And One Of My Most Personal…
Normally I would never write anything so personal here on my foodie blog. I like to keep the deeply personal separate because food is my haven. My escape from my woes. So many of you helped save me and get me back home that I though I would share a little bit of the story.
Over the last year my life really started to fall apart. The harder I tried to keep it together, the more my marriage slipped through my fingers. When we found out we had to move, I tried to find us a place that we could be happy but as the time began to run out it became clear that the problem was not with the places were were looking at, it was with us.
Then, my life began to disappear. Furniture was sold, donated and every piece of our life examined. Over the last year I had used up every fibre of my being to make things work that I was on the verge of physical exhaustion. Mental and emotional collapse were also around the corner. I realized that if things were not going to work out in my marriage then I had to leave before I lost the power to do so.
I moved two days after our marriage was officially over. I had to pack in two days. Now I had been downsizing for a long time but realizing you had two days t put only your greatest treasures in eight totes was ridiculous, I know. But I just knew I had to be home for my birthday. There was no way I was going to spend another birthday feeling so very sad and alone.
Two things that were coming with me in my luggage were my KitchenAid mixer Rebel and my blue Diamond blender. It took up the whole piece of luggage and was unbelievably heavy. I did not care. I could not live without them and did not want to risk them getting damaged in the move. I wrapped everything with my sweaters and then packed a huge duffel bag with all the clothes I could fit into it.
Packing kitchen appliances is not easy because some of them are huge! My pressure cookers made it and I put a ton of personal treasures and kitchen tools around them. I did not take many dishes or mugs. Not even one wooden spoon. If it would cost more to move than to re-buy, I left it behind.
Most of my bakeware ended up being left behind too. I had to take out all my cake pans to make room for my dehydrator which is huge but was a gift from my Dad and his wife. I could buy more cake pans in Toronto. Investing in another dehydrator is a whole other story.
Everything I packed was heavy. I only got to take maybe 10% of my cookbooks (heavy), my photographs (heavy) and my journals (I have been journalling since I was 6… super heavy).
Reg was super supportive and got out more totes for me if he saw me hesitating on leaving something behind. He helped wrap everything together and even figured out a way to get that painting I did from Paint Night so I could take it with me.
I only took two pieces of furniture with me and my filing cabinet. Turns out you should not shrink wrap a mirror bracket on a dresser. It broke by the time it got to Toronto!
I was alone the day the movers came. I kept it together as long as I could but as soon as they were out of the door I collapsed on the floor. The totes were so heavy that I knew my bill for the move was going to be way higher than the estimate and I did not know how I was going to be able to pay for any of this. My heart was broken and I was beyond terrified.
The next day I was on my own and alone so I stopped by The Art Studio one last time. It was a quiet day so I just took my time to say good-bye to the space
This was my sanctuary during my time in Vancouver. When I felt the most alone and broken I could come here and be supported by beautiful people and I even learned how to use the wheel, a life long dream of mine.
The day I left I saw the tulips starting to break through the earth and thought how cruel it was, considering what waited for me on the other side of that long flight. I was going back to the extreme cold of Ontario that I escaped when I met Reg 23 years ago.
The physical toll was too much on my body and I was on the verge of breaking down completely so I asked a dear friend to drive me to the airport. If I took a cab I knew he would want to drop me off at a psyche ward and if Reg took me I would never get on the plane. My friend was a rock star and helped me keep it together and not completely fall apart which, considering the circumstances, was almost a miracle.
My sisters suggested I request a wheelchair for when I got to the airport and I am so relieved I did. I could barely function after saying good-bye to my husband for the last time. I could not stop crying and was barely coherent. Everyone at Westjet was kind and sympathetic and helped get me through security.
They just wanted to take me to my gate though but I had not been able to eat anything that morning so I walked to Starbucks like something out of The Walking Dead for food. I stumbled slowly and in shock like a zombie. My face was probably all puffy and red. I was worried they would not let this walking mess onto the plane. But I did it. I got my frappé and remember being mad that if this had actually been my birthday (in 24 hours) that mocha frappuccino would have been free.
As I waited for my flight I wrote and scheduled my birthday post, hoping that some of you would be able to help with the huge cost of getting me home. I had no idea that so many of you would do so much to save me. Not just in birthday gift money but your kind and thoughtful words that helped heal me and renew my faith in humanity.
Bye Bye BC Dreams
I choose a window seat where I could watch the mountains as I flew away but the clouds kept them hidden. How extraordinarily symbolic. I tried so hard to connect to Vancouver and live the BC dream life that I thought of every day I lived in Nova Scotia to keep me sane. Here I was leaving it for an even harsher climate. The climate that started me down my path with fibromyalgia in the first place.
I curled up into a ball and cried most of the way across the country instead of getting to see the mountains. I took way too much medication to help me through the process and was completely spent by the time I got to Toronto.
I am so glad I got wheelchair service because man, Westjet’s terminal is so far from baggage claim. I had to take two wheelchairs, two elevators and a golf cart just to get there. I love this shot, it reminds me being on the Millennium Falcon at warp speed and did it ever feel like we were going that fast. I used the last of my strength to hold on.
My aunt and uncle were waiting for me at the airport with roses and big beautiful smiles. I was rolled up to them with my comically large and heavy luggage and then collapsed in their arms. They took my to my sister’s home which is now my home too. Thank god for family. I then collapsed in my sisters’ arms too and cried and cried. I made it. I made it.
Since then I have mostly been in recovery mode, getting out here and there, but mostly resting and waiting for my stuff to arrive. It finally came and the painting got a little damaged but for the most part, survived. Like me.
I have not planned any farther ahead than this moment. I just knew I had to get here and grieve the loss of my marriage. Stay in bed for days if I have to. Move only when necessary. Did not help that I did actually catch a cold during this entire process but hey, for once, it did not turn into pneumonia. I call that progress.
When you have to leave behind 85% of your life you see where your priorities are. The first thing I unpacked and put away were my cookbooks. In fact I had a panic attack when I found one was missing but later discovered it under my jewelry-making supplies.
It is not easy navigating through snow and ice again. In fact I was going to go to Winterlicious but events were cancelled due to a snowstorm.
As awful, and I mean AWFUL, life has been for so very long and how hard it was to get back and now have to start my life over yet again… I choose to believe everything will turn out OK. I will survive. I will recover. I will get back out there and find foodie stories to write about. I will teach myself French cooking in Jamie and Shannon‘s kitchens. I will take classes at Madame Gateau and so much more.
Not being with my best friend and soul mate for the last 23 years… Well, that is never going to be easy and I doubt I will ever get over it. I do know that with all my heart I want us both to be happy. Sometimes loving someone means saying good-bye. I hate it. I fought it. I denied it. Now I am making peace with it but am in mourning and will be for a very long time. If there had been any other way, I would have done it. At least I know I tried with all my heart to make it work. Sometimes things just come to an end, whether we want them to or not.
Thank you again for helping me get through this. And I will. Somehow, I will get through this and find a second life in Toronto. A very unexpected second phase of being a Torontonian once again.
Tanya MacBean says
BC is so beautiful, but it masks cruelty. Whether it be personal, emotional or financial. I sometimes regret moving there myself, but I gained life experiences I would have never had otherwise.
Sounds like you & your husband are parting friends & that is the best thing ever. Like you said, sometimes you have to say goodbye.
With all life has thrown you, I know that you will remain strong, even if you feel shattered inside. You will endure & you will overcome.
Meanwhile, your Foodie followers will patiently await the next, best chapter in the life of Suzie the Foodie.
Debra She Who Seeks says
I feel so bad for you, Suzie — dealing with grief and loss and starting over are never easy things to do. But in time, I know you will create a new and fulfilling life for yourself in Toronto. Thank goodness your sisters are being a safe haven for you until you are on your feet again.
From the comments I have read from your friends, followers and family, it is wonderful to know you have people who love you. Yes, we all go through hard times. The years you and Reg had together is part of who you are TODAY and who you WILL BE tomorrow and in the following years.
You’ve put so much of yourself into this post, and I know that putting these heartbreaking details out there must be so hard. Know that you are loved – from all over the world!
Nolwenn Petitbois says
You are so loved and supported, Suzie.
It is not easy to start over (I know from doing it many many times) but you are stronger than you think.
And now, maybe we will be able to finally meet ?
I agree that BC is a dream hiding a nightmare. I do miss part of it but I know life is so damn hard there, and it’s not going to get better.
I wish you happiness, the one that takes over your whole body and soul <3
You are here, you made it, you are alive. Welcome home. Now you start your new journey, one step at a time. When you are ready for a coffee date lol msg me. Keep strong.
Paul T says
Sorry to hear what you have been though. That’s so much for anyone to bear…Hope that you heal fast.
If you ever want to pop by and show a fellow foodie some of your amazing dishes feel free.
Better yet, we could create something entirely unique!
I’m glad that you and your things arrived safely. I understand your grief over the ending of your marriage. Life continues and yours will too. Be gentle and kind to yourself. You are loved and surrounded by so many here who support you. Love and big hugs. ❤️
I know from our conversations through facebook how hard this has been for you. Now is the time to dream a little and reinvent yourself into the new and improved Suzie the Foodie! I think you have discovered that your friends will stand behind you no matter what happens or where you are. Welcome back to Ontario!
Thanks for sharing your journey, Suzie. I continue to hold good thoughts and prayers for you; starting over is hard but can be freeing too…full of unexpected surprises and new things to learn, whether we want to or not. Sending you love, xoO
Im so sorry for you and for Reg, so sad. I’m so glad you have your sisters and your family to help you through this. Hang in there girlie.
The Happy Whisk says
Very cool that you went public with this post.
Not easy but done so well.
And, as always, I’m here for you!
You got this, Suzie. You are strong.
Very, very strong. Even when you don’t
believe that you are. You are.
Your sisters are amazing, too!
I love that you have them with you.
Lisa Smith says
My heart goes out to you – and I wish you nothing but the very best moving forward with your life.
I have total sympathy. When I left my first husband it was 2 days before XMas and took every penny I had. And then I cooked an XMas dinner for 22 – lol – I take comfort in food too.
Hang in there. Time will help to heal you and you will learn you are far stronger than you ever imagined.
Judith Roberta Ratcliff says
Thank you for publishing this. My heart wept for you because you did such an outstanding job of trying to make things work that I was shocked. Having your family around you should help you to heal. Your whole “I can” approach to life will be your way to build a different life.
Bright Blessings my friend.
This is beautifully shared.
The sadness will not always be there. The fear will dissipate if you don’t grasp tightly to it. You are greatly loved by so many people. I support you. And I know that you will emerge happier, more loving, more accomplished, and more abundant if you leap into this beautiful new life with your friends and family at your side.
A new book of your life is waiting to be written, my lovely writer friend… you’ve got this.
Janet Miles says
Hope that sharing this helps ease some of it for you, Suzie, instead of keeping it bottled up inside. From the outside, you and Reg appeared to be so happy and in tune. Just goes to show how much looks can be deceiving but also how good YOU are at handling things even when they are hard. Your sisters are terrific and I know that they will help you transition to your new life. Sending lots of hugs!
Kara Jones says
Suzie, sending Reiki and love in streams and streams. May resiliency be as present and available to you as is the grief and love and the whole messy process of being human.
Had a thought as I was reading — and forgive me if you’ve already addressed this or if someone else mentioned it already — but I was wondering about an Amazon wishlist for replacing the cakepans and things you need now? I’ve seen people do them, make them public, and then people out here can buy items and they are sent to you. Just guessing lots of your readers might be willing to do that — you know one person sending a set of wooden spoons, another a cakepan or two, etc. As a micro-step-by-step way for you to rebuild your kitchen?
Just a thought…Love you bunches and sooooo glad you are tending and giving yourself time and space. Sending love!
Elsie Hickey-Wilson says
Oh, Suzue! You have really been through it! Take one small step at a time. Self-Care and spring will come and you will blossom again! Right now: crying is okay, and know that we are there for you! Love you so much. You are my brave girl!
Everybody lovingly stole all my lines, so I’ll just say that, by my own experience, yes, it will take time to reinvent yourself, but it’ll happen, and you’ll be okay. You’re a bright light.
Sending all my love to you. ❤️
Oh Suzie my heart breaks as I read this. My 13 year long marriage (my 2nd) ended more than ten years ago. But your post here takes me right back to that time and how devastated I was. Divorce is very underated. It is surely as difficult as grieving a lost loved one and you have to give yourself credit for how tough it is and be very gentle with yourself. It takes a long time. sending you all my love.
*big hugs* I’m so sorry for all you have gone through, but I’m proud of you for making your new life and starting new dreams and goals already. You are amazing.
Rain Frances says
Hi Suzie! Oh I’m so sorry, I somehow missed all of this!!! I can see by the photo of you that you are healing! You will be okay, I know it sounds trite, but really, you will be. We only go through life once, take care of yourself! Can I make you feel better? I’m in the Laurentians in northern Queeeeebec and we just got 2 feet of snow to shovel. 😉 Life has many twists and turns, I think that despite your grief, you are on the right path and a new beginning is just around the corner. 🙂 xx
We love you no matter where you live!!
Suzie, thank you for sharing this with us. I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through this very painful experience. Kudos to you for focusing on the fact that you will indeed heal from this, even as right now the experience is still really raw. Sending you love and good vibes as you move through your journey!
May britt says
I live just outside Toronto. I just found you and happily so. I am sorry for your recent sadness, I am however sure each day will bring your new life into focus. It will hurt but it will come. I listen really well, if you want someone new to talk to.
Suzie, I’ve been offline and not connected for some time now. I just caught up on your blog and am sending you all my love. We’ve ‘known’ eachother since our very first blogs, what, over 15 years ago. You saw me through my cross-country move and divorce and I admire your understanding and commitment to doing the right thing.
I know how hard this time is. How deeply personal and all encompassing it is. You are not alone. You are loved and cared for. And I promise, as hard as it is, it keeps getting better. This recovery phase will be long and hard, but you will come out of it. Don’t underestimate how much of a toll the struggle of the past couple years has had on your health. Emotional stress is the heaviest thing we can carry, as you heal and grow your health will improve so much.
Wishing you rest, compassion, peace, healing and joy thrown in for good measure.
Suzie the Foodie says
Tanaya, how lovely to hear from you my friend. Yes, we have known each other here online forever. Yes, I remember when you went through your own personal crisis. Thank you so much for reaching out and yes, all encompassing, what truth. Thank you for letting me know it will get better. I go through so many moments of deep fear, sadness and panic. I know it will take time for your comment helps a lot. The last year of my life was hell and now I am in recovery. I feel like I am in personal and physical triage. Thank you Tanaya, so very much. Love and light to you.
Cathe Ekas says
Dear Suzie, Every day that goes by will make it a little easier. From someone who started over twice with just a suitcase. My situation called for escaping bad situations in a hurry. Now I have not had a full-scale attack. Lyrica had quit working. I still get flare-ups but on the mild side.14 years I have been with my knight-in-shining armor. He loves me unconditionally, even with all of my health issues. I take “Savella” for my Fibro, and it has been a life-saver, I have not had a full-blown flare in all this time that I have been on the Savella. Also, I live in Oregon where we get very gloomy days and a lot of rain. I sit under my (OTT Light). It is a full-spectrum light that mimics the sun. It has helped my fibro tremendously. They sell them at Michael’s and Joanne’s. It works for SAD also. It also is perfect when doing anything with color, it shows perfect colors. They aren’t cheap – but worth every penny. Both stores have coupons for 40-50% off. I’ve been using this light since the 1980’s and would not go without one.Good luck – you’ll get thru this. I believe that with my whole heart. We are stronger than we think we are. Hugs!!!
Suzie the Foodie says
Woah Cathe, I am so sorry to hear you went through that and to have Lyrica stop working? That’s serious. I am so glad you found someone that makes you happy, you give me hope. Yes! I have an OTT Light too which I will put to good use when I am housebound in the winter. And you’re right, I originally got it for my jewelry making which I hope to get back to some day. You are awesome Cathe, thank you so much. I am starting to feel like things are going to get better. I hope the Universe agrees.