Letters to The Hubs: A Cry for Help

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.

Dear Bryan,

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

You are NOT alone girl! I feel your pain, I truly do.

I’m almost 5 yrs out and I STILL can’t “feel” Mark with me. I know he is, I know he wouldn’t just leave our family, but I just don’t feel him. He’s visited others in dreams, including our son, but not me. I question why often and then I am reminded that the Lord has his reasons and it’s not my place to question why. I read what H. recently wrote about meeting w/ a Medium and how it helped her out. I’ve considered that over the years, but haven’t done it. I think that if I didn’t “connect” with Mark I’d feel worse than I do now, then again it could be life changing. All this to say, you are NOT alone.

monica

Erin,
All I can say is “i love you to pieces.” I wish i could come there and give you a great big hug. I wish i had gotten to know you sooner. You ARE an amazing person and you will and have done great things! You ARE admired and you are an inspiration. I hope that we get to come visit next month because i would love to see you again. sending big hugs your way!!!! Monica

Aimee

Oh Erin, I’m so sorry you had such a rough night. I commend you for putting this out there for yourself and for other widows. You’re not in this alone, remember that! I can guarantee you that anyone you ask, will be there for you in a heartbeat! Love you hun!

Nicole

I wish I had something profound to say or a way to make everything better for you. It breaks my heart that you have to go through this. :*( All of this makes me cry for your heartbreak. Never out of pity but compassion.

I imagine everyone who has lost someone SO close to them finally hits a breaking point. The good thing about it, everything else is “up” from there. It doesn’t mean you won’t have another low breaking point or that life will be perfect from now on. It just means that you are healing in a normal way. I’m not sure if you are talking to a professional, but it could help you significantly. Also, just because you had one night of pure misery and lowness, doesn’t mean that all progress you’ve made is lost. It’s actually a new step you’ve taken and you’ll start building from there. You’ve already started growing from that point by writing about it, talking about it, and reaching out to family and friends. I applaud you for all you are doing.

You ARE an amazing, strong, wonderful person, wife, and mama. Life’s hard knocks are what give us the chance to prove that to ourselves. You proved how strong you are because you didn’t cave in to the temptation to end it all. You proved you are a wonderful mama because you realized that ending your own life would be so devastating to your son. You proved are doing well for a widowed wife because you are still connecting yourself to Bryan by posts like this, by the charity and work you are doing in remembrance of him. Maybe things won’t necessarily get easier as time goes on, but just different. Hang in there and keep doing what you are doing. Keep reaching out! Keep making goals! And like your other friends said, You are NOT alone! There are so many people in your life who care about you and are rooting for you. I’m one of them!

Tiffany Ellis

I don’t know what it’s like to lose a spouse, but I know it can’t be easy. Admitting to the fact that you wanted to end it all is not weakness, it’s strength!! It takes alot of courage to admit to something like that. It takes strength to reach out. It’s easier to give up and get out, but you aren’t doing that. You are going on. You are truly being strong. God has been using you as a vessel of healing if not for your self, for someone else. He has not left your side. The simple things in life that you do are guided. How do you think that you have gone on for almost two years? You give the bond between you, Brian, and God far too little credit. Daily life for you seemed like it was a routine thing to do, but like I said, you were guided through. I may not be the smartest or most understanding at times, but I feel in my heart of hearts that your life,for the last 21 months, will be monumental in a precious life. You never realize the impact you have on the lives of others.

Thank you for sharing Erin. (((hugs))) We are not alone! I had my own little breakdown this week, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that read this and was comforted. Keep going, we’ll get through somehow.

Naomi

Erin, don’t fall into the same trap I do, that being strong means never breaking…….. Being strong means that yes, sometimes you can fall apart, sometimes you can cry your soul into the sky as the whole world crashes down around you, sometimes you can turn to others for that last piece of strnght, will, faith because you have nothing left in that moment. What makes it strength is reaching out for that help and accepting it, and then rebuilding the remnants into something new. Bravery is not never being scared, it’s being scared and still doing what needs to be done, why should strength be any different? You are strong, brave and beautiful. Thank you for having the courage to share your pain and love with us, please know that it does help others too, and we love you for it. Being numb doesn’t mean you don’t feel, it just means you are not ready to fully face it YET. A breakdown is not you failing, in any way. It is you trying to face the pain, you did the right thing, reaching out to others instead of letting it overwhelm you. That is Strength.

All my love…….

Karla

Erin, I could have written that letter many times in the last 2 months. Same thoughts, same concerns, same feelings of bottomless sadness, walking thru each day, no feelings at all except despair when i am alone. I love you so much and i always admired your strength, love and committment, keep up the good work.

Erin

Many hugs to you Marissa. It’s so difficult when we feel that desperation, reaching for any piece of our husbands that we could possibly hold on to, and we turn up nothing. Although I wish we didn’t, I am glad we have each other.

Erin

Thank you so much Monica! I am so thankful to be a part of this wonderful family and to have your love and support. I hope to see you soon too, that would be great!!

Erin

Thank you Aimee! I know you absolutely understand each and every feeling we suffer through, and I am so thankful for your companionship through this. (Although of course I wish neither of us needed it!) Thank you for your support and please, please know I am always here for you too. Love you!

Erin

Thank you so much Nicole! Your heartfelt words really touched me and made me think. I’m slowly realizing that keeping things bottled up is what led to such a breakdown, and now that I am learning to get it out, it truly IS all up from here! And it means so much to me to know that when the low days happen again, people like you are there for me. I just hope I can be the person you say I am, and use this all for something good for others. Thank you for your friendship and compassion!

Erin

Thank you Tiffany! That is my hope, that all of this will serve a greater purpose for the good of someone else. And I believe you are right, that God is here with me too. I may have residual anger toward Him, but He is tugging my heart and I believe I will work my way back to Him. Thank you for your encouragement!

Erin

Many hugs back to you Stephanie!! I am glad to have brought even the smallest measure of comfort. Although I wish we didn’t have to, but I am so glad we share a bond through all of this. You WILL make it through this, and I will be here for you ANYTIME you need me. Much love!

Erin

Thank you so much for this, Naomi. I very much fall into that very trap, and it is hard to remind yourself that succumbing to emotions doesn’t mean you’ve failed, or that you are weak, or should be ashamed of admitting it. I’m finally learning to lower the standard and allow myself to be human, and I hope I can find strength in that. And I hope the same for you. Don’t fall in the trap anymore! I’ll be here if you ever need me!

Erin

I love you so much too Karla, and I think of you daily. I know you probably don’t like to hear it, but you ARE strong, and I admire that. But please don’t make the same mistake I did and never let yourself be weak. We have to allow ourselves to feel and let it out, and only then will the numbness dissipate and the true feelings emerge. Even if we don’t face them, we have to eventually. But we don’t have to do it alone. ANYTIME you ever want to talk about ANYTHING, or even just sit silently and know you are not alone, I am here for you. Always! Much love to you <3

Hi Erin,
I am so sorry for your loss and what you have had to go through.
I don’t know what it is to lose someone dear, but I do understand the breaking down part. I too have had my moments and then had to stop and realize how precious my life is. To my family and friends.
God Bless you and your family. Danie

Hi Erin,
I found this post through BlogHer, and now I am crying. It took me back to a time, 13 years ago, when I was in a similar place emotionally. I had lost my fiance in a motorcycle accident, and I was feeling so lost and alone. I was on my way to work, and hit an icy patch on the road, causing the car to start sliding. I let go of the wheel, part of me wanting to die, but another part of me just wanting God to prove to me that I should live, and I did. I lived, and it is 13 years later, and I am married, with a beautiful four year old little boy, and I am happy. There are still days when I miss my fiance terribly, but the pain does lessen, and you will be happy again. I believe that. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. I hope your family and friends continue to envelop you with their support.

[…] that were the most painful for me. The particular post that was chosen was the one I wrote recently about my breakdown and my letter to The Hubs. Although it was difficult to put those thoughts into words, I am so glad to know that my […]

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