Friday 9 September 2016

A Letter To My Younger Self

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I want to tell you something. I want you to know something Nicole. You were incredibly lucky and fortunate, but you didn't appreciate it. The good times have come and been and now your stuck in sinking sand. You fall further and further down each day into a bottomless pit of darkness and destruction.

The bad times will come, and they will hit you hard. You spent years upon years watching your loved ones around you struggle and crumble to helpless heaps on the hospital floor. It's now your turn. You won't be ready. It will hit you out of the blue. It's like the 5th of November; there are all these separate fireworks which together create something beautiful. In your case, these single fireworks are just bad events which individually don't cause much harm but when they go off in close concession they cause something destructive.

You are so beautiful, Nicole! But you didn't believe it. You were happy and healthy, but you let the voices in your head take hold. You developed an unhealthy relationship with food. You will get a buzz of energy every time you see the number on the scales go down a little bit more. The voice in your head is lying to you. You need to ignore this voice. Every time you run up the stairs, you will desperately try and feel the bones in your legs as a way of reassuring yourself you are beautiful just like the morbidly thin girls in the magazines. These are bad habits, which will be hard to break, but you will get out.

These voices inside your head will go, but they will only be replaced with different voices inside your head later.
Don't be disheartened Nicole; your life won't be a miserable and distressing all the time. You will develop friendships with people that you only dreamt off. You will spend lessons laughing your head off about something that happened yesterday. You will enjoy their company, and they will enjoy yours. You will spend hours fantasising over a boy you like in your science class. It doesn't work out, but you felt normal. For once in your life, you felt normal, just like every other teenage girl.

You should have treasured these times Nicole because they do not last forever.

You'll fall into a desperate and helpless cycle of self-hatred and hopelessness. You will meet people so horrible that you didn't know could exist. You will be alone. You won't be physically alone; you're emotionally alone. You will be in a room full of people but each one of these people with ignore you. This will hurt. You will be hated for doing the right thing. You will be hated for being yourself. I'm sorry, I can't prepare you for this.

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Things will get out of control. The voices will come back. I'm so sorry Nicole. You will hurt yourself. You will hurt yourself a lot. You will feel like you are running around a mirror maze, you know the ones they have at kids theme parks. Expect this one is no fun. There's no escape. Well, that's what you feel like, but that's not the true. You are braver than you ever thought you were. You will seek help and share your deepest, darkest thoughts with people that can help you. I'm so proud of you Nicole.

Nicole, you know this amazing creativity and imagination you have. The imagination you use to entertain yourself for hours on end playing teachers with your teddies or mums and dads with your barbies. This creativity may seem pointless now, but you will be so thankful for it later in life Nicole. It will lead you to amazing opportunities; you will start a blog. It will be the best decision you will ever make. It will give you a place where you can express your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will inspire others to do the same. You will talk to people so many loving and truly understanding people. So lovely, you didn't know they could exist. You will be eternally grateful for these people. They will help pull you through the hard times when you have no energy.

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There are so many things I want to tell you, Nicole. The boys that make fun of your acne don't listen to them. There just immature and you will be thankful for future Nicole for sticking it out till she was 16 first to wear makeup. The friends you make along your journey, won't last forever. Even the ones you spent every penny of your phone credit talking to. But don't regret the time you spent with them and the precious memories you made. These will be some of your best memories.

As you get older, things become less enjoyable. You stop counting down the days until your birthday, and you won't get excited about Christmas, but that's okay because you'll find other things to excite you. Schools important to you Nicole. Be thankful for your parents supporting and pushing you to do your best. But please don't work yourself up and cry for hours because you got a C instead of a B. You won't even care a year after.

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Nicole, even as a child you spent hours performing compulsive behaviours and worrying endlessly about unimportant things. House fires, burglary, ill health or your house falling down. Why didn't you put this time to better use Nicole? As an 8,9, ten-year-old you didn't need to worry about these things. Your worrying will only get worse as you get older. You find new things to fret about, and you wish you spent more time as a kid enjoying being a kid.

You will never fit in Nicole. You will always be an outsider, a misfit and an introvert. You won't be able to do the things you want to do just like everyone else. But this is what makes you special and this is why people love you and care for you like they do.

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Life isn't easy Nicole. It's not all downs, but just like when you learnt to ride your bike for the first time you have to take a few tumbles and pick yourself up, to learn what you did wrong and achieve your end goal. The darkness will be hard, but it will help you appreciate the light. Your goals might not match the goals of people your age. Learning to drive, getting a boyfriend or going to parties every night might be out of the question but just getting through the day, is an equally important and rewarding goal to have.

You'll never be like anyone else Nicole, but that's because your Nicole Marie Woodward. One of a kind and unique.

Take care of yourself poppet, you're worth it.

Thank you for reading, as always X

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