I read a Facebook post once that was called You’re Allowed to Leave and it had many statements in it that I really value. Statements that have been so important to the last 6-8 years of my life.
- “You’re allowed to leave someone you love if they’re treating you poorly, you’re allowed to put yourself first if you’re settling and you’re allowed to walk away when you’ve tried over and over again but nothing has changed.”
- “We sometimes look at leaving as a bad thing or associate it with giving up or quitting, but sometimes leaving is the best thing you can do for yourself.”
- “Leaving allows you to change directions, to start over, to rediscover yourself and the world. Leaving sometimes saves you from staying stuck in the wrong place with the wrong people.”
- “Leaving opens a new door for change, growth, opportunities and redemption.”
And it made me miss writing and paying attention to the blogs I follow. I need to remember those things more often to stay present in my life. To remember how far I’ve come in rediscovering myself and growing. To remember that it’s ok to change, it’s ok to ask for change, and that where I am now is so much better than feeling like I am to blame and I am broken. So much better then believing that my ex was right in saying “maybe it IS all you” when I commented that he wasn’t taking marriage counseling seriously because he was just waiting to hear that it was all my fault.
I can always tell when I’m getting complacent with my mental health. Because I start to think about all the things I decided I would do when I left my marriage, some of which I didn’t do. And in every conflict I feel like “yep, it really IS all me.”
I know that’s not true, don’t I? But I go right back to it when things go wrong. And then I wind up here, where I start thinking that it MUST be true, it is me who is not capable of healthy relationships.
And then I remember it’s ok to protect myself first. To love myself first. To remind myself of my value.
And that still feels great. I really do know that I am not to blame for everything and that I am not broken. I know that I own my feelings–as a victim, a survivor, a mother, a friend, a coworker, a girlfriend, and all other things I identify as in life.
I have written lots in the last couple years, but published none of it to this blog because I started to want to hide again. Not because I’m unhappy, not at all. I just started to wonder if I needed it.
I do. Not for recognition, but validation. And accountability. If I publish the things I think, then they feel real and I read them again and again when I need each reminder.
And because guess what? I am doing some really awesome things in my life.
I’m in a relationship that I value deeply and when we go through tough stuff, I know that we will get through it together. Not because I feel like I have to, but because I want to.
I am good at my job and I like it. I feel valuable and I love the people I work with and the people I serve in my role.
I’m still in therapy. I need it like some people need meds. It’s what makes me process and understand things without just laughing everything off and never being vulnerable.
I’m getting my body healthy. I took my body down with stress. I saw a naturopathic doctor and it changed my life. She looked at me as a whole and found ways that I could become healthy and not struggle with the same things and just be given med after different med. and I work with a personal trainer. I’ve lost inches, gained muscle, lost fat, lost weight, gained weight, and I feel like I finally found a way to be happy in my body. Not every single day, but most.
When you’re a survivor, you can sometimes despise your body. It’s a struggle for me. But I’m so close to putting that struggle behind me, and so I took a huge leap this year and said “pick me.” And they did. (I’ll probably tell ya, don’t worry.)
All those things happening in my life? I made those things happen. I am making those things happen every day. And that really IS all me. That’s a good thing now instead of being a phrase that felt so negative to me.
If I had never left, I wouldn’t know the many things I know today. And that too really IS all me. I left. I own that. I needed that.
And I’m ok.