76: Letting Charlie Go

76: Letting Charlie Go

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Time to Thrive

Letting Charlie Go

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

~John C. Maxwell

Well, the divorce is final! Let me explain. I spent twenty-five years in an oppressive, controlling, stifling, and demoralizing relationship with “my other half.” By other half, I mean two hundred and fifty pounds of extra body weight. It had somehow taken on a life of its own and eventually took away mine in the process. Let’s call that other half Charlie.

Charlie was a gleeful soul at first. We spent lots of time together and had fun eating and drinking to our hearts’ content, loosening our belts as they became tighter and tighter. Charlie’s philosophy was always “Go big or go home,” and boy oh boy did we live by that principle. We did everything to the extreme — extra-large pizzas smothered in extra cheese, double quarter pounders with cheese… supersized, please.

As time went on, we began spending all of our time together. Charlie became so possessive. It got to the point where he would not let me leave the house. I could not see my friends or visit with my family. We stayed home all the time. We did not go on dates — no movies, carnivals, or concerts. “We have a big screen TV,” he said. “What else do we need?” Like the devil, he seduced me into staying home and accommodating his needs, and he was oh so needy!

I became mournful and miserable. My life had no meaning or purpose. My purpose had become feeding Charlie, my captor. Don’t get me wrong, he gave me things too — anxiety, paranoia, high blood pressure, depression. In return, I gave him my health, my happiness, and my freedom. There came a day when I felt I might suffocate myself with Charlie. I could see my life slipping away. I looked at him with loathing as we sat in silence and stuffed ourselves to the point of intoxication. We were indeed a toxic couple.

One night, I asked him for a trial separation. Oh, he fought like the dickens to hold onto me, playing head games and mental manipulation. I fought back. I joined Weight Watchers, began walking, went back to school and slowly began taking my life back.

Charlie continued to hang around, to hold on, tempt, and entice. As I became stronger and healthier, I saw less and less of him. So today, I declare my independence! My divorce is final! Charlie, my “other half,” who is most certainly not my better half, is officially gone and out of my life. He won’t be back. Goodbye and good riddance. I realize today, that I only held on because I was afraid to let go.

~Alana Marie

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