I’ve been single for five years now without being in a committed relationship.

I remember sitting in the car with my girlfriend at the time and saying, “I don’t think this is going to work out.”

The relationship was four years long. I found myself single with the leftover aftermath of being in an abusive relationship.

I thought this was just a breakup, it was going to make me feel great about myself.

I realized the past five years have been a lot of personal growth and development, loneliness, and realizing where I’m coming from. I realize ending a relationship, whether you’re the one ending it or not you still find yourself in a similar position as the other person.

When you go through loneliness it’s like a detox from reality. You find yourself having to come up with a lot of coping mechanisms.

Instead of allowing yourself to have the most heightened state of energy and being loving and caring, you’re withdrawing and you’re neglecting and you’re protecting your own ego.

The same time I was going through the breakup with her I was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

I found the things that supported me the most were people who were closest to me, getting a therapist, getting all the boxes checked for my mental health and the biggest thing for me, self-care was simple basic things…getting your diet right, exercising, meditating. I use Headspace very frequently.

It took rock bottom. It took feeling like there was no other choice than to listen to all the people around me to get help.

My relationship was a very toxic and abusive one. Something I’m coming to terms with is that I may have been the one who was abusive and at the same time she was abusive. There can be two sides to the abuse.

As someone who feels pain emotionally and physically, it was a big emotional wound for me.

It was one of those relationships that was high passion high conflict. I had to heal from the trauma of that relationship, which I’m still working through five years later.

The one thing that kept me grounded was deep down knowing how successful I was going to be. I knew these experiences were going to allow me to help someone in the future.

Relationships are really a reflection of who you are. I adopted the relationship model was used to. I thought I was always in the right. I do think I was definitely a party to the toxicity of the relationship.

I started doing a lot of writing about this and it has helped me get over my abuse. Writing is a good outlet for anyone who is trying to heal or understand what’s going on internally.

I was looking for this fairytale.

You search for this love that will fit perfectly when you realize all you have is yourself. That’s what I realized from my relationship. If I’m not right with myself, then the next relationship is just going to be a demise.

For me dating with an intention was very healing.

I found connecting with women, healthy women, women that understand me has really opened my eyes to what is possible. I think the best reason to continue dating is to understand what’s possible and what’s out there.

The best thing is to put yourself out there even on the days you don’t want to put yourself out there. Show up to the plate.

If you can learn how to connect with people you can learn how to have some great conversations that end up being pretty healing for yourself.

Do 100 things a day that you’re afraid of. We sit in our minds afraid a lot of time. We’re reacting because we’re afraid of something. Go out. Act. Learn something. Do something new. Write.

It’s really taking action and when you don’t feel like taking action having a way to cope with that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was 14 when I met my ex-husband. I met him on my first day of high school.

Because I met him so young we got married pretty young. I got married when I was twenty-one.

He went off to Bootcamp and I got a phone call about a month in saying, “your husband tried to commit suicide.”

I was having a daily migraine for 3 years. Something felt super wrong. I couldn’t place what it was but something didn’t quite feel right in our relationship.

It didn’t feel like either one of us was growing. We felt super stagnant.

When we were together I didn’t feel that niceness that I fas feeling when I was by myself. When I sat down to think about it I realized we’re still doing the same things we were doing when we were eighteen and I’m twenty-five now and I don’t want to do that anymore.

It turns out I also have my own mental health issues that were untreated at the same time so I was angry a bunch.

Instead of dealing with my problem I became a workaholic. I poured myself into my work.

I didn’t like being at home. I didn’t like being at work and I was stuck. I didn’t know what to do.

I can’t think of a reason I’m not supposed to be in this relationship. But it didn’t feel right. Both of our mental health situations were getting much much worse and neither one of us was dealing with it.

I had no outlets unless I was alone in my house.

I wanted to sit down with him and I wanted to talk to him…let me try one last thing…

I finally said, “I can’t do this.” That feels super sudden but it had been a build-up for years at this point. I said, “I’m not happy, you’re not happy. We’re making each other miserable and I don’t think that I can do this.”

This had been my whole adult life. I married my second boyfriend. It’s the only thing I had ever known, really.

He had a bunch of messages on his screen from a girl’s name that I didn’t recognize.

He ended up marrying her.

I was alone for the first time in my adult life.

I don’t know what to do with myself.  I was slowly reclaiming things I liked to do. I was reading more, learning things, studying languages…all stuff that I liked to do that I’d kind of lost through this whole multi-year breakup. I started to draw more.

I rediscovered I really like to draw and paint, which was nice.

People who experience depression need something to focus on that’s not how they feel.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

If you’re not happy and they’re not happy and you can’t figure out how to be happy together, that’s a perfectly legitimate reason to make yourself happy somehow.

You don’t have to have some huge dramatic thing to end a relationship.

Stagnation…you can’t grow from that.

Trust yourself and don’t be so hard on yourself.

He said, I’m moving away for this job and maybe it’s a good time for us to explore other things and I’m really more attracted to women of another race than you.

I didn’t say anything to anybody at that point. I was of the opinion at that point that if you let people know about the problems in your marriage you were being disloyal to the marriage.

One thing I regret is that I had a few drinks with someone one night and told them a lot and that was probably not a good idea. She kept feeding me drinks so I would tell her more and more and more. Then I ended up at her house crashed and he thought I was out with someone else which is kind of ironic in retrospect. It was just a bad night all the way around.

We had not had much of a physical relationship pretty much the whole marriage which is very discouraging because you don’t know how to handle it. Do you goad someone about it? Do you ignore it? Do you try to earn it? So I tried to do a lot of those things.

Back then I took a lot more guff than I would now to try to make things better and hope I could make it better and make it work but it didn’t.

A couple of things I would recommend to anybody is I went on Meetup and I got on a group that just did social things and the reason I did that is because these people didn’t know my story. I could socialize with people I could meet people and it wasn’t a dating thing at all. What I liked about it was it was new it was separate and I didn’t have to dwell on my story.

I tried way too long to keep it together. I took a few months to really realize this wasn’t going to work plus him physically being gone.

I wanted to go out and get a little attention…to dress up and look pretty and make myself feel better and it wasn’t necessarily for a relationship. I hadn’t dated in over twenty years.

Theater gave me a way to express myself and get it out. It’s my passionate hobby. It was an art imitates life situation.

I tried to really enlarge my horizons and do things I might not have necessarily done. I gave myself that gift. I spent a lot of time introspectively. What can I learn from this?

It was a great adventure. It was great that I knew I could do it. That I could do things that I wanted to do and I didn’t and I didn’t have to worry about someone else’s opinion of what I was doing and why was I doing this and how much money did it cost or whatever.

It was me. It was independent. It was very empowering.

A lot of my energy would have been focused on what kind of experience is he having and I didn’t have to worry about that.

In the heat of this, for like the first three months, I was pretty much barely functional. I was barely sleeping not sleeping well.

After about three months I went into therapy which was for me a godsend. It helped me immensely. It was a huge turning point for me when I went into therapy.

I got to the point where I was just like, I have to do something. I was a mess. I wasn’t functioning. I ended up being in a medication situation for a while which was great because if you don’t sleep you just aren’t right so that was an amazing thing for me.

It’s really good to have somebody who is impartial that is not in your situation that can see the forest through the trees.

Nobody tells you how to be married.

I’m not willing to take the level of stuff from people that I used to. That said, everybody’s got some stuff, including you. I think I became a lot more discerning and a lot more what do I really want in a relationship.

In retrospect, there were probably some warning signs that I ignored because I wanted to get married.

You really need to know that someone is on your team on your side and isn’t criticizing things that you do.

For him to apologize it was very interesting. I let him say what he needed to say. At the time I think that was the best thing to do.

You have no control over what somebody feels for you or doesn’t feel for you. It doesn’t mean you’re any less of a person.

You have to go dig and find things in yourself, which I did.

You’re still there. The essence of you is still there. There are people who will love and cherish you for who you are. You want to be around people who will help you to be the best version of yourself. It’s going to such for a while, no doubt but it gets better. It does get better.

You’ll find new friends and you’ll find some wonderful people along the way. It does get better.

You are worthy.

I found myself pregnant pretty quickly and eventually found it was twins. We barely knew each other but we decided we both wanted to be there and participate in creating a family together.

Over time we realized we weren’t really a good match. After about 7-years of working really hard to make things work, we split up.

Now I’m a single mama. I have 7-year old twins.

We do 50/50 co-parenting. We both love the kids so much and we make it work. It’s not easy but it’s working out and I think our kids are doing really well.

I think our kids are becoming resilient, sensitive and wise because of this experience.

I think we really struggled with communication with each other. Neither of us was able to feel heard or seen in that relationship.

There has been a lot of grieving I have had to go through with this.

I feel like grief comes in waves for me.

I have a very deep spiritual practice. For me, nature is God so I just went there.

There will be weeks where I just can’t stop crying. I think grief is really healthy. It helps us release things that are no longer alive for us. It helps us process loss.

There will be weeks where I’m crying a lot and weeks where I’m like okay, I’m good. I’m here I’m excited about possibilities.

We tend to numb ourselves from it. Grief is really uncomfortable.

We don’t have space in our culture for people to really grieve in a public way.

Learning how to hold space for my own grief I think of it as an act of service. The more I get comfortable with my own grief the more that I am going to be able to hold space for other people’s grief.

We don’t grieve something we don’t love. It teaches us what matters to us, what we care about, what we love what our hearts long for.

I kinda gave myself the summer. I gave myself a break a little bit. I spent a lot of time just walking in the forest letting my mind just wander and learning to love myself again as just me.

We kind of lose parts of ourselves and I think that’s how it should be in a certain way but when you become single again you have this opportunity to discover who you are again. Because we’re never the same. I’m not who I was before this relationship. This relationship obviously changed me. I learned and I grew from it.

I gave myself the space and time to really take care of myself. I spent a lot of time moving my body, eating super healthy food and spending a lot of time in nature. I just let healing happen.

I feel like I’m still in this process of discovering what I want in relationship and what matters to me. I started to look backward a little bit and look at the patterns.

Sometimes we learn more from mistakes than from the things that work out.

One of the things I noticed for me is when I’m in the beginning of a relationship I just want the other person to like me so badly so I wouldn’t pay attention to what they were doing because I was so fused on trying to please them and make them like me that I wasn’t really paying attention to how we were relating to each other.

I started looking at my habits and maybe I wasn’t always as honest as I needed to be.

I’m not looking for a certain kind of person. I want the relationship to feel a certain way and for me, that’s the important thing.

I want to be in a relationships where there is safety and trust and a willingness to continue growing and both people are supported in that.

Before this relationship, I wasn’t very clear on what I was looking for. I feel like this has helped me so much become more clear and I feel like every day I am getting more clear about it.

I didn’t believe I was going to be able to pay rent doing the work I love.

It’s all been working out. I’m standing on my own two feet. That has been huge for me. To really watch myself make it all work. It’s not perfect…challengenges arrive and I just keep meeting the challenges. I just keep grown. Every day I just keep learning something new and that is so satisfying to me.

We probably would have ended the relationship sooner than we did if I was making a larger amount of money and if I had more money saved up.

So much of the money things is just about believing in ourselves and about being able to make things happen and be resourceful.

Money is really just a form of energetic currency. I’m in the process of really learning to value myself and learning to value the work that I bring to the world and the offering that I make to the world.

I think the universe will continue to show us more if we open ourselves up to that. I think a lot of it has to do with our attitude.

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of courage and a willingness to step into the unknown every day and a willingness to trust that things will work out.

I get all my information from my body and I listen for how I feel when I’m around the person.

I think that we can love people from far away.

Just use your intuition. Our body knows. Everything I do ss trying to get better at listening to her and trusting her. The more I do that…the more I listen to my body and follow her it always takes me in the right direction.

It kind of played out like a bad Lifetime movie. It was one of those things where you’re like, “this can’t be real. This can’t actually be happening.”

I had been dating someone for about 3 and a half years and we were engaged to be married.

I found out my would be finance had lied about everything he told us. He stole a ton of money from my parents and I…a ton of goods like collectibles and sold them he did that from friends too. He had done a number on my mental health and on the mental health of a lot of friends.

The private investigator said in this situation, a lot of people won’t leave the person doing this to them. My dad and I threw him out of my house and I obviously dumped him. It was insane. Absolutely insane.

I was having night terrors. My anxiety had gotten so bad I was getting no sleep. I would ake up screaming and yelling. I had no idea why. I had started to feel very dumb and forgetful. He had managed to corral me away from all of my friends and support so it was just him.

It was easier at the end of the day to go, “I must be wrong” than to look all of this in the eye and try and figure it out.

When your gut says, “I don’t think so” you go I don’t think so.

It’s amazing what our bodies know and try to tell us even if we don’t want to listen.

I made the decision I would have to be as compassionate as possible with the whole situation or I was going to destroy myself in the process. I had changed so much as a person. I had become really small. I had boxed up all the things I was passionate about if it didn’t suit my ex. I had this incredible anger.

I didn’t trust myself enough. I didn’t know my own voice.

I tried to be calm and methodical about it. I started doing meditation which helped a lot. I, of course, went into therapy which helped. I did start dating and things like that again just to try and find my footing.

It was like being the walking wounded. The entire time it was like trying not to bleed all over this person I just met and not being able to.

You need to figure out a way to heal yourself from this before you go back out into the dating world because you’re just looking for healing, you’re not actually going out there to be partnered with somebody.

I was still trying to live up to expectations that I don’t know who set for me but it wasn’t me.

It set me on this path of figuring out what I want for myself and for myself and what I want to give other people.

I was still buying into the fact that I shouldn’t take up space and that I was not worthy of being the person I was.

In order to trust myself, I started to spend time with myself. I looked at the things I actually enjoyed. I started saying no to things.

I was saying no to things that I had been saying yes to out of habit instead of saying yes to because they were fulfilling or life-affirming or they were things I really wanted to do.

I discovered I really did like horror movies. All of a sudden I was watching then 24/7. It’s a controlled scare so it’s very comforting. I got back to writing, I started learning a foreign language, I started learning to play guitar.

I started to redefine myself by the things that made sense to me and by the things that made me happy to be alone with myself.

It was a very scary process because I felt I had changed so much.

By embracing that geeky weird horror person I was, all these people were like “yeah!”. The thing I feared most was losing my community entirely and they really stepped up for me because I started being really honest.

It’s still a work in progress but I feel very comfortable with myself in general. There’s a stillness that comes out of the center of me now.

It’s about listening to your instincts. It’s about being willing to recognize red flags and being willing to put aside your expectations enough to kind of recognize what’s right under your nose.

One of my favorite sayings is, “when you’re going through Hell keep going.” It’s about not building a home in your pain but using it to transform and to heal yourself and heal the people around you.

It’s about being okay to be wrong. I was dreadfully wrong and I had placed my trust in the wrong people and that was okay. It’s something that you can come back from and you can learn to forgive yourself for doing.

We were together for about 4-years and were two weeks out of buying a condo together…we had been living together for 2-years talking marriage.

I got a text saying, “We’re over. Please be out by Sunday.” It was a little sudden and out of nowhere.

The first day I didn’t know what to think so I grabbed a bottle and sat on the bathroom floor and cried. I did that for about a day and a half.

No answer is an answer and you have let go at that point.

I had a fabulous tribe that showed up.

I had $10.00 in my bank account…we had just purchased a business 10-months earlier. We had agreed he would pay all of our personal bills for 2-years and I would put all of my money back into the business.

At 34-years old I got to move back into my parent’s basement. Every grown woman’s dream. It worked out. I’m grateful I had that opportunity but it wasn’t my dream.

I look back and I can see why I was so unhappy for 4-years and hadn’t really realized it. I still kinda feel like maybe I should have broken up with me. This went the wrong way. I should have been the one walking out.

I had changed so much over that time we were together. He had started to wear on me.

I was always walking on eggshells or trying to see the positive but seeing the negative that was all that was pointed out to me. I’d gotten to the point where I had tremors and cluster headaches.

Everything about me had changed and my body was clearly revolting and saying this isn’t the way you want to live.

I still had to keep my business going. I couldn’t just shut everything down because this was now my sole source of income. It was my only way to live. It kind of inspired me to work harder.

I got over this relationship a lot quicker than anyone thought I was going to do.

I started leaning into my community. I started leaning into getting reiki services and getting massages.

I was trying to just deal with it. We all just want to suck it up, put our big girl pants, and go throughout our day…but sometimes you have to lean on other people.

I don’t think it was ever about me. I don’t think him leaving was about me. I don’t think him being in the relationship was about me. Having that clarity of mind but it really helped me process and then realize who I was and who I didn’t want to be any more from there.

Hearing other people’s stories and talking to other people and being open just helps you to heal so much.

We are all trying to be too tough. Honestly, the biggest thing I learned was coming out of that particular relationship was to start talking about it…to start talking about how I was human and how things hurt and it wasn’t fun and how occasionally I missed my life.

I missed going home to somebody, even if I wasn’t happy with that somebody.

I realized I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.

I really started leaning into being a lot more feminine. I grew up a jock. I’d always thought left-brained.

As I was coming into my new self, I started leaning into being more of the nurturer, being more empathetic looking more into beauty and art and dressing girlier and wearing jewelry and I just feel so alive and so me in a way that I never had before that and I don’t know that I would have ever changed it and I stayed with him.

I want to be the calm in the storm. I want to be the thing that brings beauty and positivity and happiness to anybody I’m around.

Your aura is your best advertisement.

I think a lot of us need a lot more empathy and compassion and those things that women are known for.

Now I do mediations all the time on my divine feminine.

I feel so much more connected to everything and everyone around me.

Whatever breaking point you think you’re at, you can bounce back.

I’m doing better than ever. I have become so much more aware of my life and what I want and I don’t want to settle for anything that makes me feel less than fantastic.

I’ve become so comfortable with myself that I can sit at home alone and be perfectly comfortable too.

You look back and see all the things you thought would break you and we’re all still kicking. It’s pretty amazing.

Do what you need to do. Feel what you need to feel in that moment.

I was young and dumb and got married when I was 20 and he was 19. Too young basically.

As I was getting a divorce I kind of knew he was cheating but I couldn’t prove it. Six months after our divorce was finalized I found out I had cervical cancer from HPV. That is how I found out he was cheating. The worst part was my father was terminally ill with colon cancer at the time.

To go through those three things: a divorce, your own illness, and the eventual loss of a parent and so young, I wasn’t even 25 before my Dad died. So for me, there weren’t a lot of people who understood what I went through.

I couldn’t relate to a lot of people my age, even in my early 30’s I really couldn’t. My friends tried, God bless them, and I’ve had a lot of supportive friends over the years but it was hard to connect.

There are not a lot of people who get the joy of going through three life-changing events — and we’re talking negative life-changing events in the pan of 18-months.

I wasn’t really processing it well and 3 months after my dad passed away I ended up meeting this guy and we ended up being together for two years. It should never have happened but we lived together.

That was 2000 and I literally have not been in a long-term relationship since then and it’s 2019. I had a couple of bad guys after that.

To the women, when you’re gut is telling you something is wrong, something is wrong.

I became friends with a bunch of guys and we were really just friends.

They gave me the ability to do all the things we wanted to do but I felt protected– like I was in a bubble. I really didn’t want to be bothered by guys because I was kind of shell shocked.

Take the time you need and if you need multiple years it’s okay to take that time.

I had yet to process everything I had been through in the late 90’s just pushing through and finishing college. To anybody out there, take the time you need and when you do have really good friends who are people you can rely on that’s a great time to go out and just live and have that comfort level.

I moved on in my life and I moved on in my career.

When you are ready to date you can not have male friends. When people see you out and every time you’re with guys no one is ever going to come up to you.

There were so many times I wish I got ghosted when I was younger. Isn’t that awful?

I pretty much had it lined up so that I was never single. I never dated multiple guys but I was never single for more than 4-weeks…6-weeks. I was a bad girl.

I realized a couple of years ago I could not guarantee that I wouldn’t break down on Thanksgiving day. It took almost two decades for that to happen. There was a lot of guilt. I survived and he didn’t. I was ashamed. The whole family needed him and it was really, really hard.

Sometimes you go through things when you are younger to prepare you for the bigger things that are coming at you when you’re older. I realized I went through the entire Thanksgiving weekend without crying. Maybe it was just time.

For me, it was that time alone and processing.

It was always one bad thing after another and another. Because to took me so long to step back I think I needed that amount of time to process.

If you don’t take the time to sit down and process and center yourself you’re just going to make things ten times worse if you keep going out and adding on to it and adding on to it.

You need to get to a point where you actually want to go out and get to know somebody. There were so many years I didn’t want to get to know anybody. I know my friends. That’s enough.

There are days you have to force yourself. You have to put on that smile and go out.

They say fake it ‘till you make it. Sometimes you have to fake it. It depends on the day.

The feeling of failure when you go through a divorce…I was embarrassed. It was the majority of my friends and family that attended the wedding and we got divorced so quickly after. I was just embarrassed.

You’ve got the embarrassment, you’ve got the failure…not to mention all the lovely wonderful supporting things he said to me. That stays with you for a while.

When you have the bad days it’s okay to stay in. Sometimes I think I was out too much.

I realize things were getting better when those bad days start to shrink.

I do want to get married again and it took a while.

I’m all for the separate bedroom thing or even a separate household.

We were not meant to be alone. It is fine to go get that time…take the time to heal from whatever it is you’re healing from. Take that time to heal and be alone. But at the end of the day, there is a reason prisons use solitary confinement because it is torture and it’s not healthy to be alone for a long long time.

I’m already halfway through my lifespan and what am I doing with it?

They have said for long, it’s okay to be single forever and that’s great and we’ve become super independent.

You have to find ways to take care of yourself emotionally and physically.

You’ve got to find what will ground you and give you some peace because the world’s not going to give it to you. Your friends your family…no one can give it to you. They’re going to have all these expectations that you can just shake it off.

Be patient with yourself but also silently push yourself to take a little step every day. Trust me, some days you don’t even want to get out of bed and I’ve been there.

If you’re not healthy spiritually, emotionally, mentally you’re no good to somebody else. You’ve got to heal. Because what you’ll find on the dating scene is a lot of unhealthy people who haven’t dealt with their stuff so take care of yourself…do whatever you need to do to get yourself back to a balance.

We were married for 8 years and together for about 14 years. We met in college.

Through unfortunate circumstances around fidelity and lying and cheating, I end our marriage and file for divorce.

I got to that point where enough was enough. I decided to remove myself and my kids.

It takes work. I try to always look at the glass half full and the upside and the positive side of things.

My ex-husband had to be removed from the house.

My support network was great.

We went through some really tough custody battles. We are not co-parenting but parallel parenting with very limited contact.

It took some time. I did a lot of venting and being upset about the way things were working out and the reaction I was getting from the other side.

I’m still in that mode where I’m constantly going and doing. The last 3-years had been interesting.

I walked into my marriage with all of these ideas and how I wanted things to go and it was supposed to be a we, us, they together forever.

Once I had my daughter that was my big ah-ha that I had to set an example for her. When I had my son that just grew even more.

This responsibility to be a better stronger example, a healthier example for my children became really prominent.

My kids are at the heart and the root of everything that helps me to grow and to push me.

Aren’t I supposed to give and aren’t’ I supposed to work through things? I looked back and I did do that. I got to a point where I had done everything I could possibly do.

We’d done the counseling, we’d done the conferences, we’d done the bible studies together, we’d done the readings together.

Through all of the drama, I didn’t realize what was happening internally. This year I took up kickboxing which is a great stress reliever.

I have a great network of friends.

I amazed myself that even in the midst of all that was going on and all that was happening at home and in my personal life I continued to excel professionally. Going through the divorce process I was laid off because my job moved to a whole different state.

I amaze myself that in the midst of all of this God keeps blessing me and keeps pushing me forward to not let the bad and the negative things stop me from growing and being where I’m supposed to be.

I had moments where I was I supposed to lead people knowing I had such drama going on in my life. My personal life is crazy. People are going to look to me to be an example and how can I possibly lead them?

You do have to get rooted in whatever faith you have. Don’t become a hermit. You do have to open yourself up to people.

Hindsight is 20/20. Nobody knew what was happening to me not one knew what was happening at home for years. No one knew what I was dealigning with at home because I didn’t talk about it and I didn’t think I was supposed to talk about it.

Find that friend or that small network you can talk to and share your experiences with it. Don’t hold or bottle it in and think this is the way it’s supposed to go.

You have to keep talking about what is happening to you or nobody will know and nobody can give you the steps to get out or give you some encouragement or the tools and the skill sets to deal with whatever you are dealing with. You have to be able to reach out and talk to people. You have to talk to the right people.

Start talking. Everybody has a story.

I had the big suburban house and the family and all the things you dream of as a little girl.

We really had grown apart. I was willing at one point to be unhappy just to keep the dream alive. There comes a point when you realize I don’t want to do this anymore.

I started to reclaim my life for me. Not for my kids not or my husband and I began learning what self-love and self-care really looks like on a whole new level.

I feel like my grieving process was really long. There are still some moments of grieving.

One of the things I decided to embrace was just new things. Just really embracing life.

I’m not going to let anything or anyone get in my way. I really do have hopes and dreams and they are important to me. I’m not willing to compromise anymore. A lot of my life I compromised and put other people’s needs and other people’s desires before my own.

This whole thing was a complete shock. None of us understood what was happening or why it was happening. It was a huge transition. It was like we were all growing up and becoming adults at the same time.

As a mom, the thing that has been the most important is to give them space. To let them feel what they’re feeling. To be angry to be mad at me. I know I have definitely made mistakes. There are things I wish I had done differently or better.

I remind my kids I am a safe place for them. No matter what they do I love them. I am here for them.

This whole thing sucks and this is not what we thought this stage of their life was going to be, but to give them space and honor their journey even if I don’t like all the choices they make.

We had space to cry together and be scared together. As a mom, the thing for me was to not become co-dependent on my kids and not let them become co-dependent on me.

It feels like there is this fear that they will be left behind. There is always going to be space for my kids for sure.

I’ve had to make some really hard decisions. I’ve had to demonstrate tough love with my kids at times which has been really hard for me. One of the things this has really taught me is the value of boundaries because I had so few boundaries in my previous life. Boundaries are a good thing.

By saying no this is not okay you are creating an opportunity for growth. It was hard for me to say no because I love people and I’m very accommodating.

I am no longer bringing along dead weight with me.

I’ve really learned how to connect and get into my body and really listen to my body in all the spirituality. I think before spirituality before for me was a certain set of standards.

My journey probably could have been shorter. My journey has been a very long journey. Part of my journey has been about wrapping up loose ends. My journey hasn’t been just about me. It has been about giving people in my circle more time.

I was in a relationship for 26 years. I’ve been grateful for this journey. Let your journey be your journey. Grieving happens differently. It’s important to honor all of it.

I’m grateful for where I am and I’m excited for where I’m going.

My therapist has been amazing! I’m so glad I did that. I gave myself that gift. She has been that constant touchpoint that I really really needed.

I just wanted to be known so I created community. I didn’t have support so I created it through myself. Through my therapist and through my neighbors.

After 26 years there was absolutely a part of me that felt like a complete and utter failure.

Have people that will make you laugh and who give you hugs and just want to be there for you because of you. Not because of a job or anything else.

In the quiet moments of my loneliness, there were lots of tears which needed to happen but laughter is equally important.

I was married 2-kids, pre-school and 2nd grade. I had a midlife crisis. I had two affairs back to back. I destroyed my life, my marriage, my family and literally, obliterated everything around me.

I left my husband for the second guy who was a sociopath. I sometimes can’t believe I did that.

My actions were the opposite of intentional back then. I had no idea what I was doing.

I had to do a ton of work to rebuild myself. A lot of self-discovery a lot of self-awareness work.

Your marriage can become transactional. My husband and I ended up losing that connection to each other. It happens. If you don’t pay attention to it, it’s easy to let things get in the way of those relationships.

I was busy growing my company. I was getting so much attention from the men I was meeting. I was going, “gee why am I not feeling this appreciated at home? Why am I not hearing all these great things about how smart I am and successful I am and funny and all these wonderful compliments from my husband?”

We had lost sight of each other so it was easy to fall into an affair. All of a sudden this person was giving me this attention that I so desperately needed and for whatever reason I was unable to ask my husband or tell him what I needed. Of course, hindsight is 20/20.

The first affair was your run of the mill affair. I was getting what I needed he was getting what he needed.

The second guy convinced me to leave my husband for him and completely upend my life because our life together was going to be so much better. He was married as well with kids.

When you’re in it you can’t see what’s happening. I was already so confused it was easy to just take my hand and lead me in whichever direction he wanted to go in. On the day after Christmas, he dumped me.

I knew life was going to go on, I just didn’t know in what direction. I didn’t know what was next.

It was one foot in front of the other. Just to get through the day.

What happens when you’re going through something like this your friends don’t know what to do with you. They’re as confused and upset as you are so a lot of friends just step to the side, which is fine and understandable.

I spent a lot of time thinking what did I do and what’s next? I had an epiphany sitting on the beach. I messed up. I’m going to fix things. The difficulty of the road ahead was very apparent to me.

I had been doing a lot of work to fix some fundamental flaws in my character.

I was able to admit my faults. It’s in our DNA not to show weakness.

Holding up that mirror to your faults and shining on a light on those nooks and crannies is not easy. It can be devastating but it is so important. I had nothing to lose. I had been gutted. I had to rebuild from scratch emotionally. Look at what’s holding you back because it’s probably inside of you.

Talk to someone who can be extremely objective. They’ll push you to dig…sometimes dig really deep and that’s a worthwhile exercise.