Written by Barb Greenberg, Rediscovering U
As I was searching for the courage to divorce, I went to a restaurant by myself for an early dinner.
A hostess approached with menus in the crook of her arm. “Just one,” I said. “Just one,” she repeated. Just one, I thought with a sigh. As if one isn’t really enough. It doesn’t count. It is less than. Parties of two have substance. Larger parties are impressive, especially when the staff has to move tables together to accommodate all the people. But I’m just one.
It was a small restaurant about thirty minutes out of the cities and seemed safe. I couldn’t imagine bumping into anyone I knew, and it was barely 5:00pm, so there were only a few other customers.
The waitress took my order, and then I pulled a book out of my purse and held it in front of me, peeking over the top and looking around like I was on a military maneuver. The terrain seemed safe, no hostile activity, but again, it was only 5:00pm. I wasn’t very good at eating alone. I imagined people thinking., “Oh, look at the poor lady eating by herself. She must be so sad and lonely.” And I was, more than they could ever imagine.
Eating alone was going to take a lot of practice. And so was being alone if I chose to divorce, though I’d felt more alone in my marriage than I was ready to admit.
But being alone was not what took practice.
What took practice was reaching out to all the people reaching back to help me. Though some friends shifted away from me as I divorced, many more appeared bringing with them support, guidance, love, a willingness to listen, extra kleenex, and even laughter.
So many of us don’t like to ask for help and feel we have to do everything ourself. Please practice reaching out. You are not alone.