Gratitude

November has officially become a month-long thankful pack of sticky notes on Facebook. That’s great. Truly. But what about the other 11 months? 🙂

So I hesitate to join, but. I will.

I am thankful for so much. But this Thanksgiving, I am deep-down, toes-to-tassel thankful for my life.

Since 2012, and really before that, I have been sick. Heart failure. Twice. Thyroid cancer. Gastric bypass. Gallbladder failure.

And now, 226 lbs lighter, I feel better than I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Even when I was young. Mainly because I also feel emotionally better. It feels like all the sickness is finally gone. I can just tell.

For years I struggled with a failing GB. Probably a decade, in hindsight. Also, I probably had a thyroid issue my entire life because I have been overweight from a young age.

Mom always said, “You were born hungry.” A mother knows. Just wish she could have told or shown the doctors where to look. Nonetheless, this was my destiny.

I am thankful for my trouble. It has taught me endurance.

James 1:2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

(Perhaps missing/lacking a few organs, but otherwise, lacking in nothing. LOL)

It has also taught me humility. Patience. Joy. Peace. Understanding. Wisdom. Tolerance. So many things.

Under any other circumstances, would I be the person I have finally come to love entirely? I don’t know. God didn’t do this to me. But he knew how far I could go. He knew the traps. He knew the joys. He knew how strong I could be with him.

I truly did not think it was possible. To see 287.6 lbs again. That’s what I was yesterday afternoon, on the scale. I did not think it was possible to live past the age of 50. I did not think it was possible to ever feel right again. Out of pain. Able to walk. Able to work.

One year ago, I was preparing for surgery. High-protein diet to shrink my liver. Thanksgiving was the last day I could eat. I savored it. Thinking it might be my last tasty morsel before a lifetime of bland, tiny meals. Or worse. My last meal before operation table disaster. Dying.

But I made it. I made it to the next Thanksgiving. How wonderful to be on the other side. Maybe that’s what it’s like to go to Heaven. Thankful to be done and home at last.

Home again, home again, jiggity jig.

Maybe this is what I needed for this ultra-thick head. Maybe this was my come-to-Jesus moment. Maybe this was my “fall on my knees because I have nothing left.”

I’m by no means done. I am just beginning again. And I am so thankful just to be alive. And 287. 🙂


Only 87 lbs to goal!!! 😀

Advertisements

308.2

Dropped 1.4 lbs today! I weigh 308.2. That’s good news. Feeling strong. Looking slimmer. 🙂 I may have deflated, saggy water wings (old lady upper arm flaps), but that just means I’ve lost a ton of weight. Those are my angel wings! Skin surgery will zip that right up! The important thing is I’m healthy! If you don’t like it, don’t wanna look at it, you can kiss my bicep. 😉

in the teens, yo

I am in the 3teens!! I weigh 319.6 today! 😀 OMG! I am so stoked. I can’t believe it just keeps falling. I feel so lucky.

My belly has been a little flip-floppy over the last coupla days. Today is a little uneasy, but I’m still getting food down and it doesn’t come back up!

Where does all the fat go? Where is it coming from? I feel mostly like a deflating balloon because everything just looks smaller, not a different shape. When I was younger and lost weight, it was usually from my stomach. But I still have my big ol’ saggy meat apron. UGH!

Oh well. You’re my saggy meat apron, Meat Apron. *pats belly*

*covers Meat Apron’s ears* How do they even cut it off during surgery??! How could you stop the bleeding? How could it go back together??

I’m mainly thinking about skin surgery now because to reach goal I will have to have some of my skin removed because it weighs so much. Can I keep it? In a jar? Under the bed? LOL

I wanted to keep my thyroid or cancer nodules, but there was paperwork involved. Sorry, Thyroid. It was nice knowing ya. *trash*

And I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I will always love you

Twisted, Sister

I am eating healthy. I am exercising (stairs/cleaning/non-stop unpacking/moving boxes/cooking/laundry/beach walking/shell hunting–does that count?). I am doing all the right things. And I’m not losing weight.

We just moved from KC to Florida. It’s been hectic and my eating hasn’t always been what it should be, but! I am not eating too much. I can’t. I get very full at the drop of a sandwich and I just can’t physically put much food in my stomach. My stomach is still so tiny after surgery. So, why no weight loss?

I ran out of my furosemide. Generic Lasix. Water pill.

We lost our insurance at the end of May. My husband left his job and we just don’t have insurance yet. I was too busy to call the doctor or see someone before I left Missouri. So, I’m out. I know, I know! But. I had good reasoning for this decision. Let me explain.

I went on furosemide almost 5 years ago. It was a miracle drug. It helped me drop massive chunks of weight. The first week I lost over 30 lbs. I was full of juice. I was at 513 pounds and I dropped like a rock as soon as they gave it to me.

I was in the ER, diagnosed within hours, “Ms. Maggio, we think you have congestive heart failure.” They immediately gave me an IV. Pumped Lasix in and the juice came out! Immediately! I almost did not make it to the bathroom it was so fast. I lost over 10 lbs. of liquid (probably more) the first 3 days in the hospital. I felt like I could fly!

So I was released with a dose of generic Lasix that I have taken steadily since 2012. I was even put on two pills in 2014. After weight loss surgery last December, my surgeon took me off furosemide. No dose. Not sure of his reasoning, other than he knew I wouldn’t be getting the water intake I needed, at first. But I wasn’t losing like I should. So his partner put me back on one dose. That seemed to do the trick.

I can usually tell if I’m retaining water. My feet swell. I’ve learned to keep an eye on my feet. That’s typically the first sign. Obvs. It’s the lowest point in your body. That’s where liquid is going to go. Thanks, Gravity. Plus, with poor circulation (Thanks, Heart Failure!) that’s where most of the liquid is going to stay. I usually have cold hands and feet, too.

So, since I’ve run out of my furosemide, I’m retaining more water. It’s nothing like ER Martha at 513 lbs. My feet had ballooned to 3 times their normal size. Scary! That’s one reason why I headed to the ER. Nothing like that. I can just tell, I’m a little squishy.

So, I’m going to call one of my Missouri doctors today and see if they can help me out until I can find a primary care physician here. Without insurance yet, that could be tricky.

Thankfully! I am doing okay. Still have great energy. More than ever. I still have all my other meds. I was trying to get off the furosemide anyway and my doctors agreed. Plus, I have not gained any weight! That’s the great part. I’ve just stalled. I thought I was losing, but no. Every day I wake up and it’s the same.

True, I could be in a plateau. I hit one before. It happens. But I am doing everything I can to break it. Eating even less than what I’m hungry for (usually never hungry, but I am lately more hungry at night due to more activity during the day). I want to break this plateau, if that’s what it is. I want to only drink water. Working on it. I mostly do, but I like an occasional low- or no-calorie soft drink. Like half a mini Coke or Crystal Light.

I also feel my carb addiction creeping back in. I love carbs. Pasta, flour, cereal. I don’t really eat these, but I have a weakness for bread. I take little bites of a roll and I only have one, especially if we are eating out and they have free bread or something. But it’s so tempting to eat the whole friggin’ basket. I couldn’t even if I said, “Yes, more bread please!” as I wiped the crumbs from my very-full cheeks. I would totally throw it up or have to find the nearest bathroom and be miserable for hours. No, thank you. Plus, it would just stop up the whole works for days! So, I can limit, but I shouldn’t have it at all! AT! ALL! NEVER!

I am back on the straight and narrow. Mainly because I want to see that scale keep moving. I have a finite window here to lose most of it and I am very aware of that clock. It’s 12-18 months. It’s different for everyone. I went through hell to get that surgery and I’m not going to waste it.

Over the past few days, I’ve been back to salads, eating lean and limiting portions. It’s not hard, I just had to get my head back in the game and really focus. Moving just spun my head around like a Twister dial and my brain landed on all four colors.

This morning I am right back where I was when I left KC, 338.2 lbs. THAT is nothing to sneeze at! It used to be, my weight fluctuated drastically from day to day. 10 lbs. or more. So THIS is good. Not great, but okay! 🙂

Back on the very strict wagon! But glad to be here.

Trash! (Not the Voss)

FYI: I do NOT buy fancy water. I bought 1 or 2 bottles of Fiji for my daughter (in her entire lifetime) because she likes the bottle. But I don’t like paying for something that is usually free everywhere you go. Bottled water does taste different IMO, but not enough to justify buying a bottle of plastic and adding to the world’s trash problem.


BTW, just as a side note–regarding trash. Yesterday, my family and I were running around town, checking off our weekend to-do list (I usually don’t exit the house on Saturday to avoid people who go anywhere on Saturdays, but we had stuff to do): mailing letters, acquiring new running shoes, cleaning the car that hasn’t been cleaned since vacation! And we dropped off our donate-ables to the Red Racks in downtown Lee’s Summit.

Before we left, we were gathering all of our old clothes for Red Racks (some things don’t fit any more since I lost 100 lbs!) and shoving them into a trash bag. Everything fit inside the bag except an old coat. So my husband zipped the old coat around the trash bag. It looked like a scarecrow. LOL This made it easier to carry everything we had to take. So I started calling the coat-bag Trashcrow. Then as we stepped out our front door, I asked my daughter to grab Trashbuddy. We all laughed. She scooped up Trashbuddy and hugged him all the way to the car. D’aw! Shoulda taken a pic.

Then we stopped at our apartment complex’s trash bin/recycling area and my husband noticed tiny paw prints on the sidewalk. He theorized that raccoons, AKA Trash Pandas, were probably coming across the field and dumpster diving. So, lots of talk about trash animals and people. I just thought it was funny.

But we try to be mindful about trash. <<<—Ah, there’s my point.

Plus, we had to run our errands on Saturday because my husband takes the car during the week for work and we only have one fuel-efficient car. So, we’re trying to do our part. Sort of. This is just planet-ruining, white-suburban, privileged trashguilt-talking. So. Onward. We stopped at TJ Maxx (yes, we’re Maxxinistas) for the shoes.


We had a gift card from Christmas and my daughter needed new shoes. I’ve been shopping several times in the last two days, but I’m seriously NOT a shopper. If you get a gift card, you have to use it. They don’t give you cash any more. Remember the days you could buy some chapstick and get all of the money back?? Yeah. Anyway.

So, I’m standing in line, holding onto the shoes, waiting for the registers to clear and I see some Voss (made in Norway) water.

Now, you should also know, as a side note, that I cannot drink straight-up water any more. MiO I just had weight loss surgery. So, I was really curious if fancy, imported water was actually different and drinkable. It’s been a very frustrating experience not to drink water. Essential life-giver that it is. My stomach just gets crazy wobbly and immediately queasy. 😦

So, at $1.69, with a functional glass bottle to reuse on a daily basis, I thought to give it a try. Plus, $1.69 is not a lot to pay for a glass bottle and water coming all the way from Norway. Right?

Well, guess what??? I can drink fancy Norwegian water with no friggin’ problem. I’ve tried American bottled water, but I still had the same trouble as I did with tap water. I assume it’s something in the water, not the water itself. Unpolluted? Some mineral additive? Water-soaked fish essence from beautiful Norwegian crystal-clear fjords? Idk. But I guzzled it and my stomach was fine!

This makes me happy/sad. Happy that I see now, my stomach is not allergic to water. LOL But sad that American water is somehow bad for my newly-cut stomach? I’m not buying fancy water, but now I know, it’s not me. It’s the tainted water here? My virgin stomach can’t handle treatment chemicals? Makes you think. Makes me think about Flint. Makes me think about our planet. Makes me want to move to Norway and work for Voss. You know, for free water. Possibly.

Stay thirsty, my Friends! For knowledge.

Did any of this make sense??? Hope so.

357.6

Just a quick update on my weight. This morning I weighed 357.6 lbs.

Stats:

On 8-10-2012, I weighed 513+ lbs.
Lost 101+ lbs by March 2014.
Got sick, had thyroid cancer, two bouts of heart disease, gained approx. 40 lbs. back due to inability to stabilize thyroid hormone replacement. I didn’t know it at the time, but for 2 years I was battling heart problems, thyroid failing and gallbladder failing. I was up against my own body and trying like a crazy person to lose weight. I worked out multiple times a week for hours at a time and the whole while?? I was bound to fail. Thankfully, finally, I dealt with all my issues (with the help of many doctors) and now I’m losing with the aid of WLS. It’s a tool! It can help you succeed.

On 11-28-2016, I weighed 456+ lbs.
Started liquid protein for liver-reduction diet, lost approx. 30 lbs. in 2 weeks.

On 12-12-2016, I went in for weight loss surgery.

On 1-12-2017, just one month later, I went in for gallbladder removal surgery. Gallbladder had failed. My gallbladder had probably been failing for years! Since Lilli (my daughter) was a baby. 🙂

So, just since last Thanksgiving, I’ve lost 99 lbs. 😀 In just over 4 months.

Since August 10, 2012, I’ve lost a total of 156! OMG!

I have to say, if you can’t lose weight on your own, or you’re struggling HARD, then please consider surgery. My surgeon was the best. Truly. Stanley Hoehn at The Bariatric Center of KC.

There’s a waiting list, lots of patients, lots of hoops to jump through. But that’s because they are the absolute best. Maybe in the country. Maybe the world. My friend is actually considering revision through them for a decades-long battle with her first surgery. They can help.

I’m not gonna lie. If you read my blog, you’ll know I went through hell. HELL. But I was going through hell to begin with. I finally feel normal again and I feel better than I have in over a decade.

Do it. If it’s right for you. How much is your life worth? How much is your body worth? How much is your health worth? This can change everything.

My only regret?
Not having done it sooner.

I went to Hoehn ten years ago and I was afraid. I wasn’t ready. I needed to get ready. But I’m so glad I finally went!! I have my life back.

Progress

I’m not ready for Bikini Beach, but I’ve made some progress. I can see small differences. You’ll notice the surgery scars on my stomach now. But they are healing nicely. I may never be ready for Bikini Beach, but I can visit One-Piece with a Cover-Up Bay down the road. 😉

So, I’ve lost approximately 80 lbs. since Thanksgiving 2016. That’s been about 3 months. I feel better finally after both surgeries, weight loss and gallbladder removal. I have more energy! I think I’m fully recovered at this point. Healed and getting healthy. My diseased organs are out and I’m losing pounds (less rapidly, but still losing)! Current weight=375.4.

I walked up 2 flights of stairs the other night! More like dragged myself up to the 3rd floor, but. For you fitness fans, that might not sound like a lot, but to me, it’s an accomplishment. I can workout at the gym, but stairs just kill me. That’s a lot of gravity to overcome! I prefer weight lifting, gym-wise, but lifting my legs one stair at a time does not qualify in my book. 🙂 It certainly WAS intense cardio to do the stairs though. Even for a few minutes.

Our elevator was broken, so I either decide to move into the lobby, or I climb to the 3rd floor to sit down. The lobby doesn’t have a kitchenette or bathroom, so…

3 months ago, I don’t think I could have made it. Honestly. So that feels good. I was out of breath, but I made it.

So, since August 2012, I’ve lost a total of 138 lbs. That feels like something. A move toward something positive. Some days I feel great, some days I still have a wobbly tummy, but overall, I feel better. That’s something.

Can you believe we might get divorced?

I’m about to reveal the most personal aspect of my life. Something I have never really written about in full detail before. This could end my marriage. But I’m hoping to save it. I’m risking everything by even publishing this. I’m writing this for other people who might be struggling in the same situation and feeling hopeless. And to end my own secrets. At least I’ll be accountable to someone. Secrets make you sick.

NOTE: I have written this with the full permission of my husband and he has read this post before publishing. Except I just added this bit, so Dear, can you approve this small note. Everything in red. Thanks. Let me know! 😉

My marriage is in trouble. It has been for some time. I have fought every month, or nearly every month with my spouse for over 18 years. That would be approximately 216 fights. But I know it’s more than that. I know it’s more because sometimes those fights can be every night for 3 or 4 days. So let’s agree, it’s over 200. Fair?

Boy, we are good at fighting. We’ve had a lot of practice. We say all the hurtful things, we push all the right buttons and we bring all the dirty laundry to the table. No stone unturned. Fighting is not something to take pride in or be good at, but if there was an Olympic sport of adult pair arguments, we would take the gold every time. No contest. And I wish I could say that my daughter, Lilli, never has to witness our Olympic-sized battle of the cray. I wish I could say that.

Also, I should add that at the last church we attended, the couples counseling life group that we were involved with, the leader told us this after the course ended. “Boy, I thought for sure you all were getting divorced! I didn’t think you’d make it!” Uh…WTF???! Thanks? And peace be with you also??

Most of the time the fights are about the least significant things in the world! We rarely fight about politics or religion. We mostly argue about who left the toothpaste in the wrong spot or who failed to take out the trash or who said the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. Most of the time, it’s me criticizing my husband about some failure on his part. But lately, my husband has grown belligerent. He has threatened divorce more than 3 times in the last year. He says hurtful things that are extreme and unbelievable. He has become extraordinarily intolerant. He has exited a moving car to get away from me and almost hurt himself. Our relationship has grown toxic.

Also, he has recently been diagnosed with adult onset ADHD and most likely has issues stemming from past abuse. He is easily triggered and quick to anger. But, so am I. He has impulse control problems and we are both very unhealthy. We are both obese and in poor health.

I don’t say these things to embarrass him or impugn his good standing with anyone. He doesn’t really have any friends to reveal this to. He can be very reclusive. I don’t even say these things to hurt him. I say these things because they are true and necessary to understand the extent of how desperate our marriage is.

I should say now how important my marriage is to me. My husband is more important to me than my own life. I would do anything for this man. This man is more important to me than my own safety, sanity or sanctity of self. I’ve come to realize that. I am willing to humiliate myself and beg for him to stay, even in the shadow of this threat to divorce.

I should also say that I believe divorce is wrong, but I know about half of people do it. Sometimes it’s necessary. Some people are physically abused or find their spouse has betrayed them with another person. But neither of these things are true of our marriage currently. My husband has pushed me before and injured me. In the past. To be fair, I have physically blocked him from leaving our home. In the past. My husband has downloaded a photo before of another woman and saved that picture to our shared computer for whatever purpose. You tell me why a guy does that? It was an ex-girlfriend. I felt betrayed because I would never do that to him. He also used to, like many men, have an addiction to porn. He still may, you’d have to ask him. I don’t think so. But I don’t believe my husband has ever, ever been with someone else or even tried. Not to hurt his feelings, but I think he would freely admit that neither one of us is in danger of being tempted by others or lured away. We’re not exactly Brad and Angelina. Oh, they’re getting divorced, too. Oh. Further proof, nobody’s perfect.

Anyway, the whole point is this, my husband still wants a divorce. Because we fight too much. He said, yesterday, “I don’t love you any more.”

Deep breath. That hurts.

Yesterday, we had a HUGE fight! I should say before I say anything else: I have had 2 major surgeries in the last month, I am just now recovering from gallbladder surgery from 1 week ago, I am currently detoxing from oxycodone, I am PMS-ing, I can only have Tylenol and I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago with complex PTSD (which I have received no treatment for, as of yet). That said, we had a ginormous fight mostly because I was triggered by something he said.

Some background. The last month has been a living hell. I had to argue with surgeons and doctors and ER techs about whether or not my gallbladder was failing and whether or not to take it out, IF they would perform the surgery, who would perform the surgery and how to treat my pain in the meantime. BTW, my gallbladder was failing and did need to come out. It was full of stones and I found out yesterday that the pathology did confirm that it needed to be removed! This has simply been the WORST pain I’ve ever had and I’ve been unable to eat for weeks with horrible nausea. I’m better now, but it’s been bad.

I have a problem with oxy and pills and one of the doctors actually prescribed more oxy and on top of that, an anxiety med because I guess I seemed hysterical that they wouldn’t take out my GB. Not actually treat my condition, but give me more pills. That made me angry and I felt completely powerless. Let me just add also, the anxiety med did nothing but put me to sleep.

So, the fight. This morning I was still detoxing from my oxy addiction, takes about a week (anyone can become addicted to oxy within a few weeks, I was on it for almost a month). AND, I was feeling anxious (symptom), tired (symptom), emotional (symptom), achy (symptom) and all-around rotten (may be a symptom). Plus, as I said, I am still recovering from surgery. Hadn’t even had my staples out. AND all of the other things I mentioned above. So. My daughter gets out of the car to board the bus and my husband asks me as we’re waiting for her bus to arrive, “How are you feeling this morning?” Or something like that.

So I begin to answer. “Well, I feel anxious…” He cuts me off. “Oh, don’t you still have those anxiety meds?”

Wow. I just lost it. I was totally wrong to lose it, BTW! But I just lost it. I felt betrayed, triggered, powerless and confused. Every doctor that I’ve encountered in every ER, hospital and clinic that I’ve seen for the last month has told me, “Ignore the pain, take a pain med!” And another doctor added anxiety meds to the list. “Take! A! Pill!” is all I’ve been hearing when I was in severe pain and needed immediate medical attention. Not to be melodramatic, but–I could have died. So, to hear my husband recommending another pill for my detox from a pill was just more than I could bear (you were right, Dear, b-e-a-r, that website must have been thru these oxy-detoxy eyes).

I started talking about my feelings and how hurt I felt and he cut me off. I tried again. He cut me off. I tried and tried and tried to express myself, granted, I was very upset and unable to control the volume of my voice, but every time I tried to talk he ignored me and wouldn’t communicate. It was so frustrating! Which definitely worsened my mood.

I am taking my husband to work because I have a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon and we are fighting the whole way. It was awful. He made excuses for his behavior. Even blamed me for the conversation. He said, “I asked you how you were because you want me to talk to you.”

Me: But I never asked for your advice! You didn’t even listen to me!

He said very hurtful things to me. Such as, “Go talk to your girlfriends and blog about it.” Super hurtful because my blog is my lifeline right now and that was an attempt to shame and hurt me so that he no longer had to deal with my anger. I was in tears. I apologized for my behavior, but he resolved to leave the car in anger and silence. No apology. No resolution. No reconciling. And he did not contact me for the rest of the day.

When I got home after the doctor. Still no apology. He told me later that at 11:30 am, while at work, he decided that he wanted a divorce based on a Facebook status I had posted. Here is the post.

“Maybe I don’t need a pill. Maybe I need grace, compassion, wisdom and love.”

He started looking for apartments. He found one near his work at a price that he can afford. He also wants a separate checking account. And, for sure, to leave for good.

I was stunned. Hurt. Flabbergasted. Anguished. Desperate.

He said that our marriage was a mistake. That for 18 years he’s wanted to leave and hasn’t because I’ve begged him to stay. That isn’t totally accurate because I wanted to leave in the past and he begged me to stay.

The man who was so angry last night is not someone I like. But he’s still someone I love. He acted irrationally. Selfishly. Arrogantly. Impulsively! But I still love him. But I’m wondering today…why? Why am I trying desperately to hold onto someone who doesn’t love me any more? It’s kind of pathetic. But, I’m terrified to lose him. I love him. And I know it isn’t right to give up. God doesn’t want this for our family. Satan does. That makes me mad.

I was wrong to badger my husband in the car. I was. I admit that. But everything was at stake. My pride, my ego, my integrity, my definition as a human being, MY HEALTH! was all wrapped in this decision to stop taking more pills. And I had told him everything that I was feeling about the pills before this moment, my decision, my resolution, my hatred of pill-popping. Or I tried to.

My husband thinks I should take my pills? So I can just be “normal”? So I will just shut the hell up? So he doesn’t have to listen? The oxy was killing me. But I’m supposed to take more pills?

I was opposed to taking any more unnecessary pills, so much so, that I freaked out. I totally did. I admit that, but what he said and did was hurtful. Everything he said and did after the initial encounter was horrible and hurtful. Downright nasty.

What’s a person with severe PTSD supposed to do with no treatment when the person they most trust tells them to just pop a pill when they are trying to detox from other pills? Lord, have mercy. But I was still wrong to raise my voice. But where’s the grace? He certainly raised his voice too. Where’s the grace for addiction, recovery and trauma? Is this man caring for ME? I have to say no. He was balls-to-the-wall out for himself. “Get out at any cost!”

I feel like the worst version of myself right now. I have nothing. I have no job, no marriage, no extended family, no health. I have nothing. My little family, my immediate family of 3, means everything to me. Me, my daughter, my love. It’s all I have. I’m desperate to keep it. But I fear it’s slipping away and I can’t stop it.

I promised last night to never lose my temper again. Never. You may not know me well, but I can just say this. If I say it out loud and it’s within my control, I WILL do it. I’ve NEVER broken a promise to my husband. EVER. I vowed to get mental help. I did. I made many a vow to him over the years and I’ve kept every one. I’ve played by his rules and it doesn’t always work. The rules change. If he was inclined, he would say that I’ve been true to my word. Every time. And I honestly didn’t know that my marriage was at stake over my temper. That’s very different. And, I also asked my husband to stay. Promise to stay. I’m not sure that he will.

I hate saying these things. These things are so private, embarrassing and insane. But I also know, for certain, that someone else is going through the exact same thing right now. Someone might read this and just know for one minute, or several minutes, someone else is hurting exactly like me right now (or worse) and I can bare another minute on this planet because I know that ONE thing. So I’m sharing.

I shouldn’t love my husband, but I do. We are bad for each other. We do not get along. We are broken, extremely damaged people who don’t know the true meaning of love. (Hang on. Maybe we’re perfect for each other?) But, we’ve got a child. A beautiful, brilliant child who deserves better parents.

And. I’m nothing without my husband. He’s flawed, but he’s also better than most. He can be mean. Cruel. Obstinate. Ridiculous! But he’s also funny, kind (sometimes), loyal and handsome (in my eyes). He doesn’t usually lie. And he’s the best, most generous lover I’ve ever had.

After 18 years, there’s not many butterflies when we kiss. Can anyone say they get butterflies any more? But butterflies were replaced long ago by deep, joyful, passionate longing for my one and only sweetheart. There’s no other for me. And I don’t want to lose the best thing I’ve got. I also don’t want to drive the father of my child away because I’m too broken to love.

I can control my voice. I can’t control whether my husband stays or goes. Pray for us. We need it. We so very desperately need it.

If you’re my friend and this is all strange and unbelievable. Guy can vouch for every word. Everyone thinks that Guy is swell, friendly and without flaw, but you haven’t met the real Guy. The Guy that I can provoke with a look or word. The Guy who can explode into anger at the drop of a slight.

And I’ve just never said. I’ve only told a few. It’s hard to say, “My marriage is bad.” But, it is. It’s not all bad. But things are pretty tough right now. We need a miracle. I trust that God will show up. I just don’t know if Guy will still be here when He does.

I am writing to expose all our sickness and strife because I know from years of writing, it’s the only thing that’s helped my PTSD and weight loss. Maybe this will help. We have agreed to counseling. Again. I don’t know if that will fix anything. And I’m also writing because I see happy couples on Facebook every day and I wonder, is that real? Because I know my own marriage seems happy from the outside, but it’s anything but sometimes. I am writing out of strict authenticity because that is important to us. At least, I think it is.

My God, help us. I truly want my husband back. I want to stop pushing him away. I want to embrace this damaged person and heal him. Not keep hurting him. Help me, God, to figure this out. I’d give my life to help this man.