Confession time…

I’ve said before that I started this blog as a way to get my life back under control because I was a disorganized mess and I was “stuck in the mud” according to J.  I said I used to have my shit together and I didn’t know how my life had gotten so out of control.  Well…that’s not the entire truth.  I do know. 

The entire truth is that I was fucking miserable.  I apologize for the language, but there really is no other way to say it.  Everything had gotten out of control because I’d let it…because I just didn’t care.  I didn’t care that my to-do list was ever-growing and that nothing was ever getting done.  I didn’t care that the house was always a mess.  I didn’t care that I was gaining weight from trying to eat away my feelings of unhappiness.  I just didn’t care about anything.

The problem was I always imagined a different life for myself…one in which I was not 34 and unmarried and childless.  I love J, but we have not had an easy road.  There always seemed to be something…or someone…standing in the way of things being great.  We’ve really run the gamut from richer to poorer, from sickness to health, from better to worse…and we aren’t even married yet.  I don’t want to bore you all with too many details, but this time last year we seemed to be moving backwards instead of forwards.  We went to therapy for a while, but it didn’t really help and actually, might have even hurt.  And then Christmas day happened.

Again, the details are too much to get into, but basically we started talking about getting married and we ended up screaming at each other at the top of our lungs about how much the other person sucked and how every bad thing that has ever happened in the entire universe was the other person’s fault.  Oh…and we were in the car at the time…on our way to Christmas dinner at J’s mom’s house.  It was a mess of tears and yelling and nastiness and Christmas was basically ruined.

That was a big wakeup call for me.  Christmas is my favorite holiday and we ruined it by having a stupid fight.  Had things really gotten so bad?  Yes, yes they had.  That was when it hit me that I had become so focused on getting J to marry me that I’d become a totally different person.  I was needy and clingy.  I had stopped making decisions based on what I wanted and instead focused only on what I thought would make him happy.  In the process I had let everything in my life go…including my friendships. 

After the Christmas fight I realized that things needed to change.  I didn’t take all the blame for the mess we were in…J contributed his fair share…but I did finally accept the blame for the things I’d done.  I also realized that I’d been pinning all my happiness on him and a future that was now highly questionable.  It wasn’t fair to him to put him under that kind of pressure and it wasn’t smart of me to put something like that into someone else’s hands.  That’s when I started to make changes in my life and to embark on my own little “happiness project”.

I’m happy to report that I’ve made some good progress.  I tackled all the things that I’d let go and had been putting off.  I started taking care of myself again by eating better and paying more attention to how I look.  I’ve reconnected with my friends and made amends for the crappy way I’ve been treating them…at least I’ve started to.  I’ve started making plans and decisions base on what I want and how I feel.  My house is much cleaner and neater.  They are all good steps in the right direction and I’m beginning to regain a feeling of control.  I have more work to do, but  so far, so good.

Things with J are also improving.  The changes I’m making are rubbing off on him and he’s changing his behavior as well.  Again, there is a lot more work to do and I’m still not sure if we are going to make it through.  But we love each other and we are trying and that’s the best we can do.  I also know that no matter what happens, I’m going to be just fine. 

I’ve been wanting to write about this stuff from the beginning but I really didn’t even know where to begin.  I was also still in denial about the severity of things for a while.  But denial is over and repairs have begun and I wanted to be honest with all of you, who have given me such great advice and encouragement so far.  Thank you all and I hope you’ll stick with me for whatever is yet to come…


  1. My dearest Shan…I am so glad that you got this all out. Sometimes opening up to things like this can help so much. I think I can speak for everyone that reads and loves your blog when I say that OF COURSE we aren’t going anywhere. And if you need to vent about things like this from time to time, that is totally understandable and we are here to lend an ear. :)

    Even though we don’t know each other in real life, you have become a friend of mine and I’m hope that you guys continue to make some good forward progress!!


  2. Oh Shana, that was incredibly brave. It’s so hard to be honest in your blog…to open up your heart and show off the contents because they are usually not all sparkly clean and supermodelskinny. It’s a hot mess in there and it takes a lot, a lot, A LOT of courage to show anyone but yourself, much less the world on the internet.

    You’re absolutely right…the minute you start making decisions about your life based on someone else’s happiness is the day it all goes to shit. And everything in your life will reflect that. It takes donkeyballs to come back to who you are, regardless of how that will affect the most important person in your life. But usually, it’s that act alone that will turn it all around. I, obviously, don’t know the whole story….or even 1/42 of the whole story. But I know that you seem like a superfantasticawesome person and J would be a fool to not take your lead.

    Life is crazy and unfair and sometimes utterly ridiculous. But as long as you have a handle on who YOU are and what YOU want in this life, you will take things as they come to you in a fashion that is true to you….and that is the best assurance that, in the end, you’ll be who you are with the life that you want.

    My life “plan” did not involve me losing a baby at 31 or being married to a man who has done 2 13-month tours to Iraq. Both of those things REALLY mess with your life plan. So, I get that. Sometimes you have to chuck the plan and just hold on for the ride.

    I really needed this this morning. Since Neal lost his job yesterday and questions have been flying about whether I will have to close up the shop and go out into “the real world” to get more stable and consistent income, I’ve been a hot, hot mess. And while reading and commenting, I now realize that for the first time in 31 years, I LOVE what I am doing and I would rather be living in a trailer down by the river and eating vienna sausages before I give it up.

    So…thanks for that. ((hugs))

  3. And I agree with Salt. No amount of ranting (or cursing) will run us off. You’re stuck with us (unless you delete your blog, which will make me 33028 different types of sad and will cause me to cry in my beer. Again.)

  4. Yes this is a really great post. At one point in my relationship I got really wrapped up in the whole getting married thing and it started to cause unnecessary fights for us. I vote for focusing on being happy in the relationship (hindsight). I also feel extremely unorganized in my work (my desk is ridiculoulsy mess and does not follow my resume which says i’m extremely organized) and home life (housework is not my passion) but I’m trying to work on that too.

  5. What an honest and brave post. Sounds like you’ve had some “ah-ha” moments and are doing good work to make good changes. Way to go!!

  6. I don’t know if it means very much, b/c we don’t know each other in real life, but I am so freakin’ proud of you!!!
    How amazing that you really did take your life by the reins and make some difficult changes…truly brave.
    Even though you and J aren’t married…you are really living much like a married couple…going through the ups and downs like the rest of us. It’s easy sometimes…and other times it’s like a bloodsport. But you push on…for whatever reasons, but most of all b/c and the end of the day, you love each other. Ah, I don’t mean to sound cliched; it’s just that life is mostly bittersweet.

  7. dang. everyone’s elss words were so beautiful and so right on. be proud of your progress!

  8. it was so familiar reading this. i am sure you have seen my numerous “where is my damn ring” jokes on my blog- and while i kid about it, it really isn’t that much of a joke. manfriend and i definitely have our issues, like you. we haven’t gone to therapy (and i am not sure if we ever will or not…) but i left for about three months last year, and that seemed to help the bad things get better. but i too am trying to reconnect with friendships i have lost putting all my focus into our relationship…
    thank you for sharing this, it is so nice to hear someone else, going through a similar sitch, and reminding me we all have control over our own lives. it is what we make it. happiness doesn’t come from another person, it has to come from ourselves.
    i am glad to hear all your positive changes- i believe everything happens for a reason, good and bad. and it sounds like you have taken control of your own life and gotten things moving in the right direction! you are an inspiration!
    <3 hugs!

  9. Thank you for sharing this! And it must have felt so good to get it all out!

    At 26 I don’t feel like I’m at the spot I thought I’d be. About the only thing that DID happen was getting married. But here I sit with no degree, no job, no kids and a nasty 2 bedroom apartment.

    I think that getting everything out and then taking steps to make changes can be scary but so very important. And kudos for you for starting those changes.

  10. Hi, I came to your blog via Allyson, and I love what you have to say about taking responsibility for your own happiness. I went through a very dark couple of years in which I let a toxic work situation make me miserable…and of course that messed up all my other relationships. I give credit to my grandchildren for my new “blissed-out” state, but the truth is, it had to start with the realization of how I had contributed to the mess I was in. You have written about that in a very compelling way! All the best.

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