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Working On It

BBFF said something to me today that has sort of blown my mind a little…he said, “I seriously think you need to let go of the old life and move forward with a new outlook.  Instead of saying ‘I never had this so I don’t want this’  why not say ‘I never had this so I can now enjoy something new’.”

That was in response to my complaint that there are so many things I’ve never experienced (that I think I should have), that I’m afraid to want something I can’t have – or that I won’t be able to hold on to it (whatever “it” is) and will be disappointed again…

I’m not sure how to process what he said and how to change my mindset…

I’m working on the small things right now…not counting tonight, I’ve been on the treadmill most nights this week…I’ve eaten MUCH healthier all week…I haven’t had a sweet tea in a few days, and I’ve had a lot more water…I’ve gone to bed at a fairly decent time the past few nights…all of this is because I know if I’m taking care of myself in these ways, then I’m going to feel better overall…

I’m a worrier…and now that I’m able to admit to the world (and myself) that I’m angry and hurt, I have to admit part of what I’m worrying about is a fear of not improving my own life, not moving ahead, of ultimately being rejected…intellectually I know this isn’t true, but there’s this thought of “what if all of this was for nothing, and I am in no way better off without The Ex than I was with him?”

So how I do change my outlook?  How do I start looking on this life as some sort of adventure that’s mine to create and make what I want of it? If I can answer that, then half the battle is already won…

In the meantime, here’s what I’ve got:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a ring I bought for myself last weekend…I adore butterflies…and I realized today that it was the most visual reminder to myself that I need to become more butterfly-like and less moth-like…

Moth to Butterfly…and Back?

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while…I’ve been lost in thought for days now…deep in thought, grinding my teeth…and while I was driving to work the other day, the image that came to mind was that for years I was like a little brown moth…for a while, I felt like I was blossoming into a butterfly…and now I’m moth-like again…

Ok, so maybe that analogy seems over the top…let me try to explain…

I have a lot of people…a lot…ask me why I ever married The Ex…and frankly, when I was 19, I thought that was the best I could do…he loved me, he was sweet, and he (for whatever reason) thought I was beautiful…so why wouldn’t I stick with him through every crazy drama, marry him, defend him, take care of him, work myself into the ground for him? Even though he never actually did anything that showed his love for me?

As the years passed, I sort of faded…my clothes were drab, I didn’t take care of my appearance (beyond normal hygiene, of course), I lost my entire sense of self and a lot of my identity…I was so worn down by life’s normal stresses that the rest didn’t matter…feeling like a woman held no meaning for me…I stopped being this sassy, sarcastic, sexual person that I was becoming at 18 and 19…

I look back now and realize that I know exactly when the beginning of the end of my marriage occurred…it was the day I saw a picture of myself on Aidan’s first birthday…in that instant, I started to care about myself…my appearance, my health, myself…it was a long battle…several years, Sean’s birth, and the recovery from being pregnant…the moment I finally realized I was worth taking care of was a defining moment that I didn’t even know I was having…

Had I been married to someone who understood the give and take of relationships…who had seen my worth as far more than a support system…maybe our marriage could have survived…but once I realized that I had a certain self-worth that was unrelated to him, I think I primed myself for being strong enough to say, “I can do bad by myself. You’ve got to go.”

In the months leading up to the split and in the weeks after (admittedly with some bad days and weeks in between), I started to find myself again…eventually I could smile…I could show confidence…hell, when necessary, I could fake confidence…ask Eebee, she’ll tell you I started being my sassy-self…she thought it was new…I didn’t have the ability to tell her that no, back in the day, I was like this…vivacious…that’s a good word – vivacious…

In the past few weeks, I think I’ve faded again…and some habits die hard…instead of truly believing that I need no man to be happy, I’m like that puppy you can kick but will wag it’s tail when you pet it…yeah, give me 5 seconds of decent behavior and apparently, I’ll forgive 5 days of being ignored or being taken for granted…I don’t smile…I laugh, but it’s usually a harsh, angry laugh …there’s nothing sassy, vivacious, or alive about me…for a while I felt light and airy…now I feel weighed down…And I’ve gone back to the self-destructive behavior that made me fat so many years ago…

None of what is causing it is unusual for anyone…and the fact that I feel this way probably isn’t unusual…some people will say it’s a slump and it will pass…yeah, the last slump took 12 years to work through…sorry, I don’t feel like going backward in time…I miss the person I was discovering…and I’m not completely sure how to get her back…

I don’t want to fade into the background again like the brown moth that you don’t see until their flitting around, desperate to get to the light…I might not ever be the most brightly colored butterfly out there, but I could definitely be one of the most memorable…how do I get back to that?

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