I looked at my life as someone’s wife: I didn’t finish college. I quit a job I was good at and that I loved, to support my husband’s goals. I was forty pounds overweight. I was sleepy. I was angry. I was vengeful. I was getting migraines. I was miserable.
And one day, I will die.
There is nothing – absolutely not ONE thing – more valuable or precious than peace of mind. It’s not security It’s not what-your-family-will-think. It’s not the-next-obvious-step-in-the-relationship.
From that point on, I told myself that even if I file for divorce and then turn around and get struck by a truck the fact that I finally put my happiness on the to-do list would be worth it. It would be worth it for my two girls. It would be worth it for my son.
I do not believe, for a second, that I will get a gold star when I die and go to Heaven or wherever on my how-I-lived-my-life essay for my “Excellent Martyrdom.”
I had become one of those Oprah makeover “before” moms, something I had vowed NEVER to be. When I was just me, I thought I’d be a cast member on SNL or an English teacher or a sex therapist.
I was none of the above.
I was not much aside from embarrassed and ashamed.
How did I get there?
How did I get to the driveway, in Mobile, Alabama, covered in garbage juice, with a maggot in my hair, having a panic attack, with three barefoot kids in my rented house.
And more importantly, how the hell do I get out?