Many times I've heard and read that I should write things down. I should write a letter to myself. I should journal. And many times I have poo-pooed the idea for fear of looking and feeling silly. But you know what... Who cares?! Because if it helps, if it means you remind yourself of how lovable, worthy, valuable, amazing and beautiful we are, then why should we give a f*!k what people think? So, I am going to rebel against the "Yeah, but what if someone reads it and thinks you're a lunatic?" voice in the background, and do it anyway! Here goes...
Dear Me, beautiful, amazing, talented Me
I am writing to you to let you know that you should be proud of yourself. Proud of the person you are. Proud of the obstacles you have overcome and proud of the way you are trying oh-so-hard to be successful in all aspects of your life. Sure, you have down days. You have days where you think everything you do is useless, but you are a human, Me, and we all get like that sometimes. We all make mistakes too. Please don't beat yourself up.
Let's go back. Remember that time when you didn't know you had anxiety? When you would wake in the night because of that awful recurring nightmare? Remember when you thought you were dying when you were 12 years old? Just a child! Back even further, remember that time when you looked up at mum and asked her why she was crying? You were 3 years old then, Me. And thats when it started. But you didn't know! How could you? They were just feelings then. Not actionable because you were too young to understand.
Fast forward to later life and the anxiety got worse. The worry, about everything, increased. The events that happened shaped you, Me. And you carried that burden with you. But your childhood was great! Playing bat and ball in the back garden with planks of wood and a tennis ball! Staying outside in the summertime until 10pm! A simple, yet fulfilling life. You lucky thing! The times when you were allowed off school to be taken to the seaside for the day. You smile when you look back on those times, don't you? But somehow, the anxiety crept in, like a thief in the night! It stole from you, Me. But you didn't invite it. Remember that.
As you grew and got older, the worry intensified. You still didn't fully understand. But you still created a family of your own. Such a beautiful thing. You're a mum now. You tried to push anxiety away. You tried to keep it at bay for the sake of your family. But it pushed back. And it was stronger than you. It multiplied and disguised itself in so many different forms that you couldn't differentiate what was real and what was not. It made you question everything, didn't it, Me? It made you suspicious and even a little paranoid. It made you believe you were not good enough. You see, anxiety is a necessity in life. It prepares you for the worst case scenario. But your anxiety took advantage of that.
This is not your fault. You didn't know how to handle it. You handled it badly, sometimes very badly at times. But the good thing is that now you are learning to apply techniques to keep her [anxiety] at bay. I know you are thinking it's too late, Me. But it's never too late. I know it has caused devastation and sadness in your life, but you can't run from yourself. You can only work on yourself long term and become the best version of you because you matter. You matter to yourself and you matter to that incredible little family you have created.
Me, you are doing a great job. You get up each day and go to work. You carry on regardless. You are an amazing person. You have lots to be proud of. You are worth more than you know. You are a fabulous mum, daughter, friend, colleague, DIY'er, cook, pot washer, cleaner, writer, the list goes on. You care. Perhaps a little too much but that's a million times better than 'not at all'. You are kind and helpful and you've experienced a life that not many have. You've seen and been to places you never thought you would and have adapted to change unwaveringly. You are grateful for that and I know you are, Me. I know you are kicking yourself because you have been reminded how great you are but struggled to believe it in the past. I know you can't turn the clock back in order to have dealt with anxiety and its manifestations earlier. I know you sometimes feel like your life is a mess and you feel guilty about certain things. But now it's time for you to train yourself to believe in you. To love you and be confident. To forgive yourself. It's true, you can do it. I have faith in you even if some don't. Show 'em what you're made of!
Me, I know you can't help reliving the sadness that anxiety has caused for you. That's understandable. Let yourself feel, Me. Because you need to. It's part of being an emotionally apt human being. And by sharing snippets of your story, you are inspiring others too. What a wonderful silver lining that is, Me. To help and serve others. This makes you exceptional. And anyone who is lucky enough to know you and understand you will tell you the same.
You are enough, Me. You are worthy and valuable and don't ever let anyone make you believe otherwise.
Take good care of yourself. You deserve to be happy.
With best wishes from the bottom of my heart,
PS. I Love You
I hope I have inspired you to write a poignant letter to yourself. Get it out on paper and read it when you feel like there is no hope. There is! And you know there is in your heart. Try it. You might cry, I did, but even better because you are touching a nerve that needs to be touched. Because you need to start to love yourself first.
All my love,