October 2, 2016

The last chapter

We've had a pretty busy couple of weeks. My husband came for a visit with our son, and while he was here I pushed the lawyers to get everything done so we could get it all signed and taken care of before he left town again. Having to mail everything out of state and wait for responses has stretched this process out far longer than it needed to be. But he signed it last week, I will sign it later this week, and then we have the hearing and it's done.

I'm ready. This whole process has consumed my thoughts and dominated my anxieties for the last year and a half. Even though the divorce is just a piece of paper, having a period at the end of this sentence will bring incredible relief.

I got a little taste of the relief last week when I finally managed to sell my wedding ring on eBay - that was one of my New Year's resolutions for 2016, to get rid of that ring and use the money to get something with my son's birthstone in it. I loved the reasons why he picked it for me, but I never liked the ring itself, and I like it less now knowing how it all ended up. He left his wedding band with me when he left, but I didn't sell that - I figured I will save it for Noah for some day, maybe it can mean something better for him.

I don't know what the next step is, besides vaguely saying "recovery," and referring to many areas of my life. Being able to breathe about finances will help with getting fit again - not having to stress about grocery bills will be great, and for a divorce present, I'm thinking about getting a bike again. I've missed that feeling of freedom and mobility, and hopefully I could get Noah excited about staying active with a bike, too.

At the same time, though ... I'm tired. Of all of it.

I started focusing on (and writing about) weight loss six years ago, committed heavily for a year, maintained for a year, steadily regained for two, and essentially maintained the regain ever since. It's been a frustration, a fixation, an obsession ... and I don't know how to let go of it. I don't know how to make consistently healthy choices without letting the choices consume my thoughts and dictate my moods.

I lost a lot of weight once, but I never fixed the real issue of my relationship with food - the weight has always been a symptom, a side effect from not treating a larger issue. I tried therapy right after my husband left, and ended it when I could no longer afford it - right as we made a giant breakthrough and I remembered something intense from my childhood. Leaving that wound open and uncared for has certainly added to the difficulty of processing things this last year ... maybe once the divorce is done and I finally can get financial assistance, I can take what I spend now on childcare and use some of it for therapy again.

I don't know if I'll keep blogging.

I don't feel safe here anymore anyway, since I know my husband is stalking me here - he never cared what I thought or felt during the relationship, which makes the obsession with my writing even more painful. I can't share the heaviest burdens on my heart because of his incredibly fragile ego. He isn't reading to see how I am doing, or how his son is affected by having an absent father - he just cares about how he is portrayed to a few hundred strangers across the country or around the world. He's not a celebrity - no one cares about the juicy details (not that there even are any). There's just mess that I am trying to sort through, to clean out my mind and reorganize my life.

And - this isn't the blog it used to be. I don't have thousands of followers anymore. Many reached their goals and moved on, others shifted their goals and moved forward in new directions. I'm still here, digging deeper, but not getting anywhere. The people who are still here aren't here for the weight loss - or they are, still hoping that someday I'll get it together. People only care about a weight loss blog if the person actually loses weight, actually exercises, actually accomplishes things. People never tire of saying "you look great, keep it up!" - but there's a limit to how often someone will say "it's okay, keep trying, you'll figure it out soon."

Congratulations. The one safe space I ever had, the place where my first steps toward recovery happened ... it's been invaded and stolen. Everything I had a few years ago - the confidence, the progress, the community - it's gone. I'm far from my friends, far from my family, with no help and no relief except for the 5-7 day visits three or four times a year. I'm alone, with literally nothing now.

And - it just isn't the motivator it once was, either. Once, I shared my stories here, relishing every comforting "yes, me too" as I pushed through the first of the difficult journeys I've experienced in the last five years. But now, I feel like I check in every now and then, share how I've just maintained by repeating my same dangerous binge/restrict pattern, up and down the same 5 pounds for two years. In 2010, I was single, without a kid, and could make fitness a second full-time job. Now, between a full-time job, a part-time job, and being a single mom, I struggle to find the time to take care of my most basic needs like showering, let alone luxury time like going to the gym.

I'm turning 30 in a month and a half, and I'm ready to close the door on these chapters of my life - the marriage, the public struggle with weight loss. I spent so much of my 20s hating myself and my body - I succeeded, for a while, in overcoming that, but the confidence disappeared as quickly as it came. I want better for my next decade. I want radical, revolutionary confidence and self-care that includes using food as nourishment instead of punishment or entertainment. I want to move my body in ways I enjoy, not to try and replicate my life from years ago, but to make the most of the life I have now. I want to be a good role model for my son, because I'm the only one he has here, and he's always watching and listening. I want my 30s to be full of forward motion, in positive directions, towards my best self.

18 comments:

B. Crew said...

In a totally selfish way I don't want you to leave. In the best possible way I want you to be as happy and healthy as you can be and if that means leaving us, then I wish only the best and that you find what you need to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually. You are a person of worth- the content of your character and the strength in your stories bring me here, don't allow what has happened on the scale make you feel like the story tell is diminished in value.

Sonya Alexander said...

I'm still here and I read all your posts because I feel like it keeps me closer to you. I'm glad you getting some closure because now you can focus on yourself and Noah and having an amazing life together! I love you. Always have, always will. Stay strong my love

Erin said...

I read because you are an excellent writer. You are candid with your thoughts, and we all struggle with something; however, not all of us are able to express in the same way as you. You are an excellent mom - making every decision to better your life for you and your son. The weight will come off when the pain subsides. I believe in you, and I believe in the process.

Ashley said...

I can see your point, and I felt it too when I was blogging (and I've already abandoned my new blog). It's harder for me to open up, but reading your blog has been a motivator for me. You're so open and honest and that was what I came back for. I'm so sorry that your space has been invaded by someone so selfish. I can't even imagine that. I'd really like to keep in touch, I'm friends with a handful of my old blogging friends on my Facebook and I love keeping in touch with them. Please add me as a friend if you'd like. I'm the Ashley B who comments on and likes your stuff on your blog facebook page. Otherwise, whether you come back here or not, I wish you well on your endeavors and just wanted to say thank you for the motivation and support over the years! <3 You can do anything. ANYTHING! You got this!

Linda Claxson said...

Please don't stop blogging unless it's something you really feel you should do for yourself right now.
Weightloss blogs for me are about ALL the struggles not just the continuous loss on the scales. I particularly like the blogs that begin as weightloss blogs but morph into real life blogs, those are the ones that are keeping it real and honest. You are a person beyond any weightloss regime and while I may not interact much on these blogs I do enjoy reading them and interacting in some weird small way with people I do not know, will likely never meet but who share the downs as well as the ups, the good and the bad, happiness and sadness. You may lose followers who seek only motivation and that is ok, they're on their own journey but you will also reach out to those who can empathise with your life as it is now.
As for your ex husband, you no longer have to put his feelings above your own, he signed away any right to dictate your life in any way, shape or form and if your blog and your words insult his sensitivities then it is his responsibility to stop reading them.
Your life is now YOURS :) YOU can shape it as you wish :)

Christmas 2013 said...

Sorry you no longer feel you can use this outlet, would you consider setting up a new blog, away from prying eyes...a new start for a new decade in your life :)

Kat said...

I hope you continue blogging - you're a gifted writer and you process the world around you beautifully. Maybe take the emphasis away from weight loss and to your journey towards mental, physical and spiritual health? And I would definitely consider taking your blog private, what an invasion of personal space. But I wish you all the best with whatever it is you decide to do.

Monique Noel said...

This post broke my heart. I wish nothing but the best for you in life, wherever it takes you.

Lisa said...

I have always looked forward to reading your blog and I am not disappointed if you're struggling. Of course I hope things will get better for you, but I don't come here to pity you either. I just think you're a great writer and I appreciate your honesty and your ability to self-reflect. I'll be sad to see you go if you choose not to blog any longer, but you have to do what's best for you. I'm sorry that he has made this an unsafe place to express yourself. I wish you well!

73551CA said...

You are such a talented writer, and I have enjoyed reading you for a long time. I am sorry that you feel you need to leave this blog, but I understand. Know that you will be greatly missed by those of us who enjoy sharing keeping up with you.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I hope you don't leave forever Mary. I would miss hearing about your adventures with Noah, no matter how small they may be.

maranda said...

I only recently found your blog and I understand 5he struggle of long weight and having a small child well I'm still married and have help with the care of my child we do share some of the same struggles. I pray you find your way and hate to see you go, if you decide to stay can you make it private and let only certain people read it?

Jen said...

I'm here. I think I'm here because I'm rooting for you. I want you to be happy. Happy with life. Happy with your son. And happy with your body regardless of the number on the scale. I hate that your soon-to-be-ex-husband has ruined this for you. That's really jerky. He needs to let it go. I'm really rooting for you to close this chapter of your life and be free to move on. I realize that we don't know much of the story and you're probably only scratching the surface here. But ultimately, I wish you the best. Try not to be hard on yourself. Try to find something happy every day. Be the best mom you can be. Be the best "you" that you can be and be happy with yourself. Don't let what other think of you or your appearance dictate how you feel about yourself. Someone once told me "Happiness is a choice". I scoffed at that idea. But then I kept hearing it in my brain. It stuck with me. Since then, at times, I've just chosen to let things go. I choose to be happy. I even added a decal to my water bottle that says "Choose to be happy". And you know what . . . it's starting to sink in. . . little by little. . . I can't control everything. I can't control what people think or how they react. I can only control myself. And I'm choosing to be happy. . . when I can. It's not easy. But I find it an interesting concept. I honestly thought the person that said it to me was a complete whack. . . and it took months of hearing it in my brain before I finally thought "maybe there's something to this". Best of luck darling with whatever you decide to do. Lots of people are rooting for you!

Caron said...

I LOVE your blog and have through the years. It is sad that you now feel it is a place that has been invaded. If you leave, I will personally understand, but will miss hearing from you.I shut down my blog after three years, and I did not have any issues except I felt I'd said everything I had to say about three times and my old eyes started having problems when I would get on the computer.

I hope that things get better and better for you and that you enjoy raising that sweet little boy and taking care of you and him. You have a great gift for writing and communicating. I'm sure that is a big plus in teaching. :)

cspiro84 said...

I would definitely miss you if you left. To be honest, I don't really care if you lose the weight or not. I mean, I want you to for YOU, but that's not what I care about. I've read your blog since the beginning so it's Mary I care about whether she is at goal weight or overweight. I do hope you continue to write, because I think you have a great talent, but I can understand if you choose not to. It's unfortunate that he can't just let you be but you have to do what's right for you.

PJ Geek said...

I don't read many blogs anymore, but I check in on yours because we both started at 345 and lost about the same amount of weight. I struggle with this always, but have stopped my blog and gone the eating disorder therapy route. If you start a private blog and want invited readers only, I would like to be included. It isn't about the weight anymore. It' about recovery.

LynnieG said...

Selfishly I wish you would keep blogging. I love your writing style and wonderful insight. I understand if it's not working for you anymore, but would love it if you found a safe outlet that we all could still enjoy and interact. I wish you the best in whatever you decide. Peace.

AlisonMK said...

I don't follow very many blogs but always remember to check in on you from time to time, Mary, because I want to be like you when I grow up (and I'm about to turn 52 haha) - the way you express yourself in your writing and your insight amaze me and I can tell you're an incredible mother - Noah is so, so lucky to have you. I hope you're successful with your weight loss only because I know it will boost your confidence. If you're not, so be it - you're still one amazing lady! Good luck to you, Mary - I will miss your blog. :(