from the ashes of despair.. a love letter, it could save a life.

The suicide of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain really touched a nerve with me. My younger brother committed suicide in his twenties, why.. why.. why? A dear friend of mine, upon reading one of my blogs this week.. texted this to me “good thing we are strong.. acceptance is the key to happiness”. This wasn’t always the case..

I recently ran across this letter I wrote to myself almost three years ago. I felt inadequate sometimes and I had signed up for a course for women ‘Rise by Design’ Jami Young (young woman entrepreneur, extraordinaire) asked us at the end to write a ‘love letter’ to ourselves. Sharing this is not easy, but I feel it is the right time now. I have added a couple updates.

This is my letter..

Your perceived failure and inability to quell outbursts of anger (not your own) on that road of improbable dreams. A  40 year marriage that always felt like treading carefully over broken glass.. We both know how hard you worked to keep it all together and have things run smoothly.

Finding peaceful solutions in a verbally abusive relationship required skills that took awhile to learn. Shielding the kids was always the priority, sometimes you lost sight of that.. but only because you were fighting to save your soul. It’s time now to give yourself the gift of forgiveness..

Your fortitude.. my god.. you dug in and held things together. Your ingenuity and ability to adapt to any situation, is definitely the reason you are still here. I also admire your acceptance of your shortcomings and acknowledgment of your weaknesses, and how you set about making yourself better.

It takes courage to stay and face each day when sometimes you felt so alone and hopeless and unloved that you just wanted to die. Making it through the night, sometimes required all your effort. By morning light you knew it wouldn’t look so bleak, and you did it.. many times.. some don’t..

Update: it wasn’t easy to write that part, but I believe there are a lot more of us out there than most know about. I don’t have any answers, making it through the night was my goal. Alcohol and drugs certainly exacerbate the situation. Sharing my pain with a close relative also helped me. (there are always two sides in a marriage, but this is my letter to me)

My Love Letter Continued

You are a warior in the face of adversity.. knowing intimately the pain seeping from wounds caused by hatefulness and disrespect. Your moral fiber was continually tested but you always stayed true to your core values.

Your children may have some dark memories but that is not all your fault. I applaud your ingenuity in bringing those episodes to a minimum .. and your braveness. Tuning out the simmering rage.. to diffuse a situation, was tricky, but you learned over time, and you did this also, for your kids.

Although I don’t like that you didn’t stand your ground.. I understand and I forgive you, I know you did what you thought was best. You didn’t want your kids to come from a broken home, like you. You succeeded in accomplishing that!

You tend to undervalue your achievements.. your successes in business are totally due to your dedication to learning everything you can and applying it where needed. I’m also sure, that if you could have had a loving and giving relationship/partnership, you possessed the abilities to conquer the world!

Know this .. you made it happen, you made every business you started, a success..  and you didn’t back down from anything. This is a fact.. the harder it was the more you fought. You are truly.. a resourceful and brave woman.

I applaud your courage to strike out and start a new life all by yourself.. not everyone can do that. You were over 60 years old and your only all consuming desire was to live.. before you died. You were broken and felt so alone and unhappy.. but you were also fierce in your determination to make your life better.

To stay in a marriage with no joy is to die a little bit everyday until there is nothing left of your soul. You refused to let that happen..

I have witnessed your struggles to live each day following your heart.. even when you weren’t sure if that was the right thing to do. We didn’t have any roadmaps, no one to guide us, but you figured it out .. again by yourself. Most would have given up, but somehow you found the strength.

WOW! You created a whole new life ..  filled with love and wonder and joyous happiness that just spills out all over the place… really..

You know that saying , “we’ve come a long way baby” well here we are on the other side of that long way.  And baby.. you truly are a freaking superstar and I love .. love.. love this person you have allowed to soar and be free!

You..  are the bravest person I know! Your wings were always there.. just waiting.

Footnote

For those reading this, and in a difficult situation, dig down deep within and find your courage, don’t wait as long as I did. “and this to shall pass” was my security blanket and it still keeps me sane Nothing is impossible.. nothing! but to achieve anything you need to take that first step….

Please phone a help-line if your are suicidal 1 866 298 7778