I had painted myself into a corner, and was cutting corners everywhere in the hopes that I could just hold everything together.
I didn't have enough time or patience with my kids to be a decent mother.
I didn't have enough time to myself to do anything.
I didn't feel sexy enough to attract my husband...I didn't feel wanted, and I didn't feel valued.
I simply wasn't ENOUGH of any one thing.
I was failing -- struggling to stay afloat -- and I felt alone.
I spent the better part of a year unbelievably depressed about all my shortcomings. I had a husband I rarely saw, and when I did, he wasn't even nice to me, let alone a partner to me.
It was the most lonely I've ever felt in my entire life.
It wasn't merely my ex-husband that had me feeling down on myself, a lot of it was internal. In fact, most of my anxiety and stress and self-doubt was self-imposed. I held myself to standards I'd never dream of expecting a friend to live up to...God knows why I'd put that pressure upon myself but I did.
Eventually I got to that point where I'd had enough. I simply wasn't going to allow myself to be that woman anymore -- the one who ran herself ragged. The one who couldn't handle her kids and who yelled all the time. The one who turned down invitations to girls' nights. The one who wasn't enjoying life and felt guilty for wanting to be happy at all.
Something had to change, so I started to go to the gym. I lost weight and got in shape. I got back the body I had in high school. I realized -- I am attractive.
I looked at my life and realized I had amazingly smart and funny kids. I realized that I might not have time to make home cooked meals every night, or attend every school event, or to know on a first name basis any of the mothers of the other kids in their classes, but my kids were happy and well behaved and loved. I knew -- I am a good mother.
I started to realize that I didn't need to wait for a man to travel with me, to go places and share experiences I wanted to have. I could do those things alone. In fact, I could fly to cities across the country and meet up with friends and have a damn good time...see amazing things...laugh until my solar plexus hurt. I saw -- I am fun. I am worthy enough of companionship.
Realizing these things were true helped me to start to mentally get my shit together. I realized it may not be the job of my dreams but I had a great job working with great people that paid me enough to live on my own, pay my own bills and still have enough money left over to take my kids on little weekend trips. I am worthy of a blessed life.
The further I got into this journey I've been making over the past few years, the more I saw that I was ENOUGH, and no one needed to see that but me. That word started to bear significant meaning to me.
I. AM. ENOUGH.
Of all those things.
I repeated it to myself until I believed it. I wanted to tattoo that word on my arm so that in those dark moments when I cried at night...feeling that I might always be alone, or that I wasn't good enough...I'd have some reminder of who I really am...something to snap me out of my funk and remind me that I won't always feel that way. It won't be like this forever.
But I hesitated.
Something about that word -- ENOUGH.
It sounds rough. Harsh. Like I'm proving to someone who I am...that I'm good enough. And that was missing the point. I don't believe anyone should ever have to prove themselves to anyone else. EVER.
So I waited.
And over the past 6 or 8 months of my life a new word emerged.
I realized that to believe all of those things about myself, I had to have faith in myself. I had to believe, without a shadow of a doubt that I was a good mother...a good lover...a good friend. I had to have faith that where I am in my life right now is not where I'll always be. I had to have faith that I needed to go through all of those trials and tribulations in my life to truly see the blessings I've been given. I had to see that in my darkest moments I had friends...that no matter how much I'd pushed them away in the past...that those friends would be there to pick me up and love me when I felt like I deserved love the least.
And most of all I had to have faith that God gave me all of those bad things just as he gave me the good, to make me the best me I could be. And I continue to have faith that just like he does for all of us, God wants me to be happy. That I deserve happiness. And companionship. And love.
I have to have faith that if I can just be patient...if I can continue to work on myself and being the best ME I can be...that God will send me the things I need in my life to be really truly happy.
I will continue to have faith.
I want to note that this was an extremely emotional post for me to write. I often hesitate to write things of real substance here, for fear that people who know me personally will read them and take offense to what I've written. But I'm tired of being a coward. In no way do I mean this post to bash my ex-husband - despite what happened between us (which could never be summarized in a short post like this) I harbor absolutely no ill will toward him and wish him only good things in his life. I can only tell MY story, and I've come to realize through telling it personally that lots of people can relate and find strength knowing that I've come out the other end a stronger and happier person. That is why I wrote this today and showed my new tattoo to y'all...in the hopes that some people will see it and a little seed of faith will begin to grow inside their hearts as well.