Sadness Has Left The Building

August 16, 2012

My Running

I’ve been doing so much reflecting this past week–more than usual. I love my life. Seriously.

When I first started running I was an overweight unhappy married woman. And running has taken me to places beyond what I ever could have imagined for myself. I don’t mean places, as in cities. Although I have taken mini road trips for some races. No…I mean places in my mind.

My mind was stagnant when I was married. Yes-I loved him. As best as I could. And he loved me, for a little while. I think. There were days I felt loved and I guess no one can take that away from me. Even when he said he didn’t love me anymore; and hadn’t in years…he still couldn’t take away the times I felt loved. Like the time we walked together to Starbucks on a Saturday morning to drink some coffee and read our books. It was such a comfortable silence. Like the time I left him a note telling him I’d taken the kids to the 12:30 movie—and when I came out he was standing there waiting for me. Or the time I had eyed this particular pendant–an amethyst triangle inside a circle–and a couple months later he surprised me with it for my birthday. Or when I was fired from a job and I called him. He came wearing a tshirt that said “call 1-800-EAT-SHIT” with a cardboard box and helped me pack up my office. He used to paint my toenails, massage my feet, and kiss my toes. It was not in our destiny to be together. Because my soul was dying and I didn’t even know it. And his must have been too…or he wouldn’t have left. Suddenly. Cruelly.

I was completely and utterly destroyed when he left and didn’t want to come back. He was all I knew. All I knew for 20 years. My life consisted of buying expensive purses, wasting money, sitting on the couch every night after work, and eating fast food everyday. My brain was atrophying.

And. I. Didn’t. Even. Know. It.

He left the year I had started running. Thank God I didn’t die quite enough to give up running. Running saved me. Literally. All I knew was I had to lace up my shoes and go run. I always ran at night back then. Often times I would have to stop and sit on the curb and just cry. My life was so gone and I didn’t know what to do. Except run. So that’s what I did. And I would sign up for the half marathons that I never trained for. And keep running. I was living in a city that was small and I would constantly run into people that knew us and it was always breaking me down to have to explain that we were no longer married. What happened? He left. Was there someone else? Yes. Are you working things out? He doesn’t want to. Are you okay? No.

I had to get out of there. So in the summer of 2008, I moved 25 miles away near the beach. Not because I was a beach person, but because it was only 7 miles from work. And this city changed my life. There are runners and bikers and walkers all over the place! There’s a bike path to run on. No more city street running!! No more waiting for the signal light to change!! No more smog from the busses passing me!! I met new friends who were active. They didn’t sit all day on their couch. They did things. They ran. They biked. They hiked. They surfed. They camped. They took road trips. They laughed. They joked. They hugged me. As many times as I needed it–they hugged me. And they loved me because I was broken.

It’s been six years. Six years since I thought I would die. It was a rough ride, for sure. I’m not reliving it…I’m not regretting it…and I’m not victimizing it. I’m simply telling it. For the longest time I went to one extreme or the other. I either hated him. Or I didn’t think I’d be able to move past him. Today I may be in the middle. This is just my story. This is just something that happened on my journey. Like when someone says “when I was 15 years old I was in a car accident”. Or “yeah I broke my arm when I was in elementary school”. Or “my best friend died when we were 25 and that will always stay with me”. The difference between me and a person who lost a spouse to death–their ending ended with love. Love and loss is so sad. Love and “I haven’t loved you in 10 years and I can’t stand you” loss is so very hard to get past. And I struggled for a long time. Not just of a broken heart–but with a shattered identity.

It’s my story. Not good. Not bad. Painful? YES. Traumatic? YES.

Life changing? YES OH YES.

And here is my disclaimer: I was not perfect. And I was always making amends for something I had done or said. It was a never ending job with me. My marriage brought out the worst in me. Fact.

Marianne Williamson says that only LOVE is real. And everything else is not. So instead of focusing on everything that went wrong in my marriage—I have decided to focus on those moments when I did feel love. And know that those moments were real. Forgive. And move on. Yeah it only took me 5 years to reach this point. Considering we were together 20 years…I think I’ve gotten off lucky with a 5 year grief period.

Dear Adam–

Thank you for leaving the way you did. For saying the things you said. For kicking me in the face when I was already down for the count. For seeking love outside our marriage. For lying. For never giving me any explanation. For leaving me to deal with this on my own. For being you. It was the best thing you could have ever done. And even though those moments were extremely painful–I came out of the deal stronger. Happier. More whole than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I will keep those moments when I did feel your love and your kindness. And I will throw out the rest. Peace be with you.



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About rsouleret

I am a mother of two beautiful girls. I work full time. And I run. ILML.

View all posts by rsouleret


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5 Comments on “Sadness Has Left The Building”

  1. bobterp514 Says:

    <3, *hugs*, and support!!!

    We are the product of our experiences, our trials/tribulations, and the grace & dignity with which we walk through life.

    It's also important to pause, breathe, reflect, and allow the love and support of those in our lives to suffuse us with tenacity, elasticity, and joy. Maybe it's the smile of a child, or the sun peeking out from behind a dark cloud. Perhaps it's the unconditional love of a pet, or the consistency of a ticking clock.

    Time moves on, the world keeps on turning, and we have to find a healthy perspective on our places in this history.

    *I* always thought that you presented yourself with an air of competence, confidence, coolness, and "togetherness". That's how I see you, and that's how I always remember you. Behind all of that classiness, there is a hint of mischievous fervour and a true joy with life. Thanks for letting me into your life – I appreciate you, the path that got you here, and your unlimited, amazing, fantastic possibilities!!!!



  2. hkbunk Says:

    As always, your perspective makes me feel like I am home. Thanks for sharing your human-ness and for allowing me to reflect on mine as well. You have put words to feelings that I have been unable to express about a past relationship and I appreciate your eloquence and openness. ILYL and ILML.


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