A letter to my 20 year old self

Dear Leelan,

It is 2014 and this year, you will lose yourself. You won’t remember much about it, and you won’t know where to begin. You won’t know how to heal, or how to pick up the broken pieces. And sometimes, you’ll feel like you’ve lost your mind as well as your soul.

This year, you will meet Him and his overwhelming darkness will appeal to the tiny seed of self-loathing years of pain fostered inside you. He will nurture this seed, and every fibre of your being will believe that you are destined for sadness and destruction.

This year, you will feel responsible for someone else’s happiness — their existence, and it will suck what little happiness you had worked hard to maintain, right out of you.

This year, you will stop listening to your friends, to your gut. This year, He will take your dignity, your self-worth and confidence, and label it ‘love’.

This year He will make you hate that word. This year, you will fold into yourself when you hear ‘I love you’. You will wish for death, you will lie in bed with him and hope that if there is a God, that he would put you out of your misery. This year you will lose 15lbs from depression and become a mere shadow of the ‘Leelan’ childhood-you dreamed you would become.

A mere shadow you will be, yes, but you will hold on to the strength you were born with. And one day, the dark fog will clear and you will see your true self staring back at you.

You will begin to rebuild yourself, piece by piece. You will remember that you are a mountain. You are tiny but you are damn fierce. And though it may feel that earth has quaked beneath you, that your foundation is cracked and broken, it can be fixed.

It is 2017 and you will spend so many nights waking up in fitful, nightmare-ish sweats, remembering Him. But you’ll wake up to the safest arms. You’ll wake up and remember that you are surrounded by people that love you. And more importantly, that you love yourself.

It is 2017 and you can tough it out of anything. It is 2017 and you are strong, proud and compassionate. Even though you’re still rebuilding yourself, and it still hurts sometimes, always remember that through it all, you fucking made it.