Self-Love Reflection: The Strength Within

Posted: September 11, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi, everyone! My name is Kelly and I blog over at Laughter, Strength, and Food. In my blog, I try to focus on fitness, food, shopping, family, friends, etc., you know…the good stuff! I absolutely loved Tina’s “Self-Love” series and am honored to do a guest post for her about when I needed the most strength and how I found that strength. Thanks, Tina!

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My story is a heavy one, and it is one that I have wanted to share on my blog for a long time, but haven’t yet. I am not sure why. I guess I just wasn’t ready before, but as soon as I knew I was going to be writing a post about strength, I knew it was time to share my story.

My story starts in late 2006 when I met a wonderful guy. He was just like me and we got along wonderfully. We had tons of mutual friends and it was actually amazing that we had not met previously because of our similar circle of friends. We just chalked it up to fate that we met when we did. We figured it was just ‘our time.’ While I will spare you tons of the details, I’ll just give you the rundown that we moved in together shortly after we met, got engaged a year later, and got married eight months after that.

While we were planning our wedding, we found out that he was being deployed to Iraq. Thankfully, we made it through our year apart and he and his entire unit came home safely. It was more than we could have asked for. However, soon after he came home, things started to fall apart.

We were fighting more than ever but we just tried to work through it, knowing that a deployment can do strange things to a relationship. I tried moving home with my parents. We tried ‘starting over’ and going back to the time when we first met. We tried counseling. I really can’t explain it, nor do I have enough space in this post to run down every detail of why we felt a disconnect between us and why our relationship finally seemed to be past the point of repair. All I know is that one day, we made that decision. We decided that we disagreed on many levels that were deeper than the superficial arguments we were having. We decided that it was time to end it. We decided to get a divorce.

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Was I happy? Of course not. Was I questioning our decision every step of the way? Absolutely. Does my mind still wander and think about what could have been even though we have both moved on and are happier than ever? Definitely.

That part of my life brings me to my moment of strength. For those few months after our separation, I was fine. We had both met new people that were much better for us than we were for each other. I tried not to dwell on it. Then, I’m not sure what happened at the end of last year. Looking back, I now think that I never went through a 'grieving’ process for the end of my relationship. Everything happened so quickly and we both told ourselves that we were okay and the decision was right. I truly believe the decision was right, but I don’t think I ever allowed myself to deal with it and work through my emotions.

I have a saying that I’m famous for. “I don’t want to talk about it.” To me, it’s easier just to push things away than to deal with them. True to myself, that’s what I did. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out well for me. I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t try harder. I was embarrassed that I was in my twenties and already divorced. I found it impossible to forgive myself. I felt all of these things but just swept them under the rug, hoping those thoughts would go away.

I cried every morning and night during my commute to and from work. I started lashing out at Lee (my current and most wonderful bf) because I was sad and tired all the time. I had crazy thoughts that I wanted to end everything because I was so exhausted from being sad. I was a pretty miserable person to be around.

One night, my parents and Lee had a very serious "intervention" talk with me during which I yelled, screamed, and cried. A lot. You know what? The next day, I felt like it was a new beginning for me. I actually wasn’t sad. I didn’t cry. I wasn’t thinking that my life wasn’t worth anything. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. It was then that I decided that I was starting anew and it really was time to move on (even though I had fooled myself into thinking I had months before).

I stopped checking Facebook. I stopped looking at old pictures. I stopped wondering ‘what could have been.’ I put my energy into my job, into teaching Jazzercise, into my relationship with Lee, and I started my blog. I surrounded myself with people that brought positive energy into my life. All of those changes made all the difference in the world. I finally allowed myself to forgive myself and use my experience as a stepping stone to a better life.

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I have never needed strength like I did during that time of my life. I have a quote posted on my blog that reads, “You never know how strong you are…until being strong is the only choice you have.” I have never believed in a quote more than I believe in that one. There are always going to be times when the days seem dark and it feels like there is no hope. These are the times that it is so important for us to realize how strong we really are and how much strength we really have deep down inside of us.

  • When have you felt your strongest?

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17 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: The Strength Within”
  1. Love this! What a sweet puppy you have too :D

  2. This is so inspiring, thank you for sharing your story Kelly!

  3. Emily says:

    What an inspiring story. I too am the same way–I don’t talk about things…but I think I’m getting better. Thanks for sharing your story and quote especially–it’s definitely one I’m going to remember.

  4. Abbey says:

    Thank you for sharing, your story is very inspiring!

  5. You have such an incredible story! Thank you for sharing. I find that I’m strongest after coming out of a low point in my life as well. It helps give a whole new perspective. Keep touching others with your story :) .

  6. Kiah says:

    Wow, what a story! Thanks for sharing :-)
    I love that quote–about being our strongest when it’s needed–I always surprise myself when things get really tough, and I just keep on truckin’

  7. Amy Lauren says:

    Great story- I’m glad you were able to be strong when you needed to. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Erin says:

    Wow, what an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing with us Kelly!

  9. Thank you for sharing your story with us Kelly! That was such an inspiring post. I think I’ve definitely felt my strongest when my dad left my mom and I had to be the “strength” she needed.

  10. Thanks so much for sharing! I think it’s interesting that you say that ‘I was disappointed in myself that I didn’t try harder.’ From what I read, you tried incredibly hard to make it work, and it didn’t. It was a valiant effort, and you didn’t make a snap decision. What good is this life if you waste it being miserable? It sounds like you made the perfect decision for you, and you’re moving on. Again, thanks for sharing – a lot of times blogging can seem like you’re doing it for other people, and hiding what’s really going on behind some “healthy living” facade. Thanks for breaking through to what really happens in real life.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story! I think you are incredibly brave. It can be so hard to end a relationship even though you know it is the right thing to do. Your story makes me think of the quote “what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” You are definitely stronger for having gone through all this.

  12. Kelly, thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. It takes a lot of courage to not only confront really difficult choices, but then share the very emotional experience with so many people. You look so happy and beautiful in the pictures above – I’m glad you made it through that point in your life and are loving life now. And I absolutely love that quote. I’m adding it to my quotes page for sure :)

  13. [...] and changed to a new blog (which is awesome!!) but the link for my post is still active…and here it is.  Please feel free to click over and read it.  I’m finally ready to [...]

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