The Graceful Boon

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Story By Jamie Meyer

The grass isn’t ever greener. It is just different grass. And comes down to what we choose to make of it. Within the year of my divorce. I found my next field of grass. He was older than me. With 2 pre-teen children. We had been friends for many years. Unknowingly I had given him an instruction manual to my heart. Considering men don’t usually read the instructions. He was very thorough. I chose a relationship that began with mutual understanding. Empathy for divorce. Maturity. Dreams. Ambition. Plans. So many things missing from my previous relationship. In that moment, it was everything I needed. Again, that quickly faded as I chose to remain in another situation that didn’t serve me.

This time, I was a little savvier. At 6 Months I had some bravery. Step 1, I decided to move out. I never got past Step 1. He rallied his 14-year-old daughter to talk to me. She cried. Asked me not to leave her. How could I refuse? I could. But I didn’t. I chose to empathize with her. I chose to stay. This show of surrender gave my boyfriend permission. To escalate his controlling and degrading behaviour. I couldn’t eat. As things progressed, the only thing I believed I had to feel good about
was that I had to buy much smaller clothes. So, I continued not to eat. In year 2, I started working remotely. A choice that confined me mostly to the house. A house that became a jail. There was a scene whenever I would make plans that didn’t involve him. There was ridicule. He used his daughter to make me feel discarded. He would come home early from work to
interrupt my day. He would have his family speak to me excusing his behaviour. Diminishing my feelings even though I knew better this time. I chose. I continued not to eat. I endured; trying to run your body 100 mph with no fuel is never the best idea. I was constantly tired. Drained. Becoming broken. I had people around me expressing concern for my weight. Telling me I was too thin. I looked sick. Gaunt. I dismissed their concerns. I was hardly that thin. There were still things I couldn’t fit into. I still ate. Some food.

In year 4, the world around me decided enough was enough. His constant and long-standing cheating began to reveal itself to me. In different ways. Repeatedly. It could not be ignored. Even his lies couldn’t retract what was being uncovered. I found bravery. I chose to be courageous. Despite everything that was on the line. I broke up with him. The only physical reaction my body had left was to incessantly shake. It was uncontrollable. Visible to people around me. I was so broken. So starved. That I almost went back. There were fleeting moments when I completely gave up on myself. I thought, ‘what difference does it make if you’re with him or not?’ There isn’t anything left. No reason to care. At least he will make quick work of anything that remains. The involuntary shaking went on for months. I still wasn’t eating. I still could not see anything sickly about my appearance. I would often be concerned I had gained too much weight. But I found a small part of myself. A part that held hope. I endured.

Then at 28, I found myself.

It is amazing the symptoms and discomfort we become accustomed to. I removed from my family. I Removed from my partners. I removed from the life I had believed was expected. I finally learnt what it felt like to breathe. And breathe deeply.
Slowly. And I do mean slowly. I began to unwind the way I had chosen to condition myself. I began to understand that it was acceptable to have boundaries. Not the kind that everyone else got to have. My own. I still wouldn’t eat much. I still thought I wasn’t skinny. But I could breathe. I could plan. I could decide what my life would look like. I started to make it look that way. Externally that was easy. Internally it was like climbing Mount Everest in a tank top, shorts, and flip flops. Still trying to rid myself of my ex-boyfriend. I lived in a state of survival and fear, waring with how to create the life that I wanted. I walked every day for 2 hours, Still not eating. I made my side hustle an official Company. Still not eating. I travelled for work. I parted with my puppy. I recognized my demons. I started to face them one by one. Still not eating.

For my 30th Birthday I finally decided to take control of my life. The only thing I had ever wanted more than ever. To travel. So, I visited my family in America, and I blew my own mind while doing that. I went back for Christmas that same year. Expanded my understanding of horizons further still. I felt good. I started to eat. I could take on the world. The question was simply. In what way did I want to. Then I met my last boyfriend. Here is the juxtaposition. Here is where I really learnt about my choices. This was my ultimate mirror. I chose to stand up and see who I was this time. I wanted to see what I was being taught. He was a long game planner. He had his game set, and he determined from the minute I entertained his advances. I, however, was working on learning my heart. I was still working on my eating. I was overcoming the mental degradation that I had scripted in relation to food. My own degradation that I had scripted for my life. It takes time.

Within a year I had challenged every previous perception of men, of a relationship, and of myself. The ones I had chosen. I learnt how to truly be vulnerable. I fumbled around with my boundaries. I fumbled around with how to be in a partnership. Which honestly is difficult when you aren’t in one. I still ignored the red flags. This time, I used them and his behaviour to heal. I experimented with eating. I gained weight. I learnt how to mentally comprehend healthy versus skinny. I become
comfortable with this. I chose to become more whole. I experimented with that.

In a year and half, I had decided what I was worth. I had not been afraid. I had faced so many levels of personal fear. He couldn’t see my value. I finally realized that I couldn’t make him. I was all kinds of courageous. I was beyond brave. I walked away. I was living In a different country. With nowhere to go. No plans. Giving away everything I owned that didn’t fit into 2 suitcases. I never looked back. I didn’t need to. Everything that was there to find I had found. Life is a constant state of evolution. Being better tomorrow than I am today, is no joke. I get to choose who I am. How much better I am tomorrow. I get to choose what I am worth. Whether I ignore my needs to the point WHERE I become physically ill from those choices. I write the story. I Choose whether I want to learn the lessons or ignore them. I know that as I go through life, I will be faced with different parts of myself. Different people. Different challenges. What I can be certain of though. Is I get to choose. Then, I set out to change the world.



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