The Old Me Must Die (An Open Letter About My Divorce)

by Jordan Reasoner

The-old-me-must-die

I’m writing this as a grateful goodbye.

The old me must die.

I’m not sure how to say this but you deserve to know: over the last year, I’ve been going through a divorce.

I love her. I’m grateful for our 8 years together and our two beautiful children. But here we are.

And over the last year, there’s been many times I was so confused about all this I drank a bottle of wine and punched my pillow until I collapsed.

Now I realize the pain has only lasted as long as I’ve held onto it.

Clinging to thoughts that I’ve failed… like:

What about my kids?

How can I protect them from all this?

What if this destroys them?

What did I do wrong?

How could I fail like this?

But those thoughts originated from the old me…

And Today’s a Good Day for the Old Me to Die

The old me had lost hope – the hope that the best is yet to be, the hope that fuels happiness, the hope that drives me forward.

And without that hope, I felt paralyzed. I was sleeping late. Many times I didn’t have the energy to fight the day. Most days I felt like there was no light at the end of the tunnel – like I was completely stuck in cement…

And then one day I began to understand something: I didn’t lose hope… I surrendered it. I gave it away in the face of life’s circumstances.

But more importantly, I realized that I could choose something different: that hope was simply a choice in my life.

And that’s why the old me must die.

Because I’ve been here before…

Like 5 Years Ago, When I Wrote My Will

Back then I was sick as hell. I’d done everything the Doctor’s told me to do and nothing worked. As I got sicker… I lost hope. I gave it away to my circumstances. And without hope, I didn’t believe I’d ever get healthy. Something had to change…

The ‘sick me’ had to die.

And so it did. I chose something different. I chose to have hope.  I chose to start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

You know the rest of the story.  I got better.  I continued to have hope, moment by moment.  And my entire life changed.

And here I am back to that gut-wrenching feeling… being without hope. This time it’s different. It’s not life threatening. But it could be more important.

For my kids…

For my health…

For my ability to help you get healthy…

I know this feeling. I’ve lost hope before. And that’s why I know the old me must die, again.

Knowing When the Old You Must Die

When you lose hope, your heart becomes sick and the will to carry on becomes a struggle. Without it… life shuts down.

Those that give up don’t just quit, they’ve lost hope. And if you’ve ever lost hope in your life, you know how this feels.

In those moments when there’s nowhere to turn, you must look inside. You must reach down into the deepest parts of you and realize hope isn’t lost… it’s simply been surrendered.

More importantly that means you have the choice to take it back. If you can recognize this, then you know the old you must die.

Because we have the choice… but the strength to let go of the old you and choose something different can be tough. Knowing when the old you must die isn’t easy. But the time will come when you’ll be faced with this choice to either give up… or reclaim your hope.

What will you choose?

Today I recognize the old me must die (again).

And together, we can share in this moment and all the emotion that comes with it.

It’s one thing to talk about poop with you… but it’s another thing to open my heart about something I’ve been keeping private for the last year.

But in this vulnerable state… I have to ask you:

Are you ready to choose hope in the face of adversity?

…to make room for a happier you? a healthier you? for the ‘sick you’ to die?

Hope is your fuel. With hope, you can overcome anything life throws at you. Today, I’m letting the old me die (again).

Will you join me?

How to Let a Part of You “Die”

It’s like diving into the ocean; there’s so much movement, yet if you truly let go and surrender, the water will support you and you’ll float to the top.

If you fight and struggle with the water it can beat you down and steal your breath.

Reclaiming hope is about surrendering the old you – letting go of the part of you that lost hope and starting new…

Today, the old me must die because I choose hope and greater possibilities in front of me, greater health, more laughter, more love, more joy from being a father, and more fulfillment helping others get healthy.

With hope, each day gets better and better and the will to carry on is endless.

If you’re reading this and feel like there’s no hope, things can get better. I encourage you to let the old you die. Choose something different. Choose hope. And if you haven’t yet, choose to start the Specific Carbohydrate Diet like I did 5 years ago.

If you need encouragement to get started, our book can help.

Thank you for reading this. I’m grateful to open up to you.

– Jordan

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About the author

Jordan Reasoner Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara November 4, 2013 at 10:55 am

Thank you for sharing this, Jordan. I’m in the process of Legal Separation myself (after 16 years) and you describe perfectly what it feels like to lose, or surrender, hope and how it affects our health. I’ve allowed it to rob me of my joy and vibrancy that helped me lose 100 pounds. Now my system is wrecked and I’m turning to SCD to set it back right. Thank you for being brave enough to share your vulnerability. Hope is good, and I’m glad you’re on the upswing.

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Andrea November 4, 2013 at 11:33 am

Jordan, I’m so sorry you have to go through something as difficult as a divorce. Some days it is hard to see the point in going on, and I have been there with my own difficulties this year. Yet I am persevering because other people are counting on me to be here, and I am fighting to keep my hope alive for a better future . Thanks for the inspiration!

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thank you Andrea! I’m happy that this gave you inspiration today 🙂

J

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Crystal November 4, 2013 at 11:36 am

Jordan, you are an incredibly strong person to tell this story on the internet for all to read. Your children will come to understand the new you over the long run. Certainly, someday they can read this post and learn about their genuine and good dad. I was touched by your story of hope, and it helped me to refocus my efforts towards being SCD compliant.

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Thank you Crystal, I’m so grateful that this post supported you today 🙂

J

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Shannon Ross Watson November 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

Than you for sharing. You will be ok. Sending lots of love and strength. You have opened up your lives to us in the online world and helped so many. Sending a little good karma back.

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 11:56 am

Thank you Shannon 🙂

J

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Joanne November 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Thanks for being honest and open. I’m currently going through the exact same feelings, have lost hope, and been stuck in that a while. Today I will join you! Let’s move forward together. Its good to remember that we’re not alone in this. Thanks so much for this post.

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

Well said Joanne. I’m finding hope is the thing that keeps me going… and it’s a choice to have it or let it go. So grateful you are choosing it for yourself as well!

J

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jgirl November 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

‘With hope, each day gets better and better…”
😉

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Angela Severson November 4, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Jordan,
I can’t imagine how hare it was to write this. I really appreciate your vulnerability! I think that most of us can relate to what it is to give up hope. Your encouragement is truly a strong voice, and a necessary one to overcome the voices that keep us from living! Thank you! I needed to hear that, as I continue to loose hope over my inability to stick with feeding myself the food that my body needs to heal. I will NOT loose HOPE!

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’m so grateful that sharing this supported you today Angela. You’re amazing!

J

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Amanda November 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Jordan thank you so much for posting this. I too have to say goodbye to the old me only I didn’t realize that’s what was going on till I read your post. So thank you for your honesty and clear vision and may your future and your children’s future and your wife’s be filled with more joy than you can imagine. You are a great guy and have so much to look forward to although you may not see that at the moment. With love x

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Thank you Amanda, that means a lot to me.

J

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Tracy November 4, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Jordan,
Thanks to you, I am currently letting the “old me” and my “old lifestyle” die as I move forward and heal on SCD! I am at the 2 1/2 month mark and I am so much better. You guys do so much good! Sharing lows in life can be so much more powerful because we remember that we all have lows and we are not alone!
Tracy

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Jordan Reasoner November 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Way to go Tracy! Thank you for your support 🙂

J

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Kathleen November 4, 2013 at 2:38 pm

So sorry to hear that Jordan. I’ve only recently stumbled upon your website, but I hope the best for you!

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Wendy Kennedy November 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

The hope and inspiration you have afforded to those around you is infinitely valuable. I too, know the challenges of a failed marriage. While my journey has been very different to yours, I often refer to my understanding of the challenges you have faced to find hope where hope has disappeared and belief has gone AWOL. Thanks Jordan, for your openness and honesty – it is a journey that we have to travel on a daily basis and find intrinsic value in the moments we live in Wendy

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Susan Emmerich November 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Jordan, I have followed you and Steve by way of your emails this past two years and have sent many people your way but have either been too sick or too fatigued to join the journey. My whole family suffers from digestive and adrenal issues. So, I often find it difficult to find the time to move forward. However, I have finally come to a place to be able to commit to starting the SCD. I believe this is the last piece of a 30 year journey to regain my health and now help the rest of my family. My heart broke as I read your posting but I was so amazed at your astute understanding of the concept of a sort of death to the old self and the rising up as a new person. Chapters 5 and 6 in the book of Romans (in the Bible) are devoted to this whole concept. Hope is very powerful when based on something that is everlasting and true. I work to mediate violent environmental conflicts in resource-based and resource-poor communities and to bring hope to the hopeless. Throughout history, the message of hope based on faith in God enables people to not only rise above but rejoice in obstacles, afflictions and sufferings because it produces in them perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. After reading all the amazing posts for the last year, you are doing a special work of God to bring healing to so many. Thank you for all you do, and keep seeking the basis for your hope and the hope you give others.

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Beth November 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

I really appreciate your sharing this with us, Jordan. For years now, whenever asked what my greatest fear was, my response was always the same – the loss of hope. I don’t know what led me to that conclusion, as I hadn’t ever completely lost hope by that point in my life. In my health struggles over the last 2 years, however, I have lost hope numerous times. Those have been the toughest times. I carried on for my family and friends, not because I personally had the will to live any longer.
Even though I found hope again each time, I never really looked at it as a choice. Something would just come along, something else that I could try before giving up (most recently FMT, and so far, so good!), that instilled hope in me again.
There is a quote by Dale Carnegie that I came across and wrote on my white board to reflect on in my tougher moments:
“Feeling sorry for yourself, and your present condition, is not only a waste of energy but the worst habit you could possibly have.”

I like the idea of “the old me must die”. Death makes room for new life. It’s like the phoenix who dies in the flames and is reborn from the ashes.

I choose hope.

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Amanda November 4, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Jordan, you are so courageous to be open about your struggle. I have been following you guys for 2 years now and you have guided me towards a life that I can now actually live. I have had phone sessions with you and have shared my story of losing my husband tragically at 33 years old. One minute here, the next minute gone…forever. I felt the same way you are feeling now, but I am living proof that you will rise from this challenge in your life stronger than ever. It is quite amazing once you make the mental/physical/emotional decision to just “let go” and find faith again. My favorite quote is “Let your faith be stronger than your fear.” I repeat it every day to myself. I lost my health, my husband, my life and mostly hope the day he died. Over the past 4 years, after utilizing so many resources to restore what I had lost, I have hope again. You guys are one of the reasons why I have it back. My wish for you is to stay strong and have faith. One day at a time… Amanda

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Victoria November 4, 2013 at 11:25 pm

What a gift you’ve given others in sharing this. The heartbreak of these sorts of life changes does get better… Having been there myself, it seems unbelievable as we’re going through it, but with time and grace, we see the full breadth of the plan that’s in place for us and things look infinitely brighter, even though sometimes that seems unimaginable. Peace to you…

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barb November 6, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Your note couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time for me. I am on the edge of giving up. I have lost all hope and cannot seem to come to grips with acceptance of my illness. I am obsessed by it and perplexed at the same time. Your analogy of the waves in the ocean hit me hard. I get it and have to come to conclusion that it is what it is. Struggling with a relationship is no difference in struggling with a health issue. Beating my head up against a wall is getting me nowhere but severely frustrated. I need to move on and past this now and accept I have a chronic illness that I will have forever. I would love to know how others were able to move past and accept their illness. I feel like I am going through a divorce from food UGH!

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Lee November 6, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Jordan, thank you for sharing such a difficult time in your life. You have been such an inspiration to me in keeping my hope alive for improved health. I wish you strength and love now and for your future. …Lee

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Mirela November 7, 2013 at 12:10 am

…the pain has only lasted as long as I’ve held onto it…

I keep on reading this and I smile and that is because your words have such a strong echo in my heart. The beauty of this world stands in people like you, honest and willing to overcome situations, growing up as human beings. I can relate so much with all your questions and failing thoughts and it always amazes how strong people can be if they really look deep inside. We can pretend to be who we are not, sometime, to hide the fears and lock them in a corner of our heart but they whisper every night to us, every time we are alone, every time we feel weak. But one day we do what you did, Jordan, we confess, we pronounce words, we promise ourselves that we will not let life to lead us but we will lead our life. Is true, there is nothing worse than surrender, giving up to breathe due to the pain we feel but LIFE is incredible and fortunately there are ways to fight for it and people to support your baby’s steps to achieve the new of You.

Happy rebirth, Jordan and thank you for being there, for us, for you!

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Carol November 7, 2013 at 8:07 am

Oh, Jordan, I’m so sorry. Your courage in sharing what you’ve been going through is a very positive step in your healing, and as you can see from all the comments, it’s a great benefit to those you help. We all have circumstances that cloud our vision and that tempt us to surrender our hope (that was such an insightful description) and our health. Our physical well-being plays such a large part in our emotional processing, and vice versa. Since you’ve become a role-model for so many people, allowing those people to see that you fail and are human and have to restart like the rest of us builds a stronger connection. Praying for your hope to continue to grow and for steady healing for you and your family…

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Georgianna November 11, 2013 at 8:42 pm

Not too long ago I wrote my will for my 15 month old boy and family members… I’ve been extremely sick for almost 3 years, and have been losing hope… But, after reading your post, you have given me the strength to choose hope over giving up– and I feel more alive from reading what you wrote than I have in a long time.
Thank you so much for sharing something so personal with your followers here. You are obviously an extremely caring, empathic and STRONG soul. For you to be able to pick yourself up during such stressful changes in your life and simultaneously give others a whole new outlook on life and the meaning of hope is truly beautiful. You have a gift for healing.

Thanks again,
Georgie

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Jordan Reasoner November 24, 2013 at 12:58 pm

WOW, thank you so much Georgianna. You’re amazing!

Your comment means the world to me.

Know you can do this. Choose hope. I’m with you 🙂

– J

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