Letter to my 16 year old self…

Okay, so I know I’m only twenty and I wasn’t sixteen that long ago, but I’ve read lots of these lately and thought I would have a go.

Hey you,

Things aren’t going well right now. You think you are coping, but you are in a free fall. I know you don’t want to hear it, but you are a very sick young woman at the moment. You feel like you’ve lost everything, and, since Jessie moved away – you feel like you have no reason to go on.

Believe me, you have so many reasons to carry on.

It feels like things just keep getting worse and you have no control over what is happening to you or those you love. I know you hate who you have become, the measures you have had to resort to, to keep the pain at bay. Your diary is full of despair, and so is your heart.

Every time something good happens, you feel like it was fluke and that you are undeserving of good things. Of joy. All your dreams feel a million miles away as you fight for your life. It doesn’t feel like it is a fight worth living – it is. I know you don’t believe me. You think you’ve blown it. You don’t think you will survive.You don’t want to survive and despite all you say, you are not trying very hard.

You have your long awaited first kiss this year. It’s lovely, and you deserve to be noticed and liked – but don’t sell yourself short. Don’t go back to the boy who treats you badly because you think you don’t deserve better, or that no-one else will like you. You’re a romantic – don’t pretend to be someone you aren’t.

Listen to your Mum, Al and Simon. They are right. Things do get better. The things you roll your eyes about now, you will laugh about in a few years.

Be honest. You hate the lies and they are keeping you prisoner more than you think. You deserve to be free. Tell your Mum when you feel bad, don’t push her away. She adores every part of you and having fought for your life once before, she will do it again.

You are so brave – facing mountains people far older and wiser than you have had to struggle with.

They are right, the people who are trying to help you -they can help. You just need to let them in. They will not shy away from you. They love you.

I know wine makes things seem nice and floaty – but you are not a good drunk. You cry and it gets very messy. Try to stick to one glass – you have a really low alcohol threshold. Enjoy the parties that you get invited to, don’t hide away.

Be careful that you don’t invest too much in ‘saving someone else’. In the end, it will do neither of you any good. Enjoy being friends. You cannot save each other.

Enjoy your work, I know you do anyway – but don’t overdo it. If you learn to rest now you will save yourself a lot of hassle and sanity in the years to come.

Lastly, hang on. Those dreams you ignore, let them out. They come true!

Deuteronomy 30:11-20. Choose life, and Choose God.

Take care of yourself,

Your not-much older self.

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