Dear Me: An Open Letter To My Younger Self

Dear 12 year old me,

Life sucks for you right now.  Your parents just divorced, the bullying at school has become unbearable.  You have no friends. your anxiety and OCD are out of control, you’re quickly spiralling into a huge depressive episode, and you just want a way out of it.  You hate yourself; don’t even try to deny it anymore.  You don’t think you’ll make it through this year alive, but I’m here to tell you that things will get better.  It will take time and things are going to get one thousand times worse before they get better, but it is so worth it.  Sure, things still get pretty sucky for us now, but we’re happier and healthier than we’ve ever been, and things are only looking up from here.  However, even though I know we get through all this crap, I want to give you some advice and tell you the things I wish someone would’ve told me before.

  1. Separate yourself from toxic people – and yes, I do mean your “friends” and all of those kids at school that find entertainment in making your life miserable.  And most importantly, do not feel guilty about it.  They treat you worse than the dirt under their feet.  I know you don’t have anyone else right now, but it’s better to be alone than to be surrounded by bullies.  You think that they’re there for you, but all they do is bring you up to smash you down harder than ever before.  Leave them and don’t look back.  They abuse you.  And, if it makes you feel better, we now have a couple amazing friends who treat us better than any of your current “friends” ever will.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Right about now, you’re dipping your feet in deadly waters and before you know it, you’ll be drowning.  Take care of your body and mind; don’t hurt yourself.  If you continue down this path, you’ll be living in treatment centers for four months, and those four months are going to be a living nightmare.  You don’t want to be just another skeleton refusing food in the eating disorder ward of a psychiatric hospital six hours from home, your family devastated and scared out of their minds.   You don’t want to sit in the same chair day after day, lying about how you got your scars, rating your suicidal thoughts on a scale of one to seven, crying your way through visiting hours, your only comfort being your faux leather bound journal and the crayola marker you’re forced to write with because pens and pencils are too dangerous.  It’s Hell.
  3. Your feelings are real and valid.  You aren’t overreacting and you sure as Hell aren’t making things up.  You can’t help that you were born with severe anxiety and OCD, or that you developed depression as a child.  You can’t help that you are developing PTSD and that you were diagnosed with anorexia after nearly dying because restricting your food is the only thing that brings you comfort.  It happened as is still happening but things won’t be this bad forever.
  4. It is more than okay to get help.  You aren’t being selfish or needy, and not everyone is out to hurt you.  In fact, there are so many amazing people to support you, but they can’t help you if you don’t accept their help.  You need that help, so don’t be afraid of it or think it’s selfish or unnecessary.   I promise it will be worth the fight.
  5. Finally, I want you to know that you, of all people, know yourself  better than anyone else, so stand up for yourself and do what you need to do rather than what others want you to do.  Don’t let everyone else control you like their puppet.  You are in control of your own life and it needs to stay that way.  Tell everyone what you want to do and do the things that make you happy. Go vegan, take up yoga, learn a new instrument, and most importantly, write.  Writing is what gets you through your toughest times, so never stop doing it.

 

You can do this.  In three more years, you’ll be happier and healthier than ever before.  I know it seems like a long time, but it passes in the blink of an eye, so just hang it there.

 

With great love,

Your Future Self

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