Dear Fourteen Year Old Me,
This probably isn’t the letter you expected, or hoped for; but it will be informative nonetheless. I’m not going to make this some cheesy letter about how everything is going to get tremendously better and how great your life is now.
I am not going to tell you those things, because they would not be true.
Now this is not to say that things have not improved; because some things have. You are going to grow in ways that you never imagined and you are going to experience things you thought impossible. I know that right now things suck, I lived them remember? But let’s just get it all straight, for fun.
You had to cancel your birthday party because you got alcohol poisoning and now you’re grounded.
You feel like your parents will never forgive you for it.
You begrudgingly came clean to your parents about the cutting.
The social worker you see at school is useless but you tell people she’s helpful.
You ate half of your lunches in the third floor bathroom because you knew no one went in there.
You were the punchline to so many classroom jokes.
You lost friends for reasons you thought were your fault.
Your grades still are not as good as your sister’s.
You quit competitive soccer, so who are you now?
You have finals coming up and how are you supposed to study when you feel like your life is falling apart?
Grade nine was a crappy year, no matter which way you slice it. I so wish that I could tell you that things got better, I really do. But the thing about life is that it never goes the way we plan it to; and that can be both good and bad.
Let me tell you a bit about how your life is now, just to shed some perspective on things.
You are engaged to the most amazing man.
You graduated university with honours.
You are eight years free of self harm.
You have some truly amazing friends and family.
You are fortunate.
Remember when you thought you might have depression? Well you do, and it’s still as strong as it was then.
You also have what is called generalized anxiety disorder.
You cannot find a full time job.
You developed an eating disorder, beat it, and then developed a fear of exercise so now you’re as fat as you felt at fourteen.
So as you can see, a lot of things happened that you probably never expected. I remember you thinking that you’d be old and grey before any man would find you worthy of the love you now feel at twenty-two. I remember you thinking that you would go back to self harm; and there are going to be days where you come dangerously close to that but you are so much stronger than you know. I remember you thinking that as soon as you graduated school (if you managed to get in) that you would find a job, and that is not the case either.
The point of this letter is not to scare you away from living your life to the fullest. It is to remind you that you will have dark days ahead, but that beyond those dark days will be lights brighter than you ever thought possible. You will experience highs and lows that seem so far apart that it will not make sense but that is your life and you will learn to live it.
Things get better and then they get worse, it’s the way of the world. The problem is that each time things get better, you will tell yourself that they will never be bad again. You need to accept and believe that it is okay for you to need help regardless of your age or what point of life you are at. You need to believe that you are deserving of love from other people but also from yourself. You need to believe that even when things seem more dark than they have ever been that there is always a light and you will always find the end of the tunnel.
Well kid, that’s about all I have for you right now; good luck.
– Future Emma
PS. You still think Harry Potter is cool because it totally is.