My Dear Friend,
By now, you know that the last few months have been really difficult for me. What you probably don’t know is that the last three years have been just as rough.
I know I smiled, laughed, and joked around, but it was all a facade. I don’t blame you for not noticing. I didn’t want you to. I didn’t want you to see that your friend felt helpless and hopeless.
I know that I should have reached out to you. I know what you are supposed to do in these circumstances, but I couldn’t. For some reason, I thought that keeping family matters private was the best way to do it. I didn’t want to be a rat. I wanted to keep my mouth shut and carry on.
That attitude lead me to crash and burn. I stopped hanging out with you. I stopped talking to you. I was scared that if we saw each other, you’d see what I had become, a shell of the man you once knew.
I lost all confidence in myself as a man and as a husband. I viewed myself as nothing more than dirt. I was alone. I was scared.
The fact of the matter is, I’m no longer the man you knew and I never will be, again. However, I hope, with time, that I will become a man you can be proud to be called a friend, again. I can’t promise that I will be the best friend, but I promise that I will try.
Don’t feel bad for not reaching out. I know that you are there and that is enough. I am thankful for you and I am happy that you are living your life. You deserve that. You deserve to be happy. We both do.
Strawberry Letter 23: or an Open Letter to Her Friends