When you're married and have a family, that seems to become what defines you. And when you've gone from wife to single mom, it can be hard to figure out who YOU are. You've become so accustomed to being whoever you were in your marriage, that becoming a new you is a foreign concept.
While my marriage falling apart was upsetting, it was also liberating. Probably because in some ways, being married to my then husband, was a bit of a burden. I played the responsible adult, and he pretended he was still in college. It's a frustrating situation when one of you is growing, and the other is perfectly content being stuck in the mindset of a 21-year-old.
In my marriage I had gone from happy to resentful. It wasn't a good feeling. So when I got away from the person who was making me such a stressed out and angry woman, with a heavy heart I still managed to breath a sigh of relief. A sigh of freedom and starting over.
One year and three months later, I am a completely different person. Parts of who I am, is who I use to be before my marriage went south - other parts of me are a new person who has grown.
What I reclaimed was this: Being an equestrian. While I owned my horse before, through, and after my marriage, I lost track of what being a true horse owner was. My ex resented the fact I owned this majestic animal, and that she cost so much money. So I spent less and less time doing what I loved to do - less time being who I use to be. When I was single again, I reclaimed that part of my identity. A part of me that I found a lot of pride in.
I reclaimed my health. I went for my first annual exam in years. I was treated (even though slackly) for my anxiety. I started watching what I ate, how much I ate, and became active again. I went and bought a new wardrobe because my old clothes had become too big. I indulged myself, and developed a positive body image. I smiled at myself every time I looked in the mirror.
What I developed was: Independence. I have never been an independent person. I have always relied on other people. I have always relied on someone else to help me find happiness. All of a sudden, I didn't need that anymore.
I didn't need a man to tell me I was beautiful. I didn't need a man to tell me he loved me. I didn't need a man to pat me on the head, and tell me what a good job I was doing. Nope - I could do that ALL myself. I can look in the mirror and say, "Hey - I'm one hot momma!" I can tell myself, that even though I'm stressed and not perfect, that I still love myself. I can make my own decisions and praise myself for making them.
I am a self confident, new woman. A strong single mom, who takes pride in my children, and how far we've come along. In them, and in myself, we have happiness. And it's really all we ever need.