Tears in a Bottle

May 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

I write a lot about my past

The things that happened during my divorce

Because they have been hidden

Under 5 and a half  years of Donuts and cupcakes and doritos

And McDonald’s and Taco Bell and Jack in the Box

No need to deal with it

When you’re stuffing it so far down

You can’t even feel it anymore

Feelings hurt

Rejection, abandonment, betrayal

Who has time for that when you have 4 children looking to you for their security?

Diapers to change and bottles to wash

Can you afford to unravel when you’re the only one they have to depend on?

When he first left I started having panic attacks

Like someone had their hands around my throat

Driving down the road with babies in carseats when you suddenly feel lightheaded

Like you’re losing consciousness

Losing feeling in your hands

Panic attacks paralyze you

And you can’t be paralyzed when you’re the driver

When you have babies depending on you

When I found the first emails

The pictures he took of her–naked

Laying in a tent

Where he was supposedly doing field training

But much more was going on

That’s when they started

The panic attacks

At first I thought I was having a heart attack

But soon I learned it was just my mind overloaded

I spent most of my days vomiting

Laying on the bathroom floor staring at the base of the toilet

Wanting to die

So the babies crawled in there with a blanket and laid it over top of me

Because even as babies they could tell something was wrong

And that’s all they knew to do–to cover me and keep me warm

“I can’t go on like this”, I thought

So I went to the doctor and he prescribed medication

But it wasn’t enough

Because when I got home the phone rang


But there were just voices on the other end


I could hear something.

What was it?

I listened more carefully and then I recognized him

His voice

And another one–a girl

And then they were laughing and then they were…..


And I could hear it…

And the thing he was telling her to do to him

And the things she was saying back to him

Then I knew what I was listening to

It was my husband of 11 years and the father of my children having sex with another woman

And I was the audience?

Slam down the phone

Slam it again

Pick it up and slam it harder

No that’s not enough

Rip it out from the wall and throw it

Throw it against the window

And run back to the bathroom to throw up some more

“Oh I’m sorry, Holly.  I must have been laying on the phone.  I must have dialed you by accident”



Is it not enough that he left me?

Is it not enough that he took pictures?

Is it not enough that he is gone?

Now I have to hear them too?

What did I do to deserve this?


The pain is too great

I can’t handle it

But my mom is sick.  She can’t get out here to help me

“MOM! You have to come. I can’t do this.  I’m going to go crazy”

But she hadn’t been feeling well.  She didn’t know why.

Now we know.

There were heart problems

Little did I know there would be another tragedy on the way in  a few years….

But for now I just knew I was alone

And I was in pain

And having panic attacks

But my babies needed a mother that could handle life

“Go back to the doctor, Holly”, she said

“Get a higher dose”

So back I went

They upped the medication–again

But life was too overwhelming

4 kids.  Me.  And constant emotional pain

And the loneliness

The overwhelming loneliness

Why, God


And then I went to the mailbox where bills started coming in

No need for me to imagine what they were doing together

When the bills were coming to my door

Hot Air balloon rides and jewelry and dinners and lingerie

While I changed diapers and spit up and cried into soapy dishwater while washing bottles

How much more of this can I take?

I’m paralyzed again. I can’t feel my hands

I can’t breathe.  I’m choking to death

I’m going insane.

I went back to see the doctor again

“This medication isn’t working. You have to give me something stronger. I’m going insane”

And then he told me

“There is nothing stronger.  You are on the highest dosage a person can be on without being hospitalized”

“We can hospitalize you but it will be for a mental breakdown and you’re going through a divorce”

“Do you want that on your record? You could lose your children”

I drove back home praying the whole way

The children are all I have left

I want to die to stop the pain but I don’t want to leave them

I need something to kill the pain


Taco Bell

Jack in the Box

Oreos. Hostess Cupcakes. Twinkies. Reeses Peanut Butter Cups

Dairy Queen Blizzards


Nestle Tollhouse

Finally….some relief

Ok maybe I’ll survive

Bake some more cookies

Get a pound of M and M’s and carry them in my purse for emergency panic attacks

A shot of sugar will ease the pain

I gained 25 pounds

Who cares.  He’s gone.

What does it matter now if I gain more weight?

No one will ever want me anyway

I’m damaged goods

“You’re not marketable anymore, Holly”  as my Nana would say

I’m used up


It’ s no longer about living

It’s just about surviving

And that’s how I survived–for years

But not anymore

No more food stashed in every corner of the house and car in case a feeling screams out and needs to be silenced

No pound bags of M and M’s in my purse for when I get panicked

It’s just me and the raw emotions

Meeting each other face to face

Like we should have done years ago

You can stuff them but they’re still there

And when you stop eating yourself to death

They rise to the surface

And once again you have to face them

But now I can

I can face with them with both barrels ready to unload

saying “Bring it on

I’m not afraid of you anymore

I’m not that girl scrunched up on the bathroom floor staring at the base of the toilet wanting to die

I’m not that woman throwing a phone against a window feeling helpless

I deserve to do more than just survive

He said “I am close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18)

He must be very close to me as I am crushed, I thought

Crushed in every way

It’s still hard to understand why I had to live through that

Why my children and I had to suffer

But I know this

In my darkest hour, He was there

He saw my pain

He saw it all

He didn’t change it

He didn’t bring my husband back

He didn’t erase the voices I heard on the phone that day

Or the pictures of them together burned into my  memory

But He weeped

He weeped for me

He weeped WITH me

Just like when I prayed that my mom wouldn’t die

She was on life support for 3 days

And I begged him PLEASE

PLEASE don’t take my mother

Please don’t take another person from me

I don’t understand why

Because she’s gone

But I know this

He keeps all my tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8)

Counting every one

My tears don’t go unnoticed

One day I’ll understand why

But for now

He weeps with me

And He carries my pain (Isaiah 53:4)

150 pounds of it so far that He’s taken from me

And said “Let me….I’m stronger….I can handle it” (Matthew 11:28)

And that’s a miracle

That even in our pain

He is carrying us through if we let Him

Our names engraved in the palm of His Hand (Isaiah 49:16)

So even if others forget us

We are always on His mind

The tears that fall from your eyes are only half the tears shed

The rest are His

When you cry they get mixed together

And because  He is there

You never cry alone


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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Lady Amanda May 10, 2012 at 1:43 am

I am soo proud of all of your accomplishments and of what an incredible woman you are! Love you!


Faith May 10, 2012 at 1:44 am

I have chills reading this. I know that I (and probably many others) will sit here and read this and go ..”man, I would have kicked his ass” along with some much harsher language..but the truth is – none of us really know how we would react unless we were faced with this exact situation. One thing I do know is this…that yes, you did find comfort in food and yes, it lead to a very dark place for you (for awhile)..but Holly, I have to commend you on the fact that you did not succumb to horrors like alcohol abuse and drug addiction. There are so many that would and have gone into that hell hole when faced with a similar situation.
Instead, while you did have horrifying panic attacks, you kept your focus on the well being of your children and that, my friend is HUGE.
I know we only know each other through the medium of this blog but you are a hero to me. You are not trash (and I think you realize that now), you are a priceless treasure.
And I know exactly what you are talking about with the title of this post..Tears in a bottle…it’s an amazing thought, isn’t it? 🙂 Much love!


Julie May 10, 2012 at 1:57 am

In my darkest hour, when I feel alone and no one cares, I need to remember that my pain is nothing compared to anything you endured Holly. I have my husband, even though he’s not exactly what I had invisioned 32 years ago I have him and I love him and him me. I am working on excepting what it is and what I have and I thank you from the bottom of my heart that you share your darkest times, you teach us along the way and you show, in your way, that the Lord is there to help us, hold us, share with us and carry us when we need him. Thank you for the help to remember this.
Take care Holly and keep going, keep becoming the most beautiful, wonderful, loving woman and mother you can be. I for for a fact that you are just putting the polish on what is already terrific.
Blessings my friend!


FormerLife Girl May 10, 2012 at 2:03 am

Amen! Though you have had much pain on your journey, know that you are bringing much encouragement to those with whom you share.
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Alana Jo @ Not.So.Big.Jo May 10, 2012 at 2:27 am

Panic attacks are horrible. I had them for about a year after a bad break-up with my first love. But eventually I met my husband and I thank God every day that I went through all that pain because it lead me to happiness.

You have been through a lot and you are so much stronger than I would have or could have been. An inspiration!

Best of luck to you with the rest of your journey.
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tz May 10, 2012 at 2:47 am

I can’t imagine….I’m so glad you were able to live through it. And maybe through your pain you will save someone else that same pain through your beautiful writing…Telling the truth like you do is inspiring to others.
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A May 10, 2012 at 3:36 am

Thank you for your strength. Thank you for your sharing. You are helping yourself and your kids. You are also helping so many… I am in that list. And I am grateful.
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Staci May 10, 2012 at 4:42 am

Yanno, I don’t even think I have a comment. My throat is too stopped up with disgust and it is holding my fingers back. :::shudder::: Things can really slap you in the face sometimes in life. Ugh.
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CrazyLady May 10, 2012 at 7:31 am

I guess we will never understand some things, my mind can not comprehend how anyone can do that to someone they have shared 11 years with and 4 children with. I’m glad you now realize your value and worth, you realize that you also a=have a right to live life fully, not just surviving. I cant find the words to express how proud I am of the journey that you have taken and where it has led you. I’m cheering you on behind this monitor and cant wait to see you 10 months from now.


CrazyLady May 10, 2012 at 7:32 am

I guess we will never understand some things, my mind can not comprehend how anyone can do that to someone they have shared 11 years with and 4 children with. I’m glad you now realize your value and worth, you realize that you also a have a right to live life fully, not just surviving. I cant find the words to express how proud I am of the journey that you have taken and where it has led you. I’m cheering you on behind this monitor and cant wait to see you 10 months from now.


Christe @ Path to The Half May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am

Congratulations on your accomplishments so far. You are worth it! I am glad you have picked yourself up out fo your story to move on and live your life for your children. There are bigger plans in store for your life and theirs! Hugs!
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Liz May 10, 2012 at 11:30 am

Wow, what a powerful post. You are such a strong woman, and your children are very lucky to have you. You’re doing such a great job.
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Trish @I_am_Succeeding May 10, 2012 at 11:54 am

Thank you Holly for sharing this. As hard as it was YOU are stronger for it. IMHO he is the coward…the one who betrayed the sacred vows you said to each other. I guess he forgot about the “worse” times…about putting others before oneself…to love as ones own body.

God will only give us what we can endure and Holly YOU have endured and are the better for it now.

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Joyce May 10, 2012 at 11:58 am

God is good!!! I am so glad that you were able to lean on Him and let Him give you comfort. I understand fully. I lost weight at first because I couldn’t eat after I found out. Then I turned back to my dear friend “food”. I am still trying to learn to turn to Him for the comfort and not a piece of cake or ice cream. I am a work in progress. I don’t know why we have to go thru these things, but “Farther Along we’ll know all about it”. God has plans for us Holly and this pain we have gone thru are stepping stones to get us where He wants us. God bless you and thank you for sharing.


crazyjojo May 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Wow honey. Your ex is AN ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You know, I truly believe that a selfish,oblivious loser like that will bring suffering to himself. He will never be the fulfilled, loving person that your children rely on. He will be a sad, broken down pathetic person who will die alone.

I hope you are well.


Heidi Bryan May 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I was so moved by one of your posts just now, that I cried a little in my coffee. I am an emotional eater as well, and I can only imagine what I would have done if I had suffered as you did. Congratulations on moving in the right direction and taking your life back. I will be back to read more


Stephanie May 10, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’m glad that you were able to move past the issues with the divorce. I am sorry it happened to you, but things like that happen and would you have rather been in a marriage with someone who didn’t love you and wanted to be with someone else? I’m proud of you for literally picking yourself up off the floor and changing your life for the better. Just know that there is the right person out there for you and I hope they see the true beauty, both inside and out, that we all see.
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Jacquie May 10, 2012 at 1:36 pm

You are the strongest woman I know!


Linda Kuil May 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I know the panic you were feeling. That was one reason I decided to lose weight.
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joy May 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Holly ~ I can’t imagine what you’ve been through!! You are so strong! The Lord is with you!! He will use all of this for good! Keep up the great work my Friend and stay focused!


ken May 10, 2012 at 2:50 pm

WOW, you truly have a very inspiring story. It has certainly been a wide swing of emotion for you. Reading this was quite a ride for me as well, i’m glad you’ve been able to come out the other side on a positive note. I went through a bout of depression myself, the doctors were happy to keep pumping me the meds. In the end though, i finally had to just quit them because i finally realized that i had stopped feeling anything. No bad, but nothing good either, i was just existing. You are an inspiration, you should be proud!

Glad you stopped by this morning to leave me a comment, otherwise i would have never found you here. Thanks. 🙂
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Kittie Howard May 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Wow, you’ve been to hell and back. What an awful series of events. But you’re a survivor and entered the victor’s lap when you realized this dude wasn’t worth it. Actually, he sounds sick! sick! sick! and not one a normal person like you can help. BTW, you look great, really great. Gosh, but you’re inspiring. (About the weight gain, you didn’t turn to drugs; that would’ve been far worse. Big applause for actually keeping a cool head under some wrenching conditions.)


Kittie Howard May 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Oops, forgot. I rarely subscribe to e-mail posts but you’re definitely an exception.


Crack You Whip May 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

You have been through so much that my problems seem non-existant. My boyfriend who I was obsessed with completely dumped me without telling me why. I knew he always had a crush on a married woman (and she had one on him but not enough to leave her gorgeous husband) so I had to stand by and watch them flirting with each other after the breakup.

He is perfectly content with flirting instead of something real. Yes, I started eating, too. You are looking great! I need to get back on the horse!


Kara May 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I can’t even imagine what you went through. What strength you had to come out of it.
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Dana May 10, 2012 at 5:47 pm

This is my first visit to your blog, but now I’m a follower. You have been through so much, my friend. I admire how strong you are. You are an inspiration.


Lisa May 10, 2012 at 6:30 pm

WOW – Thank you so much for sharing…
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rel May 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm

YOU ARE AWESOME. such a strong woman! i ran across your blog randomly and i am inspired! the world needs more strong, beautiful women like you!


Rae Rae J May 10, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I am excited that I am getting the honor to read your “happily ever after.” I am convinced that is what we are reading in progress now.
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Gi May 11, 2012 at 1:11 am

Gosh, I always read your blog in the morning when I get to work and I ALWAYS start crying (I am sure all people in the office think there’s something wrong with me) but your stories, what you have been through just cut right into my heart! I am so horrified that someone can go through so much pain and suffering. I can’t believe the fact that someone you love and share 4 children with can be so malicious towards the mother of his children. How could someone treat you like that? It flaws me!
You are so wonderful and I am so glad that you are doing so well you deserve such a amazing life and I am glad that you know longer need food for a crutch.
I now need to go fix my makeup and remove the mascara stained tear marks on my face!
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Holly from 300 Pounds Down May 11, 2012 at 1:27 am

Every time you say this to me about crying at the office I laugh and smile and then tear up too!! Because it touches me that someone out there on the other side of a computer screen would truly feel that kind of compassion for me. Thank you so much!!


Jamie May 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

Wow. What an incredible story. You are doing it girl. I have had a few panic attacks myself and I remember thinking I was going to die. Ugh. I’m so sorry that you when throw all this…but you are on the other side and with God’s help you are winning the battle big time.
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Amanda May 11, 2012 at 2:11 am

Such strength and beauty. So, so much.
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Mayor Gia May 11, 2012 at 2:47 am

Awww, how upsetting . Good for you for working through it, lady.
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rey May 11, 2012 at 4:53 am

Wow, Holly. I just want to reach into the computer and give you a big hug. I am very proud of you and your journey.


Chandra May 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

You are excellent at putting words to the torture you’ve gone through. It hits me right in the gut every time…and I’m sobbing, as I do almost every time I read your posts.

I’m in a bible study right now about how God uses the periods of wilderness in our lives….it seems He has been using yours for great things, not the least of which is inspiring all of us lucky enough to have found you.



heather ozee May 11, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Oh Holly,
The pain and wrongs you have felt are now turning into an amazing testimony of finding strength from God and within and of transforming a life that was broken into a beautiful blessing to others that might be feeling like they just want to die. You are an inspiration to many and A symbol of strength to even more. I’m excited to now know you and follow your exciting journey into your new life. Hugs!
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Nicole May 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

My husband was in the military as well and this could be my story. He was a recruiter and met a woman who was supposed to be coaching his recruits through their GED. He took her to $400 a night motels while he was supposed to be giving me the housing allowance. Never saw a cent of it. His “girlfriend” finally turned him in to his commander when she realized he was still married and not going to marry her. As a result, when he was discovered, he was demoted and sent to Korea. There he met another woman and did the same thing again. It’s what they call a “geographical bachelor” and no one paid attention to the fact that he still had a wife stateside while having an affair with another soldier. He’s married to her now. I used to have these attacks where I would just vomit every time I discovered something new via his bills or e-mail.


Adrasteia May 11, 2012 at 4:10 pm

Thank you for your sweet comment, dear. Well done on your amazing journey! I feel you on the anxiety front… I’m on medication for it now, finally, and it’s stopped some of the godawful nightmares and panic attacks. I think it’s a lot more widespread than people are aware of or want to admit. You’re an inspiration to us all. Best of luck on your continuing path! <3
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WishfulShrinking May 11, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I am known in real life to say that being over weight is like carrying your pain on the outside. I am so glad that as you weight is coming off that you have this supportive venue to dump the garbage that you don’t need to carry around with you. Carrying around that type of crap is too much and it is like taking the poison to kill them. It never works.
You rock and that man is not worthy of any of those tears.
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Heather Head May 11, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Beautiful. Thank you. You are such an inspiration. And thank you also for your comment on my blog. I’m glad we found each other.
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Vivian May 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Holly I read your blogs and I remember that dark time when I was a single Mom with 3 little children working two jobs. I am sure you have realised it because you are doing so well but it gets better and one day you get to a point where you can barely remember the unhappiness.
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Jamie @ Roubinek Reality May 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

What an amazing post! My heart hurts for you, with all you have experienced. I’m so glad you know He was and always will be by your side.
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Jenn May 13, 2012 at 12:28 am

What an incredible story and journey….


Staci May 13, 2012 at 3:56 am

Hey, Holly. I didn’t know how to just get ahold of you via email. I just realized that you are probably gonna have a bit of a sad day tomorrow for Mother’s Day. I know how you loved your sweet Mom. Just wanted to let you know I will say a prayer for you. Even though you’ll miss your mom terribly, I hope you and your 4 children who love their awesome mom have a really good day together. (((hugs))) Love, Staci
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Sam May 13, 2012 at 5:03 am

You are such an amazing woman and mama!! You made it through all of that, with His help, but THROUGH it. You rock Holly!
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Brenna May 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

You are an amazing, strong, and truly BEAUTIFUL woman! Seriously, I am still trying so hard not to cry. Your children are more blessed than they know.
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JNH1977 May 20, 2012 at 4:26 am

All I can say is wow. What a strong person. Not only for surviving and overcoming, but for having the courage to tell your story. I actually wept while reading this, and as my wife can attest, that doesnt happen very often. You are an inspiration. Whenever I consider giving up, I will remember your story and push on. Thank you


Cat March 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

he is like two rocks rolling off a cliff into a deep vat of water… a Ker-douche! You are a far stronger woman than I could ever be. I think a testicular accident would have occurred. ~_~


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