I wasn’t the one who called it off but we both knew that it wasn’t going to work out.

We broke up over a Skype call.

Maybe deep down I thought I could repair the relationship when I came back.

I was a different person having spent 6-months abroad. That was quite a big development period for me. That set off a whole trigger of events afterward.

I ended up spending the next 3-years just focusing on me and only me.

I found out the hard way. It was a big chance to focus on me as a person.

Even though there was pressure from mum and dad and family I had to shut them out. It wouldn’t have been good for me to get into a relationship just to please somebody else. I had to come to terms with that throughout the process.

It was a lot of reading over that time.

When you’re making a commitment do it for the right reasons. I got into my first relationship for the wrong reasons. Take the time to understand why you’re getting into a relationship. Do you truly love the other person or are you trying to fill some other void in your life?

Am I doing this for the right reasons or am I trying to fix up an insecurity of mine?

There is no rush to life. Just because someone else has done it a different way doesn’t mean you need to mimic what they do. We’re all on our own journey. To compare yourself to someone else’s journey is just going to lead to a life of misery.

Don’t underestimate the value of personal development.

Be okay with being independent. Especially if you’re single it’s a good chance to practice.

Our first date was a disaster. It was the most awkward date. She saw something in me to give me a second chance. Just because your first date doesn’t go great don’t give up. There is hope!

Trust is built on do you say what you are going to do. If not, do you explain why you don’t. Being able to rely on the other person and knowing they are going to deliver.

You can’t have respect and trust without communication. The fewer secrets you can hide from one another the better.

Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you stop working on yourself. You just work on yourself more.

At the end of the day, your family is going to place pressure on you no matter what stage of life you are at.

You don’t want to commit to a forever relationship just because your family says it’s the right thing to do when you know that it’s not. It will cause resentment. That’s not really a way to live.

I came home from work and my husband was playing video games.

He went into the bedroom and came out with a suitcase. He said, “You’re getting fat so I’m leaving” and he walked out the door. I had gone from a size 4 to a size 8.

45-minutes later I had a new roommate. Jade moved in 45-minuted later. 15 -minutes after that a guy I had been interested in 7-years before I had met my ex-husband called and asked to go bowling on Saturday.

I guess you could say I went to hang out with someone new an hour later.

I want to say I was crying and I was sad, I ran around my living room and did leaps and jumps. I danced and played party music until Jade arrived because I was just so happy.

I was so happy, I couldn’t express it.

I cried when I looked at my bank account. He had taken all the money. I had $200 to my name and over $2200 worth of bills to pay every month.

We made it through on rice, a hope and a prayer…and popcorn. There was a lot of popcorn dinners. Oatmeal goes a long way.

It was not a happy ending for me. The guy did propose but we did not go down the aisle. He did go down the aisle with someone else. I had been in love with him for years.

He married someone else and didn’t tell me. His best friend called us.

Our friend is a stylist and I had my hair and makeup and done and my dress so I couldn’t even cry. I’ll mess up my makeup. We drove home the next day and then I cried.

I lost so much weight. I looked great. I don’t eat and I become obsessed with exercise.

I first learned I was stronger.  I’m much stronger.

I started writing again and that helped.

I still think I’m a complete and total mess.

She’s like my hero..she’s my shero! She just kept getting up.

She taught me no matter how bad it is, just keep getting up and call your friend.

Just be there for your friend. Just be there. They might not want to talk about it. Sit there and be a friend. Say nothing if that’s what it calls for.

Just got to keep showing up. Sometimes we don’t know what to say.

If you don’t get it out you’re not going to move on so get it out.

When you get up in the morning deal with that hour. Don’t try to take on anything more than that. Don’t get overwhelmed. Find a ride or die friend.

My husband suddenly became very ill one night and had a seizure. Our lives were never the same. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

After 8 years of the battle, he passed away. The most difficult part of that was waking up every morning not knowing if my husband would still be there.

I’ve used such a variety of coping mechanisms. My thing is being surrounded by people.

I went through this initial celebratory state where I was so happy he wasn’t suffering anymore. You see someone lose the ability to walk, to talk, to eat, to see. Those last few days I was praying he would go and be with his grandparents and family members.

I went through this phase of relief for him. Soon after that, I got really busy.

I broke all the rules and did everything they tell you not to do when you’re a widow. Don’t start a business, don’t start a business, don’t buy a home don’t get into a relationship.

I stayed so busy. I was in denial of it. I was go, go, go.

I hate being alone so much I am constantly surrounding myself with friends and family.

I’ve broken some rules and made up my own.

I realized I needed something more stable. That has helped me so much to take that time.

Being able to share my story with other people because I feel it helps people.

A lot of people just expect you to be done and be over it.

Being a 3rd wheel for me isn’t so bad. It’s worse to sit at home alone than go out and be with couples. I’d sure rather be out with people than sitting home alone.

Everything hit me later. I didn’t start going to bereavement group until 6-months later. You start to remember all the things you miss that aren’t there. Because he was sick for so long everything that year before was so different. Everything happened so slowly.

Where I am now…I’m happy, I have a great business, I’d love to have kids…I’ve thought about adopting…I do still hope to meet someone. I haven’t given up on that. 

A lot of people have pulled away. Friends you thought would always be there have pulled away. But then, the ones you didn’t expect would be there for you have grown closer. The relationships have changed. 

I obviously still miss my husband but it’s a different type of loss when family members and friends pull away from you.

I have heard from fellow widows that people just kind of don’t want to hear about it anymore. 

Losing some relationships for no good reason…that’s hard. That makes you reflect on all the bad stuff that’s happened even more.

I coordinate a walk each year and we walk in honor of my husband. For me family is so important.

I’m really close with my mother and my grandmother who is ninety-nine and a half!

I’ve learned that I’m okay supporting myself and I can do it. I had my husband for so long, we supported each other. We did everything together. I never thought I’d be able to do it after he passed. That was what I feared…being alone, not having him and not being able to support myself. 

I surprised myself. I did everything I never imagined I could do on my own and its worked out really well.

I was in go mode. Pressing forward and taking care of business.

Oh my gosh, I’ve done so much! I’m really proud of myself.

I never would have imagined I would be doing this all on my own. I’ve really come a long way.

I had no regrets because I know we did everything we could. Fighting for his life and living our lives to the fullest.

I had him for 16 years in my life and I know how blessed I am.

Hearing other people’s stories really helped me. Incredibly therapeutic. It’s okay to have a moment and know it’s okay to cry. That helps so much to be able to address that.  It took me a while to get there.

I love to stay busy. I definitely don’t like to stay home.

It’s inspiring and it’s helpful to listen to different reasons people have become single. It’s not easy being single.

I wanted a house full of people and kids and family. You make do and you make the best of it and keep moving forward.

My husband was one of the most positive most amazing people I ever knew. We lived life to the fullest. 

Phone calls, invites, that kind of stuff really helps. Check-in on your friends and family.

I do encourage people to stay busy and make plans. It’s so easy to stay at home in front of the TV or the computer. Get out, be active, join groups, call a friend, meet new friends. People need to be with people. Surround yourself with good people.

We kind of knew the moment we moved in together it wasn’t going to work out.

Whenever it didn’t work out it left me in a state of I couldn’t even remember who I was at the end.

I’m a great person.

I’m a great material here what is going on?

I need to back away from this. I need to stop trying to mold myself to whom I am dating.

I wasn’t quite as self-aware back then.

What about me? What do I really want?

I would always try to make whatever situation I was in work.

It was about tuning into my intuition more.

I had a set of expectations for everyone I dated and it sabotaged me.

I need to be honest about what works for me.

How do I want to refocus my interests?

Where do I feel most alive and like myself?

I went to a bad audition in a basement. The bass player asked about me and started emailing me. We’re coming up on our 14th anniversary.

You kind of have to show up with who you are. That vibe is going to catch the right vibe. I think that makes for the best base of a relationship.

We definitely bring out the best in each other.

There’s something kind of sexy about rock stars. You think you have to fit this certain mold if you do anything in the spotlight.

I wish more people would embrace the parts of themselves they love.

Try to immerse yourself in the things you love. Ultimately that is going to bring you closer to what you really want.

People are going to question your intentions and your expertise.

I love to look for patterns. Dig in and tune into where you feel good about yourself and where you’re having fun and scribble down what those things are.

Surround yourself with people who get you.

What do I need to tell myself or what do I need to believe to make the best of this.

Doing what I love is going to find me love.

I wish it was more of a sudden process. It took about a year and a half.

We dated for two months and then I decided to propose. Four months later we were married.

There was too much that we didn’t know about each other and we hadn’t accounted for that in building our relationship.

I woke up one morning and my wife had taken all her stuff and moved out.

Ultimately we decided that we didn’t belong together. I had to realize that and make peace with that.

It was an opportunity for me to grow and become a better person in the process.

Jamison 2.0 started the day my divorce was finalized.

What was it I was hoping to gain from the marriage that I hadn’t voiced to myself?

I was seeking validation from my social circle and my family.

I made a really bad decision.

A heard a quiet still voice speak to me and it kind of pierced through everything. Why are you still angry? It’s over. That was the most authoritative voice I have ever heard in my life. At that point, it was like I was having an out of body experience.

In that moment I realized just how exhausted I was carrying around that anger.

You have to be congruent with yourself.

I went to therapy and had some sessions that were very impactful.

I had to forgive myself. As a person of faith, I came across some grace-oriented perspectives.

I wanted to become more empathetic. I wanted to have the courage to wait and to respect the pace and natural progression that relationships go through. 

I worked on appreciating alone and single and seeing the value in that.

I live my life as it comes and I enjoy what life gives me.

I started to affirm how good my life was in everyday aspects and take appreciation for the beauty in my life. 

I began to paint and to do art. I turned one of my bedrooms into an art studio.

Marriage was very isolating for me. I did it to myself. I withdrew into the marriage. 

I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I feel like I’m a more emotionally mature man. I have a better appreciation for the wonder and splendor that women are.

I think that being a better man has given me the ability to relate better with not just women but also with family members and coworkers.

I’m happy with where I’m going but I’m humble enough to realize I still have a lot of work to do and life is still a journey that is worth living and worth growing in.

I want to continue to work on myself and become a better person.

You can definitely grow from this. You don’t have to let divorce define you. You aren’t broken. You aren’t a failure.

This marriage is over. I’m in danger, our baby is in danger, and there’s no husband in site.

What was given out was not given back to me and it just kind of eroded. Particularly when I was getting ready to have life and bring life.

Love was being redefined for me in that moment. It opened up my eyes to realize I was not in something that was providing me love. It took time to wake up and realize that.

I was a single mom redoing life all over again.

It was devastating.

All of a sudden, that road map is completely not what you thought it was going to be.

It was not the way this fairytale was supposed to end, and yet it was ending.

I am not one to enjoy the unknown. All of a sudden it was nothing but mystery.

I’m a crybaby so I spent a lot of nights just shedding tears. It was the only way I could express what I was feeling.

I believe it was my faith that brought me to where I am today.

I’m a good girl. Why is this happening to me?

This situation taught me that I could open myself up to people and trust people because people came in droves to be with me.

I had people going to food banks for me. I had people making extra dinner. They would come to my desk and drop off food and clothes for my daughter.

People just came and were there for me. They began to share their story with me. They came out of the woodwork and began to take care of me.

People showed their heart and I didn’t know they cared that much about me.

We went through a terrible battle with custody and getting through the divorce.

Isn’t it funny how your worst moment of your life becomes your best moment of your life?

I’ve fallen in love with so many people and if I hadn’t gone through this I wouldn’t even know.

This is not your end it’s your beginning.

In these little miracles, I found refreshing and renewing. I started to attend to myself.

I began to sit and talk to God about me. How did this girl end up here? How did I get to this place?

I found me. I went on a journey to discover me.

I’m still alive. This means this is not my end.

You are not alone. It feels like a lonely place. It feels like no one else is around but you are not alone.

It’s tough to draw strength from yourself when you don’t have it.

 

We dated throughout high school for about 5 years.

We’re on the phone the day before Valentine’s Day saying “I love you. I love you too, goodbye” and then I’ve literally never seen or spoken to that person ever again.

Quite suddenly I found myself single. It did take me a while to realize that in fact was what had happened. Just kind of ghosted.

At first, I assumed something was wrong or something came up. That last of my thoughts was that she just didn’t want anything to do with me anymore.

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t handle it all that well. I didn’t do anything crazy. I didn’t go to her home or anything like that.

It got to a point where anytime I would leave the house when I would return, I had this pitiful hope that her car would magically be in the driveway. Like she finally decided to show up and explain it and it would all be reasonable.

I called for a long time but the calls would go straight to voicemail.

For a long time, I was confused and waited and hoped that something would come of it. But nothing ever did.

I was confused and sad for a long time and then after several months I just kind of accepted that this was what it was and started trying to deal with that.

I was 20-years old and 6-months before I had lost my father from complications due to alcoholism.

For a while, there was a lot of anger and resentment out of hurt.

We were kids and it was a wild scenario.

Her parents were not big fans of mine.

She was a very sweet and kind person. It wasn’t in her nature to confront people about anything. I think she probably handled it the best way she knew how.

I’ve really never been in a long-term relationship like that again. I like to think that’s because I haven’t encountered the right person, but it’s very possible that there are some scars from that that I use to protect myself and don’t allow myself to be vulnerable in that way.

Dating around but nothing serious.

I lean a lot on my social circle. I get support there.

Finding something creative to do. To have that creative outlet. Something to express yourself that puts a smile on your face.

I’m kind of intimidated by having that kind of commitment to another person. It would take a lot for me to be convinced to forfeit my freedom.

I was so shocked and devastated for those first few months.

I was eventually able to able to operate without that resentment and without that anger.

I’m glad to know I can get over something.

Maybe what happened didn’t happen because that person was trying to hurt me as much as they could maybe that person was just doing the best they could.

It taught me empathy.

Trust me, there’s more than one.

Relationships can take a lot of different forms.

Me telling you to keep your chin up won’t help you in the moment.

Ultimately you have to find ways to make yourself happy.

 

We were high school sweethearts and ended up being together for eleven years, married for five.

As teenagers, we went through the honeymoon stage on steroids.

She ended up being diagnosed later in life with borderline personality disorder

After college, we ended up moving in together immediately

The episodes of BPD, depression, and manic states continued to increase in their intensity and timing. It ended up she was hospitalized and at that point, she told me to get out and never come back.

I went back to our house, packed six garbage bags of clothing and moved in with my parents.

I promptly ended up blowing out my knee and spent the next 3 months on the couch.

I found myself single, living with my parents and losing the ability to move myself around to interact with people.

The good part about that was it gave me all the time in the world to reflect back on my situation. How I got there, how I felt about it, where I wanted to go from here.

It was honestly probably one of the best things that happened to me.

There are so many distractions in life. While distraction is an invaluable tool, being forced to take your time and reflect on everything that you have just gone through and figure out who you are as a person in this new world.

I had sent so much of my young life, of my personality development, literally every aspect of who I thought of myself as a person involved in this relationship.

Now, who I was as a person was such a huge question that was left to be answered.

The conclusion I came to was I like who I am. I’m very happy with myself with my work ethic, with my drive, with my relationships with my family and my friends, with almost every aspect of who I am as a person I have a positive self-view.

None of that would have happened without that relationship. It was such a huge building block for who I became as a person.

It was such an integral part of my growth as a person.

If they’re not judging you then why should you be judging yourself?

I’m looking for baggage that goes with mine. Everyone has baggage.

It was important for me that I found someone I could be as open with as I was with my family.

I became more open to listening to other people and listening to their situation.

I used to try to solve problems. When somebody had an issue I would offer a solution to discuss the potential fallouts

There are certain problems that don’t have solutions, or at least not easy ones.

They’re looking for a sounding board, an acknowledgment of their feelings, an acknowledgment of their courses of action rather than approval or dismissal.

I realized in my previous relationship that I was constantly trying to solve problems.

I think towards the end that relationship was really unhealthy for both of us.

I wonder if she is better off without me because I was an enabler or making it worse.

Time heals all wounds. It is truly amazing.

Nothing will ever be the same but that doesn’t mean it won’t get better.

There really is life on the other side.

I’ve never been happier in my entire life and that something that is achievable.

In the moment of the breakup, it’s not possible.

What it was for is to make you who you are as a person.

 

I discovered backpacking.

He had a mild sore throat that wasn’t going away.

He had throat cancer.

If anyone is ever in my shoes, hospice is fantastic.

It was actually one of the more tender and loving parts of my life even though it was traumatic and difficult.

I actually look back with an odd sense of even being closer.

We’d been together almost 30-years.

It’s hard for them to let people take care of them in certain ways.

I found myself in an unfathomable situation. I didn’t have enough money to take care of the day-to-day things.

I knew that I wanted to travel.

I couldn’t find a job, not even at the hardware store. I remember the cold dark fear of that.

I don’t even know how I did it.

I decided to sell the house. That was my dream house.

I’m spending all of my time taking care of my stuff. Everything I need fits on my back. That was a life-changing ah-ha moment for me.

I remember on I had this saying on my computer, “The barn having burned to the ground I can now see the moon.” I kept saying one day. That’s going to be me.

I kept saying, I’m okay for today.

Things always end up okay in our lives.

Don’t dwell about the future what if’s.

Adventure travel empowers you.

I was a late-bloomer to this whole adventure thing.

Even if I didn’t I would have been proud of myself.

It has opened my world.

Always try to say yes.

We all have this bond and this love of the outdoors. People are open. You know when you are on the trail people are your people.

We’re all a lot stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

You’ve got it in you to do this. Just take that one step.

Say yes, you don’t know where this crazy life of ours is going to lead.

Your life is going to have lots of ups and downs.

 

It was a long moment of silence from my partner.

I thought maybe I should bring her flowers and show her that I care.

Over the course of time she finally messaged me telling me that it’s over.

The immediate feeling was a feeling of relief that I had some closure there.

You start to wonder how deep do those lies go.

I had some panic attacks thinking about how much harm I had done to her.

The more I thought about everything she did tell me it started unraveling.

The thing I blame myself for is not paying as close of attention to the inconsistencies in her behavior.

I am polyamorous.

The way I set up my relationships I don’t have a primary.

I would rather a person be honest with me than to be faithful. The communication has to be there.

It’s kind of selfish to expect one person to be everything for you.

One of the things I like most about polyamory is there are different levels of intimacy. It doesn’t mean I’ve having sex with all of them. In fact, most of them I don’t.

It’s good to remember there’s lots of wonderful people out there in the world. It’s just a matter of you opening your eyes and seeing where they are and seeing how beautiful they are.