As you all may or may not know, it’s been kind of a pivotal couple of years for me. I have been really open about my life (mainly on my podcast) and my new level of commitment to my own self-care. If you haven’t been listening well I’ll give you the abridged version of what’s been going on with me.
Last June, John (my husband) and I separated.
It got to “that point” where the pain of how much we wanted it to work but it just wasn’t working despite how much we wanted it to, led me to the decision of needing to really sit in my own pile of despair in order to sort out what I needed to do to be ok. Notice I said what “I needed” to do. Not what “we needed” to do. Not what our family members “thought I should do”. Not what society, therapists, or research “said I should do” (for the kids.) Instead, I did what I needed to do. I listened; I leaned into my intuition and turned off all the noise. I took a sabbatical from all the conformity in my brain and I decided that the only way through the muck was to give myself space to really be in my OWN muck.
That was really freaking hard. There were moments in which I was quite certain the only thing that would squelch the pain of what felt like total failure was a strait jacket, padded walls and some morphine. I honestly considered going that route a couple of times – but when I let myself really get to the brink, the really hot fire of my own pain, that’s when my heart told me, “Sarah, lean in to that space harder.”
You see, I’ve had this habit over the years to be “Super Sarah Fragoso” all the freaking time. Happy, jovial, easy to be with, people pleaser because God forbid I hurt your feelings – ever, loving and nurturing, always there for anyone and everyone who happened to have my damn phone number, willing to pick up your pieces, wipe off your tears, clean up your blood, make all your dinners, do all your dishes, tend to all the emotional needs of anyone within arms length and then shove the feeling of “holy shit I’m dying” down just a little deeper when each time in moments of clarity that feeling would rear it’s ugly (but spot on) head.
You know, moments like when my lab test results come back showing once again that my physical self was falling apart under the pressure of keeping it all together.
So to finally step away from all of my “roles” and just fall the freak apart – well first I had to decide to really really really and FINALLY feel and experience all the stuff I shoved away in the name of being “Super Sarah Fragoso” and when you’ve done that almost your entire life, well it can be pretty darn painful. I finally got to a place where I could say – “Hey, I can’t be there for you anymore, because for the first time ever, I’m going to be here for myself, and if you can’t stay on this boat I’m rocking because of my choice to finally practice some real self-care; well I’ll show you the plank. With love and compassion of course, but either way, I’ll show you exactly where you can walk directly off my boat.”
So that’s what I did, not just with John, but with everyone in my life, and I lost some big stuff, severed some relationships that were really important to me, and yet – I learned to use my voice like never ever before. This experience was and continues to be the most incredibly enlightening, painful, and beautiful evolution of my entire life. My awakening (which is what I like to call it), in the words of Glennon Doyle Melton, has been Brutifal. (Beautiful & Brutal).
There’s so so so much more to this story (maybe my next book after Hangry B*tches?) OHHHH Snap – well let me get through this one first….
Anyway, fast forward to now; John and I are still married, and back under the same roof. I had no idea what the outcome of our separation would be; I just knew there would never ever be clarity unless I took my own voyage for a while. It was the worst (as in most painful) and yet best thing I’ve ever done for myself (because I made myself finally immerse in the pain) but ultimately I believe this decision, no matter how controversial it might be, not only saved my marriage but it also saved my life.
I’m proud to be John’s wife and I will honor and protect that role in a whole new way from here on out – by first honoring and protecting my own sense of self – and although I have no idea what the future might hold, the one thing I am certain of is that undergoing a complete transformation has a way of solidifying the people who really love you no matter what, and at this point I can say without a shadow of a doubt that John always has and always will love me. No matter what. Thank the Universe because I’m a lot to handle but I’m also totally 100% worthy of love. The right kind of love. The real kind of love. The super duper messy, ugly, crazy, amazing kind of love that you only really figure out after every inch of discomfort has been explored, only to discover that even in extreme pain, shame, fear, and darkness – real love is still there.
Talk about for better or for worse, richer or for poorer, and in sickness and in health – well we decided to test that theory to the utmost extent and welp, here we are…
I am no longer “Super Sarah Fragoso” all the time. Now, most of the time, I’m just Sarah. I’m here, I’ve showed up for my own life, and I’m doing, being, feeling, living, loving, and communicating, in a way I didn’t know was even possible. I’m fully here, in the way I’ve been telling other women to show up for themselves for years but with the veil of denial pulled down tight over my own worn out beat down pretending to be ok but just too tired to be happy eyes. No more. Now I am fully engaged. Alive. Present. Awake. Aware. I am back to living my purpose.
So what does this all mean to you? Well, it’s my nature to take all that I’ve learned and share it with all of you. I know what it’s like to be a hormonal mess, exhausted and hangry but putting on my game face and doing life anyway because I simply don’t know what else to do. I know what it’s like to want to be happy but with no real clue where to begin because I don’t even know who I am anymore to even begin to ask myself the right questions to get there. I know what it’s like to feel like no matter what I try in regards to my health, that nothing seems to “work”. I used to say that you could just choose joy, and I still stand by that, but you first have to choose to put yourself first before you can ever even think about choosing joy. That’s step one.
Over the last few years, my entire purpose has been to figure out how to cultivate more mindfulness and how to each my clients to practice Full Engagement Living (one of our 5 pillars) and I firmly believe that in order to get our nutrition, lifestyle, and fitness sorted out – what we really need to work on first is learning how to get out of our Monkey Minds and live in the present. We need to learn how to practice real self-care that can look like finally feeling the pain and getting through it (we call it putting your toe in the fire) and then building on that in order to really be present for all aspects of your life; the good, the bad, and the beautiful or brutiful.
Over the past few years of my own gigantic growth, together with Dr. Brooke, we have developed our Hangry B*tches book which we are launching as an online coaching group on April 2nd where we will teach you how to customize your diet, exercise, and lifestyle to fit your unique hormonal needs all while helping you put your toe into the fire, to really wake up and to be alive, present, and IN your own life.
Our first group back in October sold out within just a few days so we want you to have a chance to get on the waitlist now so you’ll be the first to know about registration before we open it up to the public!
My passion. No, wait. My purpose – is to help women everywhere learn how to really take care of themselves so that they don’t die trying to take care of everyone else. We are way too important.
And a special note – thank you to all of our listeners and readers for your outpouring of love and support over the last year. You have no idea how much your comments, notes, and emails meant to me.
Also, thank you John for letting me share our story. With all my heart, I love you.