LetitoutLoz: A Letter to My 15 Year Old Self

This story has a trigger warning

A lucid and powerful account of coming to terms with oneself and one’s mental health. The author’s letter to her younger self manages to combine both self-compassion and hard-edged reality. A must-read story.  Trigger warning: References to self-harm

LetitoutLoz: A Letter to My 15 Year Old Self

Lauren please stop trying to fight this. What is happening to you now you’ve got for the long run kid and the sooner you accept it the easier it will start to get. So please don’t think it will pass. It’s real and it’s happening. It doesn’t just go away, not for long anyway, even though no one believes you just keep fighting. Your mum and dad are the only ones who’re going to be there when the shit hits the fan. Just be honest with them and don’t feel embarrassed – they will understand. It’s just gonna take time. The nasty thoughts and voices in your head, they’re not real, they can’t make you do anything, they’re not as strong as you are.

And I can’t beg you enough please don’t hurt yourself, its only going to turn into addiction and whenever something doesn’t go your way or you’re upset by the smallest thing it’s the first thing you’re going to do when you get into bed at night. You’ll be told you’re crying for attention, a freak, to get a life, but it’s the only way you know how to deal with your pain. Every time you cut, dig or put something sharp on your skin it’s just making it harder to stop yourself doing it in the future. You’re twenty-four now Loz and you still crave it like normal people crave a drink after a bad day. But now you’ve just got shit tattoos to cover them.

You don’t need to cry yourself to sleep every night. At the end of year 11 you cry every night until your last day of school because you’re so lonely. But you don’t need any of them and it’s their loss. You don’t eat because some idiot online told you not to. Since when did you let anyone tell you what to do? You really think not eating will solve anything? Yeah, you’ll look great in a dress but think what you’re actually doing to yourself!

You’re not lazy, you’re mentally drained and it’s because you’re letting your depression take over you. Its not even you anymore Lauren. You stop singing. Yeah you never got to be a wedding singer but your only hobby has gone because you let them stupid thoughts in your head get the better of you again. Yep, you’re going to fail. A lot of times you’ll leave decent jobs, education opportunities, but you will make something of yourself. Setbacks and relapses aren’t a sign of failure, it’s the recovery process.

So, we’re twenty-four now, we’ve not achieved much on paper, but you’ve took so much on the chin and dealt with stuff you couldn’t even imagine. You’re so much stronger than you think and that’s something to be proud of more than any job you could get. Just don’t give up.

Lollo x

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