“I do not love you! I am not attracted to you,” spoken by a person I did not know anymore. Through the crying and tears, the realization slaps me. Our seven year marriage was over.

That was a year ago. Today Jan. 1, 2016, I can honestly look back and see the slow disintegration of our relationship. The love that was the glue that held us together was gone. In its place was hurt and pain that beats down the door leaving in its wake, two lives longing for more.

The words in that one moment are an unpleasant reality. With time, I was able to face the face in the mirror. A face lost, unrecognizable. The last year has been a struggle. But once I decided not to let divorce define me, I found an inner strength to escape the pain. With hard work I am becoming the person I was meant to be.

“Inner strength became my fortress to escape to where healing begins allowing my soul to be cleansed.” My escape has allowed doors to open, never doubting the purpose of moving on. A smile reaches my lips each morning with the dawn of a new life, a new purpose, a new me.