I remember this night so vividly. It was my bestie’s birthday weekend, and we were out celebrating with a big group of friends at Hamburger Mary’s. We went for dinner, drinks, and a drag show. My (now ex) husband was there, and he was a total dick the entire night. He was miserable, which meant everyone else had to be miserable as well. I remember at one point in the evening, I heard one friend say to another, “Ugh…I don’t know why Jenn stays with that asshole.” I remember thinking to myself: I don’t know why either.

The next day was Mother’s Day 2012. I woke up feeling horribly sad and defeated. I tried putting on my best fake smile, but eventually in the early afternoon I started sobbing. I finally told my husband that I didn’t want to be married to him anymore. (To be fair, this wasn’t the first time I had told him, but this was the first time I was committed to the decision). It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. He was heartbroken and angry and it was a nightmare. He eventually grabbed some things and left. But only after he had threatened all kinds of ugly and terrible things.

That evening, I sat alone on the floor, drinking straight from a bottle of vodka, listening to the saddest songs, and sobbing hysterically.

It’s a sad story to be sure, and it was a difficult journey getting to where we are now. But I know I’m much happier, and I like to think he is too. We’ve both changed a lot. We’ve blossomed into the people we were always supposed to be, but couldn’t be together.

Tomorrow I will take a moment from celebrating Mother’s Day to reflect upon the day I found the courage to make a huge change to better my life.