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Dear You, Raise a Glass to Your Growth This Year

To you,

Think about where you started this year and where you are now. I bet you wouldn’t even recognize yourself.

Maybe your situation is worse off than it was when you began 2021. Maybe it’s better. Regardless, this past year has been pivotal in the creation of who you are.

I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad you stayed all the times you wanted to give up.

I’m proud of you. Extremely proud.

Sometimes we go through periods of regression in our healing journeys and I want to tell you that it’s OK. It’s OK if you took a step back. That doesn’t mean you’ve erased everything you’ve learned. Healing isn’t linear. It’s not supposed to be a steady line going up.

If you’re grieving what you’ve lost this year:

I see you. Your grief is valid. Only you get to determine how you grieve. With the world being so unpredictable, many of us have lost important people or things this year. Whether it’s your identity, a loved one, a lost friendship, a career, or anything else, it’s OK to be angry. It’s OK to be sad and lost. We often have been told anger is “bad,” but guess what? It’s completely OK to feel it. As long as you do it in a healthy way. There is no “right” way to handle such a loss. Please give yourself some patience and kindness as you navigate these rough waters. I know you’re doing your best. I’m rooting you on. I see you. And I’m glad you’re still here.

If you’re processing a new diagnosis:

I see you. Your feelings are valid. That new diagnosis may provide some relief. Or it may incite anger, whether it’s in yourself, the doctors who missed it, or the adults who were supposed to take care of you.

For those who are angry:

It can be incredibly frustrating thinking of all those missed signs. However you want to cope with it is OK. As long as it’s not harming yourself or others. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to scream, that’s OK, too. You’re allowed to be angry. If your diagnosis isn’t being met with acceptance by your family, I see you and I believe you. And I’m glad you’re still here.

For those who are relieved:

I am so glad your feelings have been validated. I’m so glad you felt listened to. I’m so excited for you to figure out how to navigate it. It’s no longer a big question mark. You have the answers you so desperately needed. I see you. And I’m glad you’re still here.

If you’ve done a lot of inner healing this year:

It has not gone unnoticed. You’ve faced many storms on this journey. It has paid off. I know at times it might not feel like you’ve made any progress, but I promise you, you have. You’re learning new coping skills. You’re talking more kindly to yourself. You’re extending patience to others and yourself. No one can take that away from you. Please feel proud of you. Because I know I am. I see you. And I’m glad you’re still here.

If you didn’t do as much inner healing as you wanted to:

That’s OK. It’s not a race. There isn’t a finish line. That doesn’t mean you haven’t grown and learned important things about yourself. Meet yourself where you are. Speak kindness to yourself. Even if you aren’t proud of yourself, I am proud of you. I see you. And I’m glad you’re still here.

If surviving is all you’ve done this year:

That’s OK! Surviving is hard. And if all you did this year was make it to the next day, I am proud of you. These have been some of the most stressful past two years many of us have ever experienced. So, when you get frustrated you didn’t meet your goals this year, remind yourself surviving is enough. You are enough. I see you. Your feelings are valid. And I’m so, so, so glad you’re still here.

You are all enough. More than enough.

Give yourself the credit you deserve.

Practice some self-care. Take a bath, go for a walk, brush your teeth (yes, basic tasks can be considered self-care), or do something you absolutely love.

Whatever you’re carrying, please know it’s valid. I will forever be cheering you on. Each of you.

I’m so glad you’re all here.

Sincerely,

Me.

Getty image by FreshSplash

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