It has been brought to my attention that I have changed. Recently, my character has been called into question. My integrity, my intentions, and even my sanity questioned by those who once loved and adored me. My friends, please let me explain what has happened.
You are absolutely correct. I have changed. In the past four years, everything about my life has changed.
The catalyst for this change was the realization that I was keeping myself morbidly obese to stay faithful to my now ex-husband. That tearful realization on my therapist’s couch almost five years ago began a chain of events that has brought me through a journey of deep self-reflection and discovery.
Through the ending of my long marriage, I realized that I didn’t even have a clue who I was, or what I wanted out of life. I had spent all of my adult years repeating a people pleasing pattern that I learned from my own mother, passed down generation to generation. I was a weak, watered down, very unhappy version of myself. I was only able to be the person I thought I was supposed to be then.
For a little while, I completely lost my way. I didn’t know how to deal with my emotions. I went back to old habits, medicating myself by any means necessary to avoid my pain. I did my best to keep my game face on, but inside I was dying. People often said we made our divorce look easy, and I’m sure we had it better than a lot of couples do, but it was not without conflict, suffering, and deep feelings of loss.
As I began to heal from the pain of the dying of my marriage, all of my demons from childhood came by to visit. I continued to avoid everything I felt unable to face, and sadly, I have many regrets from that time in my life. I was utterly and completely numb and unconscious, just moving from one distraction to the next hoping to outrun my own self-loathing.
The problem is, when you are stuck in these self-destructive patterns of behavior, you can’t really even see it. I knew I was out of control from time to time, and I felt guilty when I knew I had let someone down- especially my kids. But, I had to come to my own place of “rock bottom” before I would be able to make any changes that would be meaningful and long lasting.
Eventually, I got tired of running from myself. I realized that my life was my responsibility, and for the first time, it was all mine. I got to choose who I wanted to be, and how I would exist in the world. I was finally ready to learn how to love myself. To do that, I had to figure out exactly who I was, before the world told me who to be.
I had to forgive everyone who had ever hurt me. But even more than that, I had to forgive myself for all the mistakes I had made. If I was going to start over, I was going to do it with a clean slate. I had to learn how to listen to my inner guidance, so I would always know what was right for me. Only then could I begin to make boundaries and stick to them. That’s when the magic happened.
Suddenly, my old patterns of behavior were no longer appealing. Alcohol lost it’s gravitational pull. Friendships changed. My priorities changed. I gave myself permission to say, “No.” I gave myself permission to say, “Yes.” I gave myself permission to put myself first, to choose myself above others, and to take back my power, time, and energy. I made a conscious decision to let go of everything in my life that no longer served me- possessions, beliefs, relationships, behaviors… It was a long process, but a necessary one.
I made a commitment to myself, to become the healthiest, happiest, most authentic version of myself I had ever been. To take care of my physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies to the very best of my ability. And, to create a life that I love, with people who love me, and support me in these goals.
My friends if you only knew me when I was married, you only got to see the person I thought I had to be to fit into the roles I had taken on in that relationship. I was not myself then, because I didn’t even know who I was. I didn’t realize how lost I was, and how unhappy, until I started to feel better.
If you only knew me during my divorce, or right after it, you probably saw me at my worst. You only knew the broken, grieving version of me who went from distraction to distraction trying to convince myself, and everyone around me, that the wounds inside me weren’t bleeding.
And so, I apologize, that I haven’t been my best self all this time. I am deeply sorry that I walked through life not knowing who I was, and giving you a version of myself that I thought I had to create in order to win your love, friendship, and affection. I apologize, that I didn’t love myself enough to always be me.
Yes, it’s true. I have changed.
Because I know who I am now, I have no choice but to be that person. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I love the woman I am. I can no longer bend to fit into the roles that other people expect of me. I can’t tell you how much freedom there is in this space.
And so, if this version- the realest, truest version of the woman I am in my soul is not your cup of tea, that’s ok. I wish you only well as we part ways. I cannot chase you. And, more importantly, I will not water myself down to try to please you. I can’t do that anymore.
I know my worth, and my purpose, and I can see my own beauty and strength in a way I never have before. I no longer require validation from outside myself, and in that I have found my power. I know that the people who are meant to be a part of my life will never walk away, and trust that the ones who have stayed with me through my metamorphosis are here for a reason. I am blessed to always be surrounded with love and laughter, and grateful for the wonderful, supportive, positive people in my life who love me unconditionally.
Finally, I apologize if my truth and my voice make you uncomfortable. It is my song to sing, and I’ve held it inside for far too long. Please, look away if you must, but do not ask me to stop being who I am. It simply would not be possible for me to go back to the person I used to be. My eyes are open now, and my mind clear, my intentions pure, and my heart ablaze with joyous anticipation of the life I am manifesting. To stop now, for the comfort of someone else would be a slow suicide; a pain I am unwilling to bear.