A Letter to Myself, and Yourself

For When I Want to Hurry Up and Be Better Already

Hi there, Self. You’ve been working hard. You’ve learned skills to get you through sticky moments, like when your anger overtakes you or your voice feels small. You’ve tried new ways of interacting with yourself and others. Your victories have felt simultaneously minute and monumental. You’ve grown enough to realize you really are a mess. You hope, but aren’t sure, that people will like you if you keep coming around. Self, you have been through hard things.

Sometimes it feels like everyone around you is grown and you are young. You are hopelessly behind. You don’t know who to trust or how to feel. Your emotions get really big and you feel really small. Sometimes you don’t know what to do with the people in your life, or how to ask for help or when to say no. Sometimes you try to ask for help or say no and you don’t get the result you had hoped for.

You wonder if you’ll ever feel whole or complete. You can’t be quite sure, but you have a suspicion you are worse off than when you first began this whole healing process. You wonder how much more money and how many more hours it will take to put your pieces back together, to put limbs and muscles and brains back in a way that looks presentable. You feel stuck sometimes, and you’re not sure it’s going to get better. You hope it will, or else, well you are not sure what else. Maybe it’s really time to move on and stop feeling sad and sore. You wonder if you could move on if you tried. My friend, you’ve been through hard things.

You peek into your hard things box and you know it is full. You know that you’ve really messed with the hard things just as they’ve messed with you. There’s a hint of pride in yourself. And yet you feel tired, knowing your box is still there.

You’ve made new friends, or maybe you’re working on that, and they are nice. They help you feel safe and cared about. You’re happy you’ve made new friends but then you wonder what they would do if they really got to know you. And you try to put that thought away because you know it’s not good for you and it’s probably not true anyway. (Probably). You feel needy. But you’re not ready yet to let yourself be needy. You are stuck. My dear self, you have been through hard things.

You are working hard. You’re tired, and you now see that change takes time. It takes time because you’ve needed to hide or lose some parts of yourself along the way. You’re gathering them back but you’ve had to time-travel to find them. And then to bring them home you’ve journeyed seaward through sharks and waves, and open sea. You’ve been incredibly brave. Keep on, my brave friend. I wish it wasn’t this hard. I think maybe it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

You’ve had victories. You’ve become a warrior. You are courageous. Your effort matters more than the eye can see. Truly, you are on the winning team. Today, I hope you find a moment to rest and appreciate all the time you’ve given to yourself. I long for those days when it’s not so stuck and life feels unwaveringly good. As I sense the new way breaking through the old way, I have hope that those days are coming.

By Samantha Schlepphorst

Paul Loosemore