When BFD gave me an infusion of cash last week, I did the things I was supposed to do . . . paid some bills, bought some food and ridiculously expensive cat food, and . . . got my hair colored/cut/highlighted, got my brows waxed, and ordered a ton of stuff from sephora.

Yep, that’s how I spent his money.

The funny thing is, he would totally approve if I had mentioned it and it is essentially my money. (My check came today, so he should have it back this week!)

When things have been really tight, I have delayed or postponed personal care stuff. I switched from perricone and philosophy to olay. I tweezed my own brows — poorly. I worked with what I had. I wore my “travel” mineral foundation as my daily makeup instead of replacing my vincent longo.

But now . . . I replenished my bumble & bumble shampoo and conditioner at the salon, and bought a whole set from philosophy (eye/lip cream, moisturizer, micro peel, cleanser, and body wash . . . only $45!), a new eye pencil, philosophy’s kiss me lip balm, a stila lip gloss set, an eye shadow duo, a little lip balm gift for K, and smashbox’s photo primer from sephora.com. I am running back to sephora itself for another thing of supernatural because they just added colors and I order my treasured vincent longo water canvas direct from vincent longo. Yes, I pay $52.50 for foundation, which is why I switched to mineral makeup for a long time. Now, I am back to alternating. I just added up my spending on grooming so far and I will be at $500. Yeah, that kinda sucks.

I am spoiled though.

I had a long talk with BP this morning and we discussed the personal journey I’ve been on this year since he decided to cut me off financially (as his business partner, he was covering a lot of my bills while we worked on a project), forcing me to work harder for less money and struggle completely. Though I hate to admit it, it’s been invaluable to my personal growth. My life was difficult before, but working without a net was terrifying.

I have been so afraid, so insecure, so terrified. I have been working hard, on my own, to make money and make things happen, but it’s been just awful. Now, though, I feel better. Part of it is having money again, of course, but most of it is embracing my new reality.

I really can handle anything life throws at me and there are so few things in life that are actually important. The past year or so has been humbling in a lot of ways. I have taken on work I would have never considered before. I have had to borrow money from friends and family. I have had to wear “vintage” clothes, to go months between hair appointments. I have had to ask for help … and I hate asking for help.

Now, when I think of where I am, I know I am rebuilt into something new. Not necessarily something better, which is what I told BP, but something new.

With things pulling together, I am more focused, more confident, more stable.

I have had opportunities to test my core values and I know what I will and will not do to survive. My integrity is stronger than I would have thought. My sense of ethics and morality, too. I have had opportunities to take advantage of people for my own benefit and I never did. It was a conscious choice.

I did not ask BFD for help. (He offered and brooked no refusal at the end after he forced the issue with me.) I have never asked him for anything. I was suffered while I kept my car payment in my account in case he cashed the check I wrote him … which he did on the day he gave me money. When he offered to buy me things from sephora, I refused. He would have given me money, put gas in my car, done anything I asked, but I did not ask. Instead, I suffered.

For me, it is a matter of pride that I endured this very rough period. I made it. It was awful. It messed up my head, my confidence, and tested my values. And yet, I feel good. Now that I am on the path to recovery, I look at the lessons learned and I am good.

I know who I am. I know what I do. I know I am spoiled and princessy, but I also know that I can endure any deprivations and be fine.

I am not yet fully exhaling, but I feel good and strong. I have come a very long way and the lessons I have learned will help me as I move back into a more normal existence.