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.