They say that divorce is a great way to redefine yourself from start to finish. Six months ago, I wouldn?t have believed them.
The lawyers have names for the various different types of divorce: at-fault, no-fault, collaborative, mediated, uncontested and even ?electronic,? whatever that means. But the suits can slap whatever name they want to on the big D, but no matter what, at the end of the countless phone calls and text messages, at the end of the day your left unequivocally separated from the life you used to know.
My life? It was a seven-year marriage that produced a beautiful baby girl and a mini-restaurant empire. We were employers of nearly 120 men and women, owned a home, a couple cars and shared a big, fat slobbering mess of an English bulldog. On the outside we looked like we had things pretty figured out. But on the inside?well that was where the problem was.
My husband and I split in July of 2011. We were officially divorced in December. He got the restaurant, a car and a bunch of other crap not worth mentioning. But what I got from him was a reminder?
I consider myself to be a pretty confident woman. I?m driven, well educated, complex, business savvy and I?d like to think I?m somewhat easy on the eyes. But one morning, two weeks after the split, I woke up wondering who I?d become.
That morning during a workout at Pure Barre in Cherry Creek I realized that I hadn?t been looking at myself in the mirror and when I did, I didn?t even recognize myself. That smart, driven woman I knew seven years ago had vanished. I felt tired all the time. My marriage, my two kids, my businesses?they had consumed me. I had completely stopped taking care of myself. I was too busy. The family needed dinner. The husband had another event to attend. Our restaurants were too successful. I was making excuses.
I call that moment with the mirror my ?Ah-Ha!? moment. I took a hard look at myself and realized that it was beyond time that I stopped being a victim to my life and started taking the reigns again. I was awakened. Energized. At that moment I decided to start living my life for myself again.
When we got married I decided to get a tattoo to symbolize our love for one another. I got a Claddagh heart directly on the inside of my left wrist with his signature inside of the heart. On our seventh anniversary I got our anniversary date tattooed on my left shoulder. Those had to go.
I called Dr. Humes. She and I have been great friends for quite some time, and I figured she would be the best person to help me find someone to remove those painful reminders. Tahl told me that she had, in fact, that morning received her latest piece of equipment, the RevLight SI that could handle those tattoos without a problem. ?Great,? I told her. ?Sign me up.?
During the first treatment I decided not to numb the pain. I figured if I was dumb enough to get someone?s name tattooed on my wrist then that thing better hurt coming off. Dr. Humes asked me if I was sure. I was. Dr. Humes and her staff at Vitahl Medical Aesthetics were just as accommodating and remarkable as they always have been. Tahl talked me through the procedure and answered every one of my crazy questions.
Each zap of the laser felt as if I was removing a piece of the past and becoming the woman I always envisioned myself to be. I thought about my daughters and who I want them growing up to be. I want them to be strong and confident. I want them to take on the world around them and not limit themselves to what they can accomplish. I want them to be proud of the women they?ve become. I want them to see themselves as beautiful.
Did it hurt? Yeah it hurt (I?ve iced each time since). But not as much as it did when I realized I?d forgotten who I was. I left Vitahl that day on the road to recovery. To healing. To redefinition.