Scorched Earth: On Finally Releasing Sadness After Divorce

I am standing among the ruins of my life. This is not analogy. This is not a clever turn of phrase....


I am standing among the ruins of my life. This is not analogy. This is not a clever turn of phrase. This is the truth.

I’ve lost more than I could have ever imagined in the last seven months. My husband/best friend/partner is gone, I am separated from a city I love and the friends I made there are far away. The life I built is no longer in shambles. It’s razed. Burned to the damn ground.


And I am bitter.

I do not say this for sympathy. I do not say this for relief. I’m saying it because it’s true.



I hold so much anger that at times I am blinded. Small details set me off:

couples on commercials/holidays/songs/household products/smells/cities/names/words/cars/movies/tattoos/memories

I hold so much sadness at times I am hopeless and it manifests in all areas of my life. And I’m tired.

I’m so tired.

I’ve said time and again to my family and friends that there is no word I can wrap my mind around that can better explain my state of mind.

Tapped out. At rock bottom. Drained. Broken. Defeated. Bested. Frustrated. Angry. Shattered.

And I’m throwing up my hands. Wherever I end up is where I end up. Whoever is there is there. Whatever I have I have. Anything else? It was lost in the ether long ago and I no longer care to chase after it. Each time I dive into it I barely make it back. And when I do? Another piece of me is left behind.

I’ll pick myself up again, alone, changed, and scrubbed clean. I will hold no more secrets or sadness. I will no longer carry the doubts and humiliations heaped upon my spirit. I’m done. This is not about therapy. This is not about spiritually. It is about self. For months, I’ve said I was at rock bottom. Had I only known how deep the rabbit hole goes I would have gladly stopped falling.

So where does that leave me? Right here. In the moment. I will no longer speak of this divorce. I will no longer speak of this marriage. I will no longer speak of this relationship. I will no longer fool myself into believing that love conquers all. I will no longer convince myself being good equals good things in return.

I will tell myself I am beautiful. I will tell myself I am sexually attractive. I will tell myself I am smart. I will tell myself I am funny. I will tell myself I am wonderful. I no longer need anyone else to see it. And if I falter? I falter on my own accord.

I relinquish victimhood. I release this blackness, this sadness. I rebuke these months, these years, that life. I am important and that’s all that matters.

Now life begins.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Athena Dixon-DeMary is co-founder of Specter Literary Magazine, poetry editor of The Reprint, and a managing editor for Z-Composition. Her work has appeared both online and print and is forthcoming in several journals. She writes and edits in NE Ohio.

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