“…Dear self,

There was a time not so long ago that you hit rock bottom. There was no further you could go even if you tried. And it was during that time that you could never have imagined that life could ever smile back at you again.

manosYou lost your brother. You struggled all your life together with our parents to keep him healthy, to offer him a normal and successful life and up to that day it seemed to be working. But then disaster broke. The unexpected happened. The thing that no one ever wants to live through happened; loss, extreme utter loss that tears your insides apart.

Up to that day you have lived loneliness in all of its glory. Your life has always been about someone else. Your brother, your family, your friends, your work. Never have you asked yourself what it was that you truly wanted to do in your life. You were living on autopilot.

For everyone around you you were happy, successful, you were living the life you wanted, a life that many would have been really jealous of. That was the reality you showed them. You never opened up not even to yourself about what you truly wanted. You always hid yourself behind other people’s problems.

Yet, what you were looking for was love, true love. A hug that would keep you safe from everyone and everything. A love that you could experience and enjoy. You had been broken many times but you managed to rise up. Your scars were not visible but they were deep in your soul.

From early childhood you felt rejection, you felt loss, you felt alone, you felt that someone else was always more important than you. And you accepted it. You understood. None of this was done intentionally. You were loved but there was always a bigger issue that needed everyone’s full attention.

You were given the opportunity to go study abroad in order to avoid the unpleasant and stressful events of everyday life. But once again you were alone. You made friends, you socialized with different cultures and you thought that your life was a bliss. But deep down your scars were still open. You did not want to face all this alone but you had to. And you did it good! And everything seemed to be perfect!

[quote_box_center]It took a great loss to make you realize how tired you were deep inside. How vulnerable you were, how extremely fragile…how enormous the efforts to cover it up from those around you[/quote_box_center]

The loss of your brother marked the day your scars started hurting again. It was the day that a new one was added – right across your heart! You hated life, you hated everyone around you but most of all you hated yourself. You lived and he died. All of your life until that dreadful day you lived and you were still living. There were so many things you got to enjoy and live through but he didn’t.

While he was in the hospital you prayed to God many times to take you instead of him. But he did not listen. You have lived and your brother has not. “Take me” you said. “Take the years left in me and give them to him”, you begged.

It was so unfair for him to suffer yet again. You bargained your life to save him but in the end it was not enough. You felt like you failed. You were left behind to live…without him.

Being alive while your brother is gone, fills you with a kind of guilt only few can understand. Only those who have sadly lived through a similar situation realize how impossibly difficult it has been to move on. You carry a deep burden in your heart that will never go away. You can no longer stand up straight. A big weight has been placed on your shoulders, a weight that will never go away.

[quote_box_right]The future is not entirely in your hands and you cannot control it fully! The loss of your brother should teach you that. It should teach you that life is precious. Live it to the maximum every single day.[/quote_box_right]

You struggled alone for some time, with the help of your friends, help that could not reach you. You were not accepting their help as they could not understand you. “How can they help me when they have everything?” you thought. Everyone around you had everything and you? You had a big hole in your heart. You did not care whether you would hurt others with your words or actions. Your pain was greater. Your did not wish others to interact with you. You had your own pain to deal with not their everyday “problems”.

Such attitude, however, instead of making you better – made you worse. You could not sleep, you could not relax. You were not ok. And so you made a tiny step forward and asked for professional help.

At first, you were really apprehensive but gradually she helped you find yourself bit by bit. She helped you see that it was ok to feel bad. It was ok not to be perfect. It was ok to continue living. It was ok to have bad days. “People who truly love you will love you for what you are and not for being perfect” she told you once. You could not see why people wanted to be around you. You could not think of a reason. “I failed” was the thought that was holding you back. You could not see any positive traits in you; only failure.

But was this actually true? No, it could not be! Your brother has always been proud of you, how could have he been wrong? He was always the one to encourage you, motivate you, congratulate your achievements but also keep you grounded when you needed to be. At times when you lost yourself in destructive thoughts or made bad decisions he would be the one to tell you about it.

Were your friends, who loved and stuck by you, wrong, too? If you were indeed a failure you would not have friends that believed in you more than you have ever believed in yourself. They were not forced to like you. They were not forced to love you. They chose to do it!

You had nothing to do with that, you did not force them to love you, you did not give them something in return just so they can love you. They did it because they could see the real you. What you stand up for and they liked what they saw. Remind yourself of that!

You may have not loved yourself at the time and you may not love yourself enough now but do know that you are loved. During some of your darkest hours you have found love. Have you ever thought that it would be possible? No. Yet, it happened.Love found you and you opened your heart to let love in. You should be so proud of yourself! If only you could understand how proud you should be!

You are going through a difficult patch at the moment. Your demons are back. Your low self-esteem is claiming its lost part in you. Don’t be afraid. All this time you have fought and still fight to learn how to live again with a hole in your heart.

You let love in your heart even though it is wounded. The loss of your brother can never be undone. You do not have to accept it you just have to live with it. You will carry it with you. You cannot accept something that is not right, something that is so unfair. Don’t fight it but keep on carrying it.

The love that found you is now your husband. You got married. Have you ever thought that this was going to happen? No, but it did. It is not something your husband did by himself. You did it too. You did it together. You let him in your heart as he let you in his. The two of you have created a family now – your family. Don’t be afraid to say it! Scream it to the world  – you did it!

Don’t be afraid to dream big. Do it. Don’t be afraid to smile, to laugh, to love. Do it. But most of all don’t be afraid to accept happiness. Accept the love that has come your way. It is for you. Yes, you! Believe it, accept it, embrace it. You are afraid that you will get hurt again.

Deep down you are scared that you may lose this happiness one day so unexpectedly like you lost your brother. But how can you know this? You try to protect yourself from something that may or may not happen.

You try to control the future like you always did in the past. You bargained your life with God in order to save your brother. This act shows your enormous love for your brother but also how little you thought of your own. During that bargain you never once thought that if you were gone people would also hurt.

If you gave your life people would still be like they are today, utterly wounded from the loss of a loved one. You cannot bargain your life as it means nothing. If you feel your life means nothing to you please do know that there are people out there whom it actually means a whole lot to.

Don’t feel bad for going a bit off track now. You have stumbled upon one of your scars. You recently experienced the loss of someone dear to your family. The pain from that brought up memories of the past that you try to forget. Don’t fight them.

Accept them and then let them go. You have been hurt by something that was not in your power, don’t hurt yourself by something that you have the power to stop. You just need time. Don’t feel bad for being confused and scared at the moment.

Don’t feel bad for feeling as you do at the moment. You are human. You are allowed to hurt, cry, feel bad, even feel sorry for yourself at times but then you have to continue walking. You are allowed to forget at times that you are loved but only in order to see more clearly how truly loved you actually are.

Don’t take the blame for your brother’s loss. Don’t take the blame for something that was not in your power to control. Live like your brother would have wanted you to live. Not for him but for you! You should not feel guilty about it  – you deserve it. Love, laugh, live. And most of all accept all the happiness that has come your way. It is yours to enjoy.


I love you, never forget that!

PS: To all my friends who have been by my side throughout, my dear parents and my husband the love of my life –  thank you. And to you my brother fly high my beautiful angel till we meet again…” 


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Psychologist, world citizen, mother - Effie is one half of the alwaysladies.com founding pair. She can bring to life any party with either a smile, or a strong opinion. If like us you can't get enough of Effie, visit her blog at www.thethinkingmomblog.com

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