It’s Ok to Not Be Ok

It’s really OK to not be OK. Everyone has their own struggles, and it’s OK to struggle. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and it’s the first step to becoming OK. While it’s easy to let emotions cloud over our judgment, the challenge in life (and at being successful) is being able to control yourself. “Not only is it ok to not feel ‘ok,’ it is essential. It is essential to feel your emotions every now and then to understand which area of our life needs a change or needs to let go off. 

I know this topic has been discussed a lot of times before, but today I am going to talk about my personal experience. The most important life lesson I have learnt from not being ok all the time is, “Everything will be ok in the end. If it’s not ok, it’s not the end.”

Ever since my separation, my life has been a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes I am screaming out of joy and sometimes tears are flowing down my eyes out of loss or fears. Many a times I even questioned myself if my divorce was worth it, and most of the times I feel I am better off alone than being in a relationship where I had to question my self-worth every day.

But is life only about marriage, relationships or partners? Woefully, 90% of the times – YES! It is said, that it is very important to choose a good life partner as majority of your life revolves around them. Find the Yin in your Yang. Throw out the idea of perfect, as none of us are. But having a trustworthy partner by your side clears a lot of stumbling blocks.

Take me for example. I have everything I need. I have a source of income, a beautiful dog, a house, my parents and siblings, extended family and some friends who genuinely care, hobbies, beauty, and education. Looking at me, everyone feels I am a very lucky and a strong girl and lack nothing. Infact, many even advice me to stay single all my life as being with a partner will increase my responsibility and headache…..ha ha ha ha!

But the truth is; I am lonely. Not depressed, not sad, not suicidal, plain lonely. There are days when I cry my eyes out of fear. Fear of dying alone. Fear of not finding the right partner before I become too old, fear of not having kids as my body won’t be able to take it as I age, fear of keeping all the love within me that I have to share. I am not ok, and it’s ok.

Life cannot be spent alone and it is very important to have a trustworthy and genuine partner. Majority of the people regretted and confessed on their death bed of not spending enough time with their loved ones or cheating on their partners. Human bonds are made out of emotions and the emotion LOVE is supposed to create the strongest bond known to the mankind, love heals like no other medicine so if you feel unloved or unworthy due to someone’s comments or actions regarding you, let that toxic piece of shit go. No matter how much time it takes for you to be okay, take your time and value the presence of people in your life who are holding you altogether no matter how bad the situation is, just hold onto them and most importantly HOLD ONTO YOURSELVES and trust me YOU WILL BE OKAY and bursting with happiness again.

One of my cousins’, who is a Tarot Card Reader, was telling me that, majority of her clients, infact 99% of her clients have questions relating to only Love and Relationships. She said; everyone’s life is only revolving around boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. Infact, even their careers and money matters are directly/indirectly connected to their partners. No one is happy, but no one wants to change their own self. My cousin always advises her client and others in general to love yourself first, feel your emotions and “it’s ok to not be ok all the time.”

This is exactly what I practice. When I am not ok, I just be with myself and let my emotions flow. I don’t do anything to stop it. Sometimes it gets too overwhelming, so that time I ask for help, like I call someone up and talk to them or meet someone or exercise. Besides having everything I need and more, I am still not ok. Every so often I keep thinking about the past. Or fear of the future. On occasions I even dwell too deep in fear on a simple statement when someone asks me about my dog’s age and their average life span. I fear losing Junior. At times, I fear losing my parents as they are turning old. Earlier I was ready to get married to a guy who was living 1000s of miles away abroad. But now I refuse to even leave my city, forget even another state. This pandemic made us change our priorities.

You are allowed to change your mind, to take a break or leave a situation if you don’t feel comfortable, I am very much righty-ho to leave friends behind or people behind with whom I am not congenial anymore or that I have realized they were with me only for their benefits and convenience. I am not a people pleaser anymore and I don’t care how many years of friendship we had in the past.

Rough patch, a bad day, a major setback. Sometimes, it seems like one thing goes wrong after another. And another, and another. Sometimes an unexpected challenge or an obstacle might come my way, and I find myself stressing out, worrying and not knowing what to do. And, some days, I just have nothing – zero motivation, no creativity. All of a sudden, I am being plagued with self-doubt. And some days, I am on top of this world. An unexpected income, a surprise gift, a stagnant work kicks off or even a phone call from a long lost friend makes my day.  But it’s ok. I am human after all, and without the downs, I would have never valued the ups and got the maturity I have today.  I don’t know if things will ever go back to the way they used to be. What I do know is that admitting that I’m not doing too well, even to myself, wasn’t easy. But with time, as I mentioned above, I learnt to be ok with not being ok, and realized that removing time for me was not a selfish move.

We all should be allowed to fall apart sometimes, so that we can find ourselves again. What is not ok is staying there and making it your comfort zone. Once you are done feeling all your emotions, get up once again and try once again. Go out there, look good for yourself, work for yourself, exercise for yourself, and if again you feel like your emotions are taking over, let them.

Its okay to fully experience whatever it is you’re feeling. It’s okay to say that you’re not okay. And that means your feelings and emotions are valid, no matter what they are. Take the time you need to rest, recharge, and breathe. Take care of yourself the best way you know how. You know yourself better than anyone.

Breaking the Taboo – Divorced and Smiling!

Let me make one thing clear before I elaborate on this topic – No! I do not encourage divorce. But I do encourage being single and enjoying yourself, self love, appreciating your space till you find the right partner.

Marriage is a sacred institution and divorce is taboo in Indian society. … The concept of “compromise in marriage” is gradually fading as women feel economically independent and liberated. Modern Indian men and women no more believe in marital compromise the way our past generations used to do. Divorce may still be a taboo, but sometimes letting go is the best option.

As per India Today, unsurprisingly, India has the lowest divorce rate, which goes as low as being less than one percent, this in a country which has the highest domestic violence and depression rate. In India, one out of every three married women, face domestic abuse, and, yet we have so many happy successful marriages. Are people really happy or have they forced themselves in wrong relationships just because of the stigma that comes attached with a divorce or the common norm “what will the society say!”

Is it really worth staying in a marriage which brings more of misery than peace and happiness, and the fear of society or break free and live the life you deserve?

I was married at the age of 23 to the love of my life. My family, friends and relatives were very happy and as per the traditional myth, everyone (including me) thought that the typical Indian marriage lasts forever, even when it’s irretrievably broken. For various reasons, things went downhill. We split up, which initially came as big shock to family and friends. People all around started giving me lectures and emotionally blackmailed me to “compromise” and get back to my ex-husband inspite of knowing the reason of separating which was beyond compromising.

I was mentally tortured by the society and even shamed by my own close relatives and friends. Some said, “I failed in marriage”, others said, “I broke my marriage” or “I will never get another man if I am divorced” or “divorced woman breaks others houses so keep your husband’s away from her”, etc. I never really bothered about all this because my parents supported my decision and stood by me through all this. Infact, even they were shamed because they stood by my decision. What did hurt was, only I was called out because I am a woman, and no one said a word to my ex-husband.

Eventually, I was legally divorced and now I have a title called “Divorcee” instead of “Single”. Not just this, even the legal system considers a divorced woman as an untouchable. The process of change of surname and from Mrs. to Miss is no less than a torture.

When I got legally divorced, I was relieved and felt like a huge burden off my shoulders. I was looking forward to start a new life and get back on my feet. Since I am a very mentally strong woman, the taunts of the society don’t affect me at all. But I am writing here to encourage other women.

I have never shied away from telling anyone (when asked) that I am divorced. But the look on their faces after hearing that, makes me wonder that we are still far behind in broad minded thinking, especially in India. Soon, the society started lecturing me to remarry as I am aging, I won’t be able bear kids later, I will not get a good guy, looked at me in pity, etc. As if, the only work for a woman here is to marry and have children. When I would tell them that I will not remarry until I get good partner, they would tell me that I have too much attitude which doesn’t suit me as I am a divorcee. Does that make sense?

But look at me; I am living my best life, independent, happy, fit, a smiling and a dynamic divorcee. I will remarry, but only with the person I connect on all levels – mentally, physically and spiritually. I don’t come under the pressure of the society, never have and never will. I respect the society, but I respect myself more. Getting divorced is not the end of the world, and getting remarried is not the only thing left in life to do. Enjoy the journey, rediscover yourself, make new friends, build a career, travel, donate, and just live in the present.

For me, I had a very strong support from parents and siblings. Besides them, I had Casper and I still have Junior who never let me slip into depression and always kept me healthy and happy. I do not regret my divorce, nor am I happy that it happened. But that was the only solution for both of us to be happy again. Sometimes things don’t work out as expected, and there are many reasons for a divorce. Do not judge anyone. Everyone has their own reasons and fighting their own battles which we do not see. Be patient and loving. Life is beautiful, and without the downs, we will never appreciate the ups. Live and let live!

Bullies

I had taken a break last week from uploading a post. The reason for that was, I was fueled with anger. Today, in this post; I am writing everything from the heart and experience.

My country India is going through a tough time right now. We all are scared not just about the Corona Virus, but about our survival as well. Every single day we hear and read about deaths. All this has increased a lot of anxiety in majority of us. We are already living in fear, but there are some who add up to the stress.

Last week, some Anonymous had left a nasty comment on my page which said, “I am a self-obsessed, male attention seeking, ugly whore, who’s own marriage is wrecked and now is wrecking others marriages.” I am not too sure if this comment was left by someone known or some anonymous who actually took the effort to read my posts and then leave a nasty comment like this. Besides this, someone else left a comment on my dog Junior that in such bad times, I have kept a dog and spending money on him instead of donating.

Let me start by saying, yes I am divorced and there were a lot of factors which lead to my divorce. How does that mean I am a self-obsessed, male attention seeking, ugly whore? And by just being divorced, does that mean I am going to break others marriages? Even Bill Gates got divorced. Does that mean his wife is now going to break others marriages! What I don’t understand is, if you have so much guts to leave a disgusting comment like this, then why “Anonymous”, show your face and leave your name. I will be more than happy to clear your misunderstanding.

Regarding my dog, he is with me since 9 years, and I may not eat but see to it he has been fed rather than donating to people who can’t even follow basic protocols of wearing a mask on the nose and putting others life in danger. I do my piece of social work and I do not need anyone’s validation.

Fake WhatsApp messages, daily propaganda of news channels, irresponsible citizens, lack of support from the Government, etc. and then, there are internet bullies who are spineless, no work to do, no guts, but just leave assholic comments because they don’t have to face the person.

But this isn’t new. I know of someone, who would be so possessive about her boyfriend, that eventually her relationships turn toxic and she would end up being single all the time. She would always blame other women if her relationship turned sour. Something like, “she was his ex and now she is trying to get him”, or “I will not let my boyfriend meet this girl because she is divorced and want others husbands/boyfriends”. However, all her relationships failed because she was insecure within herself. And that insecurity she would display on others making even her friendships toxic. Constantly playing a victim card, not working on yourself, and always blaming others makes you a toxic person and a bully.

I have always been bold and open about my personal life. I try to spread as much positivity and encouragement as I can through my experience. In such tough times, if you can’t be good to yourself and other people, then atleast keep your mouth shut and don’t be a spineless bully.

Stress, depression and anxiety are already silent killers. I am a strong person and I can hit back. But many have committed suicide because of bullies. When the mindset is already in fear because of the pandemic, why create more chaos. When a marriage is breaking, why blame only the other woman? Your husband opened that space for the other woman. If he was true to the wife or happy in the marriage, he wouldn’t have opened that personal space. Correct your husband first. Or I must say, as I have mentioned before also, sometimes we too are toxic, for which our partners seek love outside. Being divorced doesn’t mean I am lonely, desperate and available. No one wants a divorce, but sometimes it is inevitable.

Let’s all be humble and fight this together. If you can’t be good, don’t be bad either. Keep quiet and mind your own business. Regarding dogs, we all pet parents are capable of doing anything for our pets to keep them healthy and safe. We all do our set of humanity gestures. Just because we do not post it, doesn’t mean we are not helping others. If you are frustrated with your own life, I have said before, seek professional help if nothing is helping you.

I can take criticism well, atleast show your identity. I have a fighting spirit and I am getting stronger every passing day, again through experience. I request all those who think about committing suicide because of bullies, that never for even a second think of giving up your life. You are strong, you are enough, you are wanted. These bullies display their insecurities, they need help. Not you. If I can do it, so can you.

Do Dogs make or break marriages?

Recently, I landed myself in a debate with a friend whether dogs are good to keep a marriage intact or break the eternal bond. Neither of us really won, as both were right with our own point of views. Honestly speaking, it is more a matter of perspective – what is chaos to a fly, is normal for a spider. So, I personally do not believe there is any set argument or definitive answer to this question, but it did make me ponder about the views of other people on this subject matter.

Pets can be an important part of life and, consequently, of a marriage. In fact, a study from the University of Buffalo claims that couples who own a cat or a dog have closer relationships, are more satisfied in marriage respond better to stress than couples who do not. Pets can help to reduce stress between spouses, especially when they are going through a difficult time. A pet’s companionship and affection creates a calming effect in a marriage. Plus, the pet can be a source of entertainment and increased fun in the home.

But on the other hand, another study claims that pet ownership can also cause marital discord. In one poll, 60% of married couples said that pets had created problems in their marriage.

Now, all these are studies by experts. But let’s talk about the practicality and some experiences that I have seen, faced, read and heard personally. 

Let me start with the basics, that what marriage actually means to me. And what were my points to my friend regarding in favor of having a dog in marriage. For me, marriage is just not a piece of paper; marriage is a natural continuation of the life and love you already share, except with an explicit promise to share your life, with all its joys and burdens with your partner. It is your commitment and the life you share which gives true value to that piece of paper.

However, these days’ marriages are breaking down at a rapid speed. The reason according to me is, many marriages lack love. They keep on dragging just for the sake of society and children. The trivial issues pile up and ultimately create cracks in the relationship. Neither the husband nor the wife make any attempts to understand what’s going wrong in the marriage. Rather, those trivial matters give rise to resentment, ugly fights, distance, silence, grudges and sorrow. A relationship which is the longest in most of the cases and should be the closest and the happiest as two persons grow old together, share their sorrows and joys, difficult and happy times, raise their children, build a nest, make sacrifices, where two people who should walk together, becomes the unhappiest relation in many cases. This is the most taken for granted relation where sometimes things are assumed, not discussed, the communication channel falters, where boredom and monotony sets in. Marriage should not be a burden or a duty or even an obligation where two people grow out of love and at the end of 3 or 4 decades hold grudges against each other rather than cherishing the long journey. Both the sides need to be communicative and cooperative.

Dogs are like therapists. As there are many emotional support dogs or in general, every dog is an emotional support dog, they help us deal with the stressful times. As you all know, today that I am alive and living is because of my dogs. Spouses, in the house of which the dog is located, communicate more often. This is tried and tested. As silly as it may sound, but spouses communicate more often about who will walk the dog, who will feed the dog when one is at work, etc. Such silly questions many a times also breaks the ice and infact break a fight or silence and help couples to go on with the routine with less stress.

Getting a dog together or having a pet, beyond the wonderfulness that comes along, caring for and nurturing it, brings in a lot of attachment and sensitivity also. It also helps you stay healthy physically and mentally, which in turns brings a lot calmer mind and more resistance to deal with fights and arguments. Going to the gym or yoga is an option always available, but walking a dog, even in crappy weather or busy schedule is mandatory. You become organized and have more tolerance towards sickness. You understand what unconditional love is, what friendship is, what responsibility is, which brings in more balance to your marriage. You don’t fight in front of your dog as you know it will scare them. You mend ways with your partner in a more understanding manner as we all know that a relationship sees its own share of tricky issues. But owing a dog means, even at 3am you wake up from deep sleep to clean the carpet searching for a carpet cleaner or taking your dog out for an emergency poop. Which means, getting through life challenges together, and you’ll feel equipped for whatever else life will eventually toss your way. In short – teamwork. It is also a first step to starting a family or having children, because, you are already well prepared J A dog will also keep you company when your partner is travelling or away for long hours at work.

Effectively, these are some of the traits I feel a dog helps keeping a marriage lively and loving. But my friend thought otherwise. He said that, a dog is a bigger responsibility. There is less “me time”, less immediate cash flow, medical bills are high, you are limited to socializing as you have a fixed schedule because of the dog, the day cares are expensive, etc. He also emphasized on the fact that many pet owners allow their pets to sleep on the bed with them, which is the biggest issue as there is less intimate time and the other less pet loving spouse feels they are in completion for attention with the dog from their partner. This has led to the biggest fights between couples. I cannot say this is completely untrue as I have heard about this before.

But I believe, it is rarely about the pet, and almost always about you. As I mentioned before the reason for marriages crumbling down these days, it has always been personal. But a dog definitely helps in keeping the bond strong. Not just that, but also saves lives. Recently, we had a case where a husband was beating the wife black and blue, the kids were scared to death and crying in the corner, and, the dog interrupted and saved the wife. I had also read about a couple who were getting divorced and the husband had to part ways with the dog and give it to his wife. The wife was so evil and since she knew the husband loved the dog a lot, she took the dog to satisfy her ego and later euthanized him. As I said, its rarely about the animal. These days, young couples or newly married opt to have a dog or a cat instead of having children due to their busy schedules, but at the same time, have a complete family.

Go ahead and get a dog. It not just keeps you fit and healthy, but also makes you a more responsible human being. Whether or not it will save your marriage, but it will definitely expand your perspective in many fields of life and increase years of happiness and love.

The Only Way is Up!

You know what I breathe these days? FREEDOM! You know what I feel these days? FREEDOM! You know what I sense these days? FREEDOM! Freedom from the emotional block, freedom from the physical block and freedom from the legal block.

Freedom in any case, is only possible by constantly struggling from it. And I did for Seven and a Half Years. Last week was a hell of a week. I had two major events happening; Firstly, Junior’s health had gone for a complete toss! He was throwing up, and, almost collapsed. I had to get his blood work done which turned out to be all normal, but he didn’t stop throwing up and started palpitating. The Vet suggested to get his Heart Study done. To say that I was petrified would be an understatement! And. Secondly, in the middle of all this stress, I was also working on legally releasing my personal block which I was stuck in for many years.

It is said one should not worry too much as they are usually heavier than one’s own weight – Junior’s Heart Study came out to be absolutely fine, and, he had suffered from acidity which has mellowed down too. And, I am peacefully, officially, and legally, happy and single again! In all these events, I realized one of the biggest truths of life, i.e. The only real prison is fear, and the only real freedom is freedom from fear. The best feeling in the whole world is watching things finally fall into place after watching them fall apart for so long.

I read somewhere, “You have to make sure that you have someone by your side that wants to be there. Someone who wants to support you, and encourage you. Someone who gives you just as much effort as you give them. Because there are difficult things in life, really hard and haunted things that make it heavy and hurtful at times. But LOVE should not be one of those things. Love should hold your hands and help you brave those storms. So please, just don’t give the best parts of yourself to someone who doesn’t see the value in what they are receiving. Don’t settle for anyone who doesn’t look at you and know, WITHOUT HESITATION, that they want to stay.”

I completely agree with the above. I wasted so many years of my life trying to convince people of my worth, and love, and, in the process, lost my self-respect, and, developed trust and overthinking issues. It is a torture, literally, to live everyday thinking about not knowing where you stand in a person’s life. After my divorce, I finally broke this mental, physical and rusted chain. Love is not bad, people who do not know how to love are bad.

Even though I have always been a strong woman, but this freedom indisputably feels different and distinctively type of strong. It is liberating. Yeah! Single again and this time, without compromise. Yes, I paid a heavy price for this. To be a single good mother to my dogs while my heart was breaking was one of the hardest roles I have ever had to play. I learnt about the strengths that I didn’t even know that existed in me. And also learnt about the pains that I didn’t know that existed.

In my 7.5 years of separation, I faced a lot of struggles. From riches to rags, from a happy couple to a heartbroken timid girl, from going on holidays together with our dogs to single handedly managing meagerness and the fur babies. And in all this time, I did have support from family and friends, but the battle was within, which no one could do anything about but me. Even the men I met only added to my misery and left me all the more heartbroken.

But today, I am in a much better place and stronger than ever. If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello. Life after divorce, “it is just getting better and the only way is up now.” Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

I do not advice divorce to anyone. If you think there is even a percentage chance to work on it, then please work it out. But if you feel that it is draining you more than giving you peace, then walk out of it. One of the courageous decision you will ever make is to finally let go of what is hurting your heart and soul. I lost and found myself a couple of times in this process. But it’s really ok –  This is called healing. I stopped looking for happy endings or sad closures. Now I will only look for New Beginnings. The only way is up, and I am never looking down or back.

I have already started getting unrequited advice from people to remarry and settle down. It’s ok, because I will only smile and agree with them, but will date or marry someone only when I find the one for me. For now, my baby Junior is in good health, I am liberated and positive and will not let anyone mess with it.

If anyone going through a divorce, remember this – you will be scared in the beginning, but eventually you will know that everything happens for a reason and the reason is always good. Burn your fears and face it head on and set yourself free. Trust me, divorces are also made in heaven. The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it. Fall in love with yourself, fall in love with your career, fall in love with the nature and then fall in love with someone who also falls in love with you. Rescue yourself, unlock the fears and set free. One bad chapter doesn’t mean the end of life. And never give anyone the satisfaction to see you suffer. Stay strong and positive always. Cheers!

Change begins at the end of your comfort zone!

Whether you’re grieving the loss of a loved one or adjusting to move to a new place, life is full of uncertainty. Navigating previously unexplored terrain is difficult, exhausting, and even scary. The worst feeling isn’t being lonely; it’s being forgotten by someone you know you will never completely forget. You never realise how lonely you are, until it’s the end of the day, and, you got a bunch of things to talk about, but no one to talk to! While Loneliness makes living difficult, from my experience I can say, nobody is really alone. Lonely, in its true sense, is not about being alone; it’s the feeling that no one cares, and trust me when I say this, there is always someone who cares! You will find company, if you really want to, and I found it in my dogs, Casper and Junior.

William Arthur Ward’s had said, “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”

In life, when things don’t work out, as humans, it is a very normal tendency for us to blame things on the other person. We, at times, even vent out to others about how bad our partner was or how he/she ill-treated us. While, the same is a matter of perspective, and ill treatment does not necessarily have any set parameters to it; as a thumb rule, any kind of a physical abuse is generally the tipping point for many. But who is to blame, when there is no physical abuse also, and two individuals are just drifting apart? During my separation stage, I got a lot of time to reflect on my entire relationship, and where we went wrong. To begin with, I realized I got married for the wrong reasons. I was probably a young, immature girl who got married out of the sheer excitement of the term marriage, while still living in the fairy-tale world that now, this is forever! Without realising, that my juvenile shoulders STILL didn’t have the strength to carry the responsibility of a steady, understanding and a patient relationship.  Sometimes, things don’t work out.  You can be with someone for years and believe that they are the one. But, in reality, it was built on the everlasting fear of loneliness and insecurity. Perhaps it wasn’t that you didn’t love them, but it was more just a relationship that was to teach you that not all things last forever, despite how much you want them to. And you cannot hold on to someone who wants to go. They let go of you, so you learn that, although you both once believed you were each other’s forever, or that you both still love each other – it’s time to go in separate ways.

In her novel ‘Frankenstein’, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote, “Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” I too never got a closure from my husband; we never sat and spoke to each other about our issues. We were already sailing in different boats and the separation was like a sudden blow of the wind to our ships which drifted apart so quickly that we could no longer even reach out to each other.  The biggest lesson I learnt was, in a relationship, when the communication starts to fade, everything else follows.

It’s funny how things don’t work out (and funny how they always do). In this testing time, in this time of doubt and fear, my only constant were my dogs. Those dogs, whom I had given up for adoption. Those dogs, who accidentally came into my life, only for me to later realise were God sent; to save me. And as I always say, “Everything happens for a reason”. Sometimes good things fall apart so better things come together. Now I had a responsibility as a single mom to look after my two dogs. My mindset had completely changed. I was a completely new person. Once an arrogant and rude girl, I had turned to a more docile and matured woman. The change was good. We all fear change, we all get so used to our comfort zone that we start believing that “this is life”. Or we accept our fate that “it is what it is.” But I will say this, “if it scares you, it might be a good thing to try”. As at the other side of fear, is freedom.

It wasn’t easy at all! With limited income, pressure from family to once again give up the dogs for adoption so that I could start my life afresh with a new partner, emotional blackmailing, suicidal thoughts, struggling to find a job, lonely and depressed; life was a living hell at that time. But I was determined; I was head strong, that no matter what, I will never ever give Casper and Junior up for adoption. For they taught me how to remain strong! They were the main reason where I had the guts to let go off my dead and stagnant marriage, and realise that change is messy in the beginning, chaotic in the middle, and beautiful in the end. I was fighting against all odds to keep them with me.

As time passed, everything started to sort out. My family stopped pressurising me to give them up, I found a good job and earnt a decent income to live a comfortable life. But that was just the beginning. It was just getting better day by day. If you are determined, and, have the courage, anything is possible. Just believe in yourself! I started getting confident in taking Casper and Junior out in public all by myself. Handling two Labrador Retrievers all alone by a petite girl was not a piece of cake. But I was gaining confidence. I got better at managing time and money. I got comfortable at living alone. Having Casper and Junior by my side, I didn’t need anyone else. Suddenly, life became a party. One day I woke up, and everything was fine; in fact, better than before. That day, I thanked my husband (legally we were still married) for leaving me. Because my alone time, and my dogs had turned me from a Caterpillar to a beautiful Butterfly. Not just mentally, but playing around with my dogs, their walks and exercise, the laughter I got from seeing them act funny, the feeling of living in paradise I got from seeing them sleep peacefully, made me physically attractive as well. I lost 20 kgs of weight. I was happy and at peace; I was glowing!

I wished I had come to terms sooner that my marriage was dead long time ago. I was holding on to nothing. My fear was actually holding me back. But it’s better to be late than never. If that time my husband didn’t have the courage to end it, we both would have been living a stagnant life, holding each other back with unknown fears, not realising that the end of a marriage doesn’t mean end of life. I was completely unaware of what my husband was up to; but that did not bother me at all. He would get in touch with me sometimes through text, just to know how Casper and Junior were doing. I was still not open to dating anyone new that time. I was just enjoying the time of my life with my dogs and my freedom. Had it not been for Casper and Junior, I would have gone back to live with my parents, and they would have got me married immediately to someone else after divorce. Me becoming the accidental dog mom was the biggest blessing of my life; and believe me when I say this, being separated and single isn’t exactly a taboo or the end of the world!

Today, as we are sitting in isolation, or let’s say, avoiding going to public places and interacting with people due to the Corona (COVID-19) Virus, Junior and me are having a ball of a time. His naughtiness still keeps me entertained. His walks and exercise still keep me mentally and physically active, and not even once lets me slip into depression. He is soon to be eight years old, but he is still like a one-year old puppy. Everyone around loves him a lot. And my parents who had once told me to give up my dogs for adoption, now cannot live a day without him. As Steve Maraboli put it, “The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”