A Letter to My Past Self Who's Afraid for the Future


Dear Lauren,

I know right now it seems like there’s no way out. It seems like no one cares and you are all alone in this battle with yourself. Right now you can just barely see the light at the end of the tunnel. I know right now you feel like you’re at a dead end, but this is just the beginning.

In the last year, you have come so far. You started at rock bottom and it was only up from there. There may have been times when you thought you weren’t going to make it, but look where you are now. One piece of advice I have for you is to speak up. Speak up when you want to be heard and don’t be afraid to speak what’s on your mind. It doesn’t matter what people think about you right now; what matters is what you think of yourself. You have to stop being so hard on yourself and thinking that if you aren’t perfect, that means you’re not good enough. You’re going to have slip ups, you’re going to make mistakes, but that’s OK because that’s how you’ve made it this far. You are never going to be perfect, and the sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to let go and do what you want to do.

I know right now you’re scared about going to high school and you don’t want to accept the fact that you’re getting closer to moving out and going to college away from home, but you don’t have to worry about that yet. Just be present, and enjoy right now. You aren’t always going to control the situation you’re in, but you can control how you act. I know you’ve already been through so much and you’ve lost so many friends who you thought you would never part with, but that’s OK because you can make new friends with even tighter relationships.

Also, being popular isn’t as big of a deal as you think it is. You don’t have to like everybody and not everybody has to like you. Don’t worry so much about pleasing everyone, because if you keep worrying about pleasing everyone else, you’re going to forget about what you want and what makes you happy. Don’t forget about yourself, because you have one life to live, and it should be lived for you, not for anyone else.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via peshkov


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

Girl Sitting in Daisies

When Self-Care Feels Selfish

A few months ago, my psychiatrist gave me a list of Basic Personal Rights. He insisted I read it and accept I have the right to be seen, be heard, and to take care of myself. My homework for that week was to read the list and spend some time learning about and practicing self-care. [...]
Girl holding smart phone outside

If You're Reaching Out to a Friend for Mental Health Help, Please Be More Specific

I know what it feels like to be afraid of being alone when I am suicidal. To be scared of what you could do to yourself if you are left alone for even an hour, let alone an entire day, is a frightening reality for many of us who struggle with suicidal thoughts. I also [...]

25 Self-Care Tips for People Who Hate Self-Care

There’s a misconception that self-care has to be some sort of self-indulgent luxury — like you’re doing it wrong if you’re not taking some expensive spa vacation or going on a shopping spree. But self-care — especially the self-care often necessary for taking care of your mental health — doesn’t have to be some fancy, expensive venture. [...]
painting of a head with gears

Why Thinking Positively Isn't Enough When You Have a Mental Illness

Trying to manage one mental illness is already difficult, but juggling multiple disorders is very confusing to say the least, because not only will the thoughts that stem from these illnesses contradict each other — I still have a rational side of my brain that knows they are just feeding me lies. But the conviction [...]