I'm not gonna lie when I tell you how bad I feel about abandoning this blog. Many of you know of my trials and tribulations. I'll give you the brief overview.
Over three years ago, Mr. Sign and I decided that we needed to work harder on our marriage. I wasn't happy, mostly with myself. My weight had gotten the better of me. So, we decided to have weight loss surgery together. This brought us together for a time.
Last Spring I started thinking about turning 40 and the fact that I had spent more than half of my life with one person and where did my life go. So, I did a lot of soul searching. In my quest, I realized that I needed to spread my wings and go forth with the life that my weight had compressed. I decided that I wasn't going to settle for being just "ok".
Don't get me wrong, I have led a very charmed life. Mr. Sign has been more than supportive of me for our entire relationship (21 years, 19 of them married). However, I realized that he wasn't entirely happy either.
So, I told him to go find what made him happy. I believed that in letting him go, things would be easy for me. I thought I wouldn't have feelings because feelings are messy and I don't like letting them show. And, things were easy at first. I was doing my thing and he was doing his. We decided to continue to do our own thing but to stay married for the girls' sakes.
This only worked for a few months when we both realized that it was too hard to go this route for everyone. Mr. Sign moved into an apartment that was closer to his job. It was an hour away from me and the girls. We decided that on weekends we would switch residences so that he could be with the girls and we wouldn't have to see each other. This worked well.
A few months later, we decided that we needed to formally separate. We hadn't told anyone that we had been separated since June. Again, I assumed that this task would be easy because I didn't want to allow my feelings to be involved.
So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, we were telling our families that we were divorcing. That was interesting. My mom wanted me to wait to tell my grandma until after the holidays. When I called to tell her, she barraged me with questions about why we couldn't make things work and what our problems were. She gave no regard to my feelings and how I was dealing with all of this. Her concerns were about our family not being "perfect" anymore.
I should tell you that most people assume that the demise of my marriage was based on the weight loss. This would only partly be true. It's a fact that losing the fat gave me the courage to venture out of my comfort zone and know that I could try and do things on my own. I would have never even tried to go it alone at 384 pounds. The world is just too cruel to fat chicks. I remained comfy and cozy within my fat walls.
No, this mostly had to do with the fact that I had decided that I had loved the one I was with long enough. In the process of my self discovery, I encouraged Mr. Sign to find out what made him happy, knowing full well what that was. All I'm going to say about that is that he decided to chose and alternative lifestyle and I want nothing but happiness for him.
In the midst of all of this turmoil, I became ill and was diagnosed with something that will remain with me for the rest of my life. As I was reeling from this news, two days later, Mr. Sign lost his job, including all health care benefits.
I was beyond myself and felt so completely alone. I have never been alone for more than a day in my entire life. I can only say that I was as low as I've ever been to the point of almost not being able to function. I got through my day and spent the evenings and nights just sobbing alone in my bedroom. I had been seeing a counselor but could no longer do so without insurance. Great timing, huh?
Somehow, with the support of my family and friends, I was able to pull myself up and out of the darkness. I wanted to blog, but as a great friend and fellow blogger said, "You don't want people to feel sorry for you. You know they will if you tell them what's going on".
So, we had my measly income, two residences, double bills for everything and no way to pay for it. We spent much time together while he looked for a job. He wanted to spend as much time with the girls as he could. This was hard on us both. We had a hard time being around each other as it made things seem like old times. We finally came to the conclusion that we really needed to be apart for both our sakes. I should mention that most of this happened after our trip to Las Vegas, so basically just after the first of the year.
Mr. Sign finally got a job that is actually better paying so we were able to file the paperwork for the divorce. Since everything is amicable, the lawyer will file a motion of hardship which will push our divorce through in 60 days instead of 180.
Imagine that I was thrown literally into the dating world by a friend with good intentions. She decided that I needed to get out there and play the field. I haven't dated in over 20 years. My, how times have changed.
To sum things up, I'm stress eating, lonely, poor and confused, but I'm alive and kicking. I am ready to face the new big bad world on my own, but still have my moments of self doubt.
Life as a separated, single parent is just plain strange to me. Most of my friends don't call or make an effort to find out how we are doing. Their response is that they just don't know what to say. "We always thought you were the perfect couple.". I'm here to tell you that nothing and no one is perfect in this world.
For those people that assume that the dissolution of our marriage was based solely on both of us having weight loss surgery, you simply have no idea. Our problems started way before that. What I will say about losing over 200 pounds, is that it gave me the courage to know that I could venture out on my own. I knew at 384 pounds that the world was too mean to fat chicks and wouldn't allow me to live life alone.
Living life on my terms has empowered me to know that I can make it in this world. It has also given me moments of sheer terror about being all alone. I become panicked when I think about what I have to do totally on my own. Things like keeping up the lawn and taking care of the house. (I should tell you that Mr. Sign has given the house and most of the contents to me. He has been more than fair and for that I am grateful.) During these fits, I basically lose my mind and cry my eyes out for no apparent reason. I hate emotions, or at least hate showing my emotions. I've always been the strong one who was there for everyone else. I'm not used to having to lean on others for emotional support. God has put new people in my life to help me along this journey, since the old ones seem lost.
Only those that have been there seem to understand that divorce is worse than a death. At least with death, there is some finality. I find myself happy one minute and sobbing the next. Mourning a lost time, not necessarily a lost relationship. I miss the simplicity of married life. You know the one: Get up, go to work, come home and cook dinner, watch tv, go to bed, lather, rinse, repeat.
Things seem harder because Mr. Sign and I remain friends and don't hate each other. Sometimes I think it would be easier to break that 21 year old relationship if we despised each other.
Some of you have asked how I'm doing with my weight. I'm going to be totally honest and let you know that I have regained about 8 pounds. This scares the crap out of me. I know that it's because I have become a stress eater. I am powerless over food. No matter how hard I try to avoid bad foods, the more they seem to call out to me, promising comfort from the evils of the world. The more I worry about eating, the more I want to eat.
Regardless of how bad I know it's going to be, I still weigh myself every day. I spoke with my weight loss surgeon and he assured me that weight gain is normal. In fact, most people gain back at least 20 pounds. I don't want to be that statistic. I am hopeful that with the approach of Spring will come a loss of appetite.
I also struggle with the fact that when I do lose weight, it is usually in my face. I don't like looking gaunt and sickly. I also don't like my big fat rear end. It's kind of a toss up, big butt or super skinny face.
Thank you all for your kind and sincere words. You have no idea how much it means to know that you are there for me during this turbulent time in my life.
I will leave you with a few pictures of the girls and me: