In all of the chaos that has been the election and just life in general, I completely surpassed the notion that yesterday marked 7 months behavior free for me. All I kept thinking was how I wish I could talk to myself 1 year ago. There is so much I want her to know. And while it won’t change anything of my past because all I have is the here and now, I’ve written a letter to my younger self so I can use it as my reminder for my present self.
Here goes nothing…
Dear Younger Me,
You don’t know it yet, but this next year of your life is going to take you on a tremendous journey. Right now, you’re sitting on the bathroom floor with tears flooding your eyes, a bottle of almost empty wine to your right and your antidepressants to your left.
I know what you’re thinking. You want it to end. You want the pain to stop. You’re exhausted from the constant battle of having to be above the depression and fighting tooth and nail to eat. You feel weak, alone, and less like a human and more like a ghost who is already gone. I know what you’re thinking.
I know I can’t change anything, because in the end you’ll make the right decision. Luna will come to the door and save you. You’ll get a glimpse of what could be lost if you fall too far over the edge.
But what I wish I could tell you right now is, hold on.
Hold on just a little longer. Eventually you’ll see that the world is worth fighting for. That the world needs you in it. You have to experience this pain you’ve been going through for so long because there are people out there who need you to share those experiences and see not only what it takes, but that it’s possible to come out the other side thriving.
Hold on just a little longer. Your life matters and will blossom with a beauty and power far beyond anything you’re imagining on that bathroom floor right now.
Don’t believe me? Let me tell you how beautiful life becomes for you.
You move, not once but twice. You end relationships because you understand the need for solitude in recovery. A global pandemic will happen and you’ll start to relapse. You’ll feel that type of hurt all over again. Not just with yourself, but with the world around you. You’ll witness devastating incidents right from your balcony. You’ll walk the streets of Denver and see people crying on the sidewalks, massive homeless populations, and hear the cries of human beings seeking equality and justice.
But the pandemic, the timing, the empowerment of others. These are all blessings in disguise.
You’ll gain the courage to stand up for your mental health and no longer work in an environment that belittles you for it. You’ll understand your place in the world and share your story with thousands of people. You’ll hit the streets and march along side human beings in solidarity. You’ll cry because a woman has made it into the White House. You’ll be a part of history.
You’ll start writing, I mean really writing. So much so that you’ll take all of your learned lessons and turn them into a book. Yes, you actually write a book. I kid you not.
You’ll meet a man who finally shows you what it means to be in a healthy relationship. One that is filled with love, support, creativity, and encouragement for all of your ideas. You’ll move in with him and start building something beautiful together. Something you’ve never experienced before. What it truly means to be in love.
Your morning anxiety will fade, not without continued work and daily practice. But it will. You’ll hear the voice of your family again. You’ll mend the relationships with your dearest, most cherished friends who’ve known you through it all. You’ll meet new people who show you what it means to listen to the energy that lives inside of you.
Younger Lauren, your life will flourish. All I wish I could tell you, is hold on.
Time seems terrifyingly long right now, but it won’t for long. At some point, you’ll feel like you’re racing the clock. But only because you’ll finally see how amazing life is and you want to fill every waking second with something magnificent that life has to offer. But you’ll constantly remind yourself to slow down, because that is how happy you become.
The depression will still linger, but you’re learning a little every day on how to better manage it. You’ll stop viewing yourself as selfish for doing what is right for you so you can live.
Lauren, please hold on. I really mean it when I say life gets better.