Hello, my peeps! How are we all?
Today was supposed to be the 20th post for #Blogtober19.
Today’s post is a very personal one for me… one which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. But I have wanted to do this for a while now, so I have written a letter to my younger self.
I feel like I have come on leaps and bounds from when I was fifteen-year-old me. In every way possible. So, I would like to take some time to acknowledge that.
So, here goes… Last chance to click back before I pour my heart out…
Dear younger me,
I bet you never thought you’d get a letter like this one. I never thought I would write it either, to be honest. How bloody terrifying right? You and I both thought we would never make it to 18, yet here we are, at the grand old age of 23. Living despite it all.
I have wanted to write to you since the day I wrote the open letter to Dad, but I find it so much harder to talk and think about you than anyone else. I find it hard to connect the life you’re living, to where I am now. They’re so very different, in so many different ways. But, I want to tell you something important…
I promise, things are going to get better for you.
You may not feel it, but you have more strength in you than you will ever know. The days that are breaking you, are the days that are making you. I know that at this time of your life, you are wondering how you will ever get through it. You don’t feel like you are important to anyone. You don’t feel like you can trust anyone. You wonder how you could ever be happy. You don’t feel like you deserve to be. I know you plan on ending it all.
Right now, I know that a lot is going on. I know that you are struggling with the loss of Dad. He was a big and chaotic part of our lives. But no matter how you feel, you are not the reason why he died. He was a grown man, capable of making his own decisions, you shouldn’t have had to parent him as much as you did. Time will heal your heart. You will always miss him and the parts of your life he won’t be a part of. It will get easier every day as you focus on making the most out of your life, rather than living in the past. The moment you see Mum relax and be genuinely happy, you won’t regret a thing.
Unfortunately, Dad won’t be the only important person you lose. In fact, you’re going to lose a lot of people, but the one that will hurt you the most is Nanny. The pain of losing her will hit you, Mum, and Grandad. Hard. Nothing will ever be the same without her. You know why, she is amazing. But just remember, you are more like her than you’ll ever know and she is proud of you.
I understand that you were just trying to protect yourself from the world that you were used to. A lot of things happened when you were far too young. The scars you’re making now will heal, I can barely see them now. You’ve even managed to go two years without it, bet that seems impossible right now doesn’t it? One day soon you’re going to realise that it doesn’t get you anywhere closer to where you want to be. You’ll find new ways to cope.
Those cigarettes you’re smoking now like they’re nothing, it’s taken me this long to give them up. You are addicted even if you think you’re not. It’s been two years now since I picked up a cig and I never will again.
It probably seems that all the drama right now in your life will never stop. If I’m totally honest, it won’t yet. Not for a few years. But you’ll get through it. The friends you have now won’t be around by the time you get to my age, but you’re okay with that. You’ve stopped trying to please people. You’ve stopped prioritising their time over yours. You decide how you spend your time now.
There’s not much I could teach you about life that you don’t already know by this point, apart from this doesn’t have to be your life. I know right now it seems like everything is out of your control, that you just ride the waves of your mood and life never feeling stable. But it will come. Oh so soon, the decisions about your life will come back to you and you can shape it in any direction you want it to be. You are not stuck.
You’ve already been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Anxiety, c-PTSD and an ‘Emotional Dysregulation with maladaptive coping strategies’. But there’s about to be a few more! In your first year of University, yeah that’s right (you did it!), you’ll be diagnosed with Bipolar. Not surprised either? By the end of University, you’ll be lumped with OCD, and Agoraphobia too.
You drink a lot right now. More than you care to admit to yourself. Anything to blot out what is going on in your head. To stop thinking. To stop caring. To be reckless. Well guess what, it’s been five years since you touched a drop. You have learned the importance of taking your medication properly and for the first time in years you are stable. You’ve tried your fair share of medication, but right now it’s working for you. This doesn’t mean you’re boring, you can still join in on a drinking game or two, and this way you remember everyone’s drunken secrets!
You have had a pretty hard time so far, you don’t feel like you can be loved. But someone is going to come along and love you so hard that your broken pieces melt back together. His name is Bradley. He is the most supportive, funny, hard-working, loving person in the entire universe, and he chooses to put up with us! You’ve been with him for nearly six years now, and you love him as much as you did at the beginning. You tell him everything. He’s going to pop the question and make you the happiest you’ve ever been. He is your best friend.
You have made two massive life decisions, one for Dad and one for yourself. But this is the greatest step you will ever take in choosing self-love. This will shape the rest of your life. You made that decision, and that’s incredible. You will rebuild your entire life from this very moment and it’s better than you ever imagined. You made a promise to yourself that you would make it worth it, and you’re doing just that.
Since that year, you have: worked with the police in a restorative justice court, gone to university and got a 2:1, got a outreach support worker role to help the homeless, you’ve volunteered to help witnesses in court, you’ve learned to drive and passed first time, you’ve travelled, you’ve nearly completed your masters, you set your mum up with a loving relationship, you got engaged, become teetotal, stopped smoking, started scrapbooking, been to music festivals, read many books, tried new things, cheered the little ones on at sports day, got a lizard, worked in a pub, said goodbye to people you thought you’d never live without and started this blog…
Instead of hurting your body, you are learning to accept yourself. Your body and mind is finally starting to feel like a home. You’re learning to put your trust in other people. You are learning to put your trust in yourself and your abilities. I only wish you could know right now how things will turn out.
I hope you know now that you will be happy. You are loved more than you know. You are brave and determined. You are still a good person regardless of how you feel. You will end up in even more situations that you never imagined you would be in, and you will be surprised by how well you cope. You will find your happiness, your place in this world, and you do deserve it.
Finally sending you love,
Your 23 year old self.
What is something you wish you could say to your younger self?