Okay, I think I’m ready to admit it. On Sunday night, I had a breakdown.
As in, if a mental health professional had been present, I would be locked up right now.
For the first time ever in my life…for perspective, I didn’t even do this upon initial notification… I collapsed in tears. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see. I was throwing up in agony and screaming silently until my throat couldn’t utter another sound. I couldn’t imagine another second in the absolute sheer agony taking over every inch of my being.
I always thought that when I finally reached that rock bottom place, I would be too proud to admit it. But friends, I’m sharing with you my deepest darkest moment in hopes that it will reach the right person at the right time … for the very first time, I thought about the gun I keep under my bed for protection, and I thought about how easy it would be to grab it and put an end to my misery.
It hurts to say that publicly. It shames me admit my weakness, it makes me feel unworthy of the many blessings in my life to admit that I would be willing to end it all in their absence. But the truth is, in my lowest moment, I wanted to.
Thankfully, I proved to myself that night that I actually am the smart strong woman The Hubs always told me I was…because instead of giving in to the ultimate weakness, I reached out. In pure desperation, I thought about the beautiful soul sleeping in his bed amongst his stuffed animals and diecast cars and Daddy pillow, and I thought about my soulmate who would never want me to give up…and I called upon friends and family to talk me down from the very brink of despair.
I want to say thank you to the friends who responded to me that night and reminded me of the beautiful blessings in my life. And to my mother, who stayed on the phone with me from 4AM until the sun came up, and then immediately drove over and spent the day with me. And my second set of parents, who came over that evening and basked in the beauty of The Hubs presence in this world and the amazing gift he left us all…his son.
So, with all of this babbling out of the way, I’ve decided to share the brokenhearted letter I wrote to The Hubs in the midst of my breakdown. This is monumental, as it was the first letter I’ve written to him in a long time, and part of me can’t believe I am doing this because it was and is such an intimate, private moment with him.
But I am doing it for you, my fellow widows, because I know I am not alone. I know many of you have felt the same emotions and I want you all to know you are not alone. My heart is there too…and if you ever need anything, please reach out. Together, we will survive.
It’s 3 am on Memorial Day and I am awake. It’s been nearly 21 months and it’s not any easier than day one.
I wrote you a letter on the one month anniversary and I haven’t written you one since then. I’m so sorry, it’s just been so hard for me. Too hard to acknowledge the truth, too hard to face reality without you. So many people think I am doing well, so many people applaud me on my strength…but if only they knew how close to the bottom I really am.
I just took a few minutes rest to cry…that is how hard writing to you is. I don’t have words to say to you in this capacity, because I just don’t want to believe that this is the only way I can talk to you. That you can’t hear me, that you can’t see me, that you can’t be here. It’s just not right.
I’m not even sure what I want to say to you tonight, I just know I want to feel close to you and tell you something, anything. People tell me you can hear me, that you see me and are with all the time. I wish I believed that.
I don’t feel you. That sounds awful I know, I feel like if I was a good wife, a good widow, I would feel you around me. But I don’t. Maybe I’m not receptive enough, maybe I’m not ready to settle that I can only feel you in this way. But I know I want to feel you around me in some way, any way.
Am I heartless? Am I cold, unfeeling? Am I bad wife, not loving enough, self-absorbed or selfish? Because I don’t feel sadness enough. Most days I just exist. Not happily, not sadly, not anything. I just do what has to be done, and that’s it. I don’t feel anything. I want to feel. And I don’t know why I don’t.
Am I bad because I don’t feel anything ever? Only during the occasional severe breakdown like tonight, that happens when things are so built up that I explode, only then do I let it out. Only you understood the depression I’ve struggled with since adolescence, I only ever told you. I know you would feel so terrible thinking that you or your absence has contributed to that in any way, especially since, with your urging and help I had finally started to conquer some of my demons. But now…now, I’m right back at the bottom, but so much lower. Now, any progress I ever made has been wiped out. Now, I’m lower than I’ve ever been and my support isn’t here anymore. My rock, my hope, the person who lifted me up and made me feel like me…is gone.
I don’t know what to do without you. I don’t want to do anything without you. I need you here to pick me up, to lift me out of this darkness and help me carry on.
This isn’t the way I wanted this letter to you to go. I don’t want you to ever look down at me from Heaven and feel poorly that you caused me to fall apart. It isn’t you, it’s the absence of you. I wouldn’t want you to worry about me, I know you wouldn’t want me to fall down and give up, but to pick myself up and carry on. I just want to make you proud, to be the strong ambitious lively Erin you so loved and admired, not this depressed mess with no direction. I know I have to do that, for you and for our little man, and maybe one day for me. But it’s so hard. I’d rather give up.
I can’t keep writing this tonight. I need some help. I promise I’ll try to write you again. I love you.
Love always, Your Erin