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Being a grown-up is hard. Like, super hard.
Add in marriage and parenthood, and everything gets crazy.
Being a working mom with two small kids was tough. I was up early and out the door for my 90-minute long commute to the office. After a long day of working, it was straight home to take care of my daughters. Dinner, playtime, baths, and bed. My bedtime quickly followed.
Repeat that five times in a row and anyone would be exhausted. My husband (now ex) was working all the time, including weekends, so everything fell to me. Sometimes I look back at those years and wonder how I did it. It was all so heavy.
Somewhere along the way, I lost myself. I didn’t remember who I was outside of being a mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend. Where was Melissa? Years went by without me even noticing that I was lost.
About five years before my marriage ended, things got really bad between us. It was a toxic environment for all of us. I struggled to keep it together some days. I alienated my friends and family. I stopped taking care of myself. I stopped running and working out. I gained weight and that made my depression even worse. I looked in the mirror and my eyes were dead. There was nobody there, but a shell of a person.
On the day I left my husband, I was scared. I was leaving behind the life that I had known for so long and I was scared. I didn’t know who I was now that I wouldn’t be a wife anymore. After 14 years with someone, I was alone and I didn’t know if I would ever be okay.
Little by little, I started to come back. I began to remember who I was before I got lost. I reconnected with my family and friends. I leaned on them during the hard times. I started taking better care of myself and treating myself with love and patience. Slowly, I started rebuilding my life.
It has been almost three years since it ended, and I am so happy to say that I am back. I’m raising two teenagers in a peaceful and loving home. We are all thriving. We are all happy. I am so happy. Ridiculously happy sometimes.
This simple life that I have built for myself looks good on me. I feel like myself again and I can’t tell you how wonderful of a feeling that is. When I look in the mirror now, I see myself. I’m smiling and my eyes are bright. I like what I see. It feels good to be found.
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