Posted by: Jack Hope | Sunday September 2, 2012

A Simple Truth Remains

Dear Terry,

It’s been a little while since I wrote one of these. Things have been a bit different for me lately. I think when I started writing this blog, I both wanted to reach out to you and I also didn’t want to feel like I was writing to nobody. I’ve spent enough time talking to myself to last a life time. Writing to you gave me an intended readership, even if it never happened. That was something I needed to get over my initial hesitations to start.

Now, I do have an audience. Not a large one, but my voice does seem to be participating in a broader conversation about mental health and I think my experiences are now providing some help to others. Even if it’s only a small help, somehow it makes it easier to accept everything that’s happened to me. It makes it feel as though this wasn’t all for nothing, that there was some meaning to all of it. It’s funny how that need to find and ascribe meaning to the things that happen to us can be of great comfort.

But that first reason, your absence from my life, that reason remains sadly as valid as ever. and that hasn’t gotten any easier to accept. Writing these letters, writing this whole blog, does help me to process all of those feelings. It helps me to know that I am putting something out there.

I sometimes think that I should just go and just force a reunion somehow. I’m sure it could be done with only a modicum of effort. But then there’s the possibility of a confrontation and I don’t think I can handle that right now. The emotional fallout, even in a positive direction might be overwhelming for me right now.

I still feel so fragile, like an elaborate Venetian glass works, one tip and I’ll be shattered into a million pieces again. I can’t go handle that. Maybe that makes me a coward, but I’m a coward with a very fragile equilibrium and very much trying to build up my strength so I can face the world. So I can face all of my ghosts.

Or maybe it’s not a confrontation and emotional fallout I fear so much as the possibility that any reunion could lead to that final break. Of course that’s always been a possibility. I don’t like to think about it, for obvious reasons. Still, it’s been there lurking at the back of my mind.

Maybe that’s the real fear that holds me back from doing just that. This way, I still have hope that things can be better again some day. Maybe I would rather hold onto that hope than take the chance of losing even that?

So many things to drive a person round the twist. I could probably write a dozen pages of myself going in circles trying to pin down everything that I’m having anxieties about. There’s a lot more about to change and I am much more conscious this time around to just how fragile everything is. I don’t want to be sucked back into that false sense of security that brought about this recent relapse.

Unfortunately being so much more aware of how tenuous things are also means that this recovery doesn’t seem to feel like much of one. Of course, with luck it’s still early days. The path ahead seems to be a well trodden one, one that I’ve successfully navigated up to a certain point already. Going past that, well that’s where things will start to get really interesting.

Wherever all of this goes, whatever happens to me, whether I see you again tomorrow or 30 years from now, a simple truth will remain: I won’t stop thinking about you, or keeping a happy thought of you close to me. No matter what else changes, that will always be a part of me.

I hope one day that you will be fully a part of my life again and I do hope that day is sooner rather than later. I hope that life is treating you kindly and that you are happy.






  1. Maybe somehow she has stumbled upon your blog and is glad to see you still writing to her. There is always hope, right?

    • Oh, I always have hope, especially on that score. When some kind of reunion happens, I expect the blog will undoubtedly play a role in it. I’m kind of hoping that somehow she’ll have read it all (or at least all of the letters) prior to us actually talking. I think it would make things a little easier, especially on the complex difficult emotion side.

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