To Past Self,
I’m writing to you as my recovered self.
My free self.
My accepted self.
The thing I want to tell you is: in those moments of suffering and self-punishment, you aren’t expressing all of you.
You don’t feel you can, because you haven’t learnt how to.
You don’t feel accepted, but you aren’t accepting yourself either.
So how can others, if you don’t know how?
Not everyone will have the kindness and open mindedness you seek.
In fact, many people won’t.
But, you’ll meet people who do, and they’re worth existing for.
You learn from them.
And others may learn from you.
Back then, you worried you won’t find your way out.
You feel imprisoned in your mind and body, stuck in a cycle of symptoms.
You think the power lies with other people to free you and help you heal.
What you haven’t figured out yet is, only you hold the key.
It has been there all along.
You just have to be okay with being you.
Then the bars of the prison and the barriers you see in front of you will melt away.
The walls you put up that make you feel trapped and alone will come down.
And you’ll stop punishing yourself, because you’ll realise you deserved better - from yourself, and from people who caused you to suffer.
There’ll be moments when you feel transported back there.
But, you’ll come to trust yourself to know how to get out again.
Remember, you always have the key.
You just have to believe it’s there.
And I know, deep down you do.
Because that’s why every time something or someone knocks you down and drags you back there:
You keep getting back up.
And you’ll start to remember where the key is.
Then you get out faster.
Eventually, you resist being taken back there at all.
In the end, the intensity of the memories that replay over and over in your head will fade, and your symptoms ease.
You’re no longer the version of yourself you feared you’d remain.
The one that others had made you believe.
Deep down, you knew it was possible.
You’re stronger and more resilient than you realise.
Your future self is proud of you for finding a way out.
For breaking free.
For not returning there, even when you feel the tug of something or someone trying to take you back.
The beautiful thing is, you’re going to show others how to do it too.
And that’s what you’ve always wanted.
It’s why you keep trying, why you keep fighting.
You believe that place exists, and you end up doing whatever it takes to find it.
Somewhere where you feel at peace.
A place of sunlight, not darkness.
Where you’re no longer bound by your mind,
Because you’re no longer fighting with yourself
You’re free to be you
I can’t wait for you to get here.
You just have to keep going, and you will.
You long to find a place of recovery, freedom, and acceptance.
And I wanted to write and tell you:
We made it through.
I’m here now.
And, it’s beautiful.