Hi. My name is Liz Wilson. I’ve spent the last six years of my life occupying that vague space in between simply existing and actually living. I’ve recently woken up, and it’s come to my attention that perhaps talking about it might not be the worst idea. For me, or for anyone else who may find my experiences useful.
My ex-boyfriend is dead. To save the privacy and feelings of the family, I will spare us all the unnecessary details and stick to the “facts.” This isn’t his story anymore; it’s mine after all.
I will suffice it to say that I broke up with him on November 2nd, 2012. By the following February I would be at his funeral sitting with his family before leaving to host my sister’s 21st birthday party celebration that same night. Life is a complicated thing.
Many of our years together were good ones, although my memories of the time are scarce at best. The brain has an interesting way of protecting itself from the details.
I do clearly remember us on a walk several years prior to his death. It was quiet and peaceful and he said the simple words: “If we were ever not together, I wouldn’t want to live anymore.” I was young and naive. I thought it was morbid, but sweet.
The first time we broke up he left me a note with the lyrics: “I’ll follow your voice. All you have to do is shout it out.” At the time I didn’t think much of it. He was a music lover. He was being dramatic. After he died I looked up the rest of the song for context- “All because of you I haven’t slept in so long, when I do I dream of drowning in the ocean. Longing for the shore where I can lay my head down…”
Hikers found his remains in the mixed-up clutter of sand dunes near a beach he frequented. The official report said that he’d drowned, after his dental records identified him.
That callous phrase: “They’re just words” would never make sense to me again.
I wrote his obituary for the local newspaper. It still makes me cringe, but some days I look it up anyway.
I’d spend the unforeseeable future trying to navigate what all that meant for my life. Apparently it meant time would stand still for a while.
I was living in what I call “The Fog.” The murky in-between. You’re propelling yourself “forward” according to society’s expectations. Based on what you think you want and what you think you should do, you’re fine and completely on track. The problem: Genuine happiness is always slightly out of reach; mostly you feel nothing at all. Autopilot kicks in after shock wears off. Bad habits develop. You’re not on track whatsoever.
I was always sad, drinking too much, taking Xanax to consistently feel nothing. I had essentially been fired from what I thought was my dream career job, probably partially for the aforementioned reasons. I was an emotional wreck, and I was more than lost.
I now realize I was being forced to start over.
So here we are.
This blog is meant to tell a story about how you can experience something horrible, but you can eventually muck your way through with enough will-power to not give up, and with support from those around you. You won’t be the same person. But it is possible to become a new, better version of yourself while accepting that your “normal” from before just isn’t your life anymore. And there is real power and freedom in realizing that reality.
If you’re looking for inspiration without that “inspirational” tone, you’re definitely in the right place. I’m offering a real-life story with real-life positive results that isn’t pretty and includes all that emotional baggage that no one wants to discuss. If you’re interested in how those six years transformed my life, read on.
I get to be a 30-year-old wife to an amazing husband with a successful small business of my own, and a lifestyle focused on vegan health and fitness. I’m living the life I only dreamed of.
One week’s post will be about the challenges of being a wife and entrepreneur, while the next week’s will be about vegan meal prep. We’ll discuss depression and failure one week, and then move on to what’s in my makeup bag.
That is the purpose of The Real Life Vegan Wife. Life can go on despite the fucked up shit that happens, and we may as well talk about it. Tell the stories about yourself you want to tell. Rewrite your reality. Being successful (whatever that means to you) doesn’t really matter unless you’re actively living your life with joy every single day. And I’m just learning that now. So I want to share it with you.
Welcome to my wonderful roller coaster.