"Happiness depends on ourselves."
So, now you know a little bit about me and an experience in my life that had a profound effect on me. Now, please understand, I do not want to be defined by my divorce or marital status, but it is a part of my life that had a big impact on who I am today.
Now before I continue my story, I have to confess something.
Ok, deep breath, here goes...the main reason for writing about this on my blog is to help me, because I am not in the best place of my life right now. Not the worst by far, but there are things I am dealing with now that I am not happy about. Looking back and thinking of my life today, I am still happier being single than I was while I was married, at least in the latter part of my marriage. I often felt depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated while I was married. I wasn't really sure why, I always attributed it to lack of money or my own insecurities with my weight. I definintely think that was part of it, but I also know now that I was not being loved and respected like I should have been. I was being lied to, and quite often, as I eventually came to find out. I had nothing to compare to, this was my first real, committed relationship. I loved him, what more could there be?
Anyway, back to my confession, as hard as this is to admit, and for those of you who know me personally, you already know this, but I have gained back most of the weight I lost after my divorce. I am constantly self-analyzing myself as to why I let this happen. I know how good I felt, how empowered and confident I felt as I dropped the weight and grew physically strong. Why would I ever let my body get to this point again? Do I love myself? Do I deserve to love myself? These are emotional issues I'm faced with, that are hard to write about publicly. I still deal with my fears of being judged and what other people will think of me. Overall I consider myself a fairly confident, happy, friendly person, yet why don't I have it all together? Why do I not think enough of myself to do what I need to feel good about myself again? Why can't I find the balance in my life that I so desperately desire? I go to the doctor and have regular check-ups, I am not neglecting my health in general. I eat lots of fruits and vegetables, little red meat, no soda. I don't smoke, only occasionally drink, and cook almost everything from scratch. I have no major heath issues other than being overweight. But I know that's a biggie, both in the physical and emotional sense.
I always worry what people will think of me when they meet me for the first time, or when I see friends or acquaintences that I have not seen in a while. I am literally afraid to step back into the gym, because I don't want people who might remember me to see me now with all this weight back on. I no longer hike, or enjoy clothes shopping. I don't step outside my comfort zone anymore. It has definitely had an impact on how I am living my life now. I am not living the life that I really want for myself, and in part because I am letting my weight get in the way.
Part of me thinks I may have lost the weight for the wrong reasons. I wanted revenge. I wanted him back. It worked for a while too. Even while he was with this new woman, he still wanted me when it was right for him. It was pure selfishness on his part, and it took me a while before I could stand up to him and put my best interests first. Just knowing he still desired me eventually became enough.
At the time, I thought I was getting healthy and fit for myself, and to some degree that was true, all the anger I carried with me literally drove me to lose the weight. I think that maybe now that my life is more settled, I don't have the passion or drive to do what I need to do for myself. I am not angry anymore. I've grown content with my life, settled myself into a little cocoon of comfort and safety. At the time, one of the results of my weight loss was that I got much more attention from men. I was always a little uncomfortable with this. Part of me was flattered by it, but the other part felt like I was always being looked at or scrutinized. As cliche as this sounds, I felt like an object. I don't generally like a lot of attention, and it made me self-conscious.
Obviously, I realize I am not alone in the world with the issues am dealing with. Oprah has built an empire because there are so many of us with the same problems. The key, I think, is to find the balance in our lives. As hard as it may be, I am not ready to give up just yet. I want to find my way back, but back to a place where I not only feel good about myself, but also have a purpose in my life and a way I can share that purpose with others.
For now, goodbye, and more to come.