just means your body has stopped registering it on a conscious level.

And so I say, your heart will do the same thing.

It will shut down.

It will stop feeling the pain on a conscious level.

It won’t care.

But all the pain and the damage is still there. Still happening.

And there is virtually no way to be proactive and live an authentic life from a point of not caring.

When your heart is in shock.

I didn’t know any of this, wasn’t aware of any of this until just the other day when from somewhere – God, The Universe, Eternal Energy of Life – I don’t know. I truly don’t know but from somewhere – maybe just deep inside of me – came these words,

“I accept that this is what this marriage is.”

“I accept that this is who he is.”

“I accept that I can’t hope for or count on him changing.”

“I accept he’s going to do nothing to change or improve things in the marriage.

And with that, I knew…

I am ready.

To live authentically.

To take back my life and my power and myself.

You have to pass through the fires of not-caring to reach a meadow of peace and acceptance.