After the breakup, I moved in with my best friend and her family. I will treasure this time always. She and her husband allowed me the time I needed to heal both mentally and financially. When I came to them I was a wreck. I was suffering from the worst case of depression I had ever experienced. There were days I went without eating because I simply could no swallow. I lost 40 pounds in about a month. With their love and kindness, I've come back to life.
While in the relationship, my self-esteem hit rock-bottom. I hated how I looked because I wasn't measuring up to his expectations. At one point, I blamed myself for everything. That's exactly what he wanted.
Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a happy, confidant, beautiful woman. I love the woman I see peering back at me. I know what she went through and how she fought to regain her life when all she wanted to do was lay down and vanish into the earth. She didn't. I didn't.
My best friend admitted to me that there were times when she wondered if I was going to make it back. She was scared I would do something crazy. I thought about it, but I couldn't. One thing I've been taught all my life is that life is precious. I just had to get my fight back.
Strangely, I have a glow to me now. I smile. I laugh. I play pranks. I have more friends than I ever thought possible especially since I tend to be a loner. I am more of an extrovert, but I am still not as social as I'd like to be. There are still situations that intimidate me. I'm getting stronger and better able to face those situations. I am certainly not a doormat anymore. I value me.
The one thing I wasn't taught growing up in the South was that I have value as a single person. Growing up, I heard graduate from school, get a good job, find a husband, raise a family, and grow old. As a single woman, I had no worth. That's so wrong!
I am more valuable to myself, my friends, and my family now. I have fought demons and won. I have wisdom. When my daughter, step-daughter, mother, friends, co-workers, etc., look at me, they see me...a strong, loving, kind, beautiful, vital, productive, intelligent woman striving to make a name for herself. I am woman! Hear me roar!