What follows are two letters that my sister Joann DeHoyos wrote to herself recently. She asked me to post them because there might be others who feel as she did when she wrote these letters.
"Hello, Jo Ann,
How are you doing? Fine I hope. As for me, I'm not doing very well. Physically, yes but mentally, no. I am going through a lot of hard times since I lost my son. Nothing seems to go right anymore regardless of how hard I try. The harder I try, the worse it gets. I don't know what to do anymore.
I am almost at the end of my rope. What do I do when I reach the end? Keep on fighting or let go? I don't know how far down the bottom is if I let go. How far do I fall? Is there a bottom? Who knows? I don't. Do you?
When I read the above letter, I asked Joann to write a second letter to Me from Joann to see what she could add to the first letter. Here is what she wrote:
I am so sorry to hear that you are going through hard times. I have been there and done that. I also have been at the end of my rope. Believe me, it is no fun. The next step is suicide and we don't want that.
Since then I have met a friend named Ruth. She pulled me back up and has not let me fall anymore. I don't know what I would have done without her. So please, if you ever start falling again, write me and I will be there to pull you back up. I promise I won't let you fall.
My sister has also played a major role in helping me. Without her and Ruth, I would be in the same place as you. I am so lucky to have someone to love me. Bye for now.
None of you know my sister or the courage that it took for her to write either of these letters to herself. I am proud of her. Jo Ann, none of your growth would have happened until you made the decision to allow it. Now that you are beginning to open up, keep going. As I have been telling you, it is time to learn to love yourself. People always treat you the way that you believe that you deserve to be treated. Love yourself and people will treat you with love and respect. Nothing that Ruth or I either one can do will affect the way you see yourself. I love you. Now love yourself.