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To the Teenager Who Thought She Didn't Want to Live

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Dear teenage me,

You don’t have to have all the answers all the time. You don’t have to be everyone’s definition of perfection and constantly changing for the guy you’re with right now. You don’t have to change who you are for a single soul. Be yourself, darling. You are so perfect just as you are. You don’t have to be friends with people who are mean with you or shut out those who are nice just because the mean friends don’t like them.

You don’t have to stay in that relationship with that person you don’t love. You don’t have to be in relationships with men you don’t like just because they anger your parents. You will have a relationship one day with a man you love, who treats you so wonderfully you’ll think you’re trapped in a dream world. You won’t even believe he’s real. He will save your life eight times. You will finally realize he really does love you and you don’t have to live in fear of losing him.

Sweetheart, put the knife down. Put the pills away. You don’t have to hurt yourself. You don’t really want to die; we both know that. I can promise you it really does get better. I know you think all that “It Gets Better” stuff is bull, but as your future self, I can promise you it is most certainly not crap.

My love, you will live through all the horrible, traumatic, hard things you’re going through now, and you will be so happy when you’re 25. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it will be worth it, and for the first time in your life, you will go a year without suicidal thoughts and two years without acting on any self-harm thoughts. Though there will be some struggles, it is all so very worth it.

Yes, you absolutely are strong, but, you do not have to be the strong one all the time. You are allowed to break down sometimes. You are allowed to break down in front of more than just your very best friend or yourself. Let more people in; it’s so worth it. You will find a wonderful community, amazing friends, the most beautiful love and last but most certainly not least, you will find yourself and start loving yourself. Please, be here for that. You can do this. We can do this. We have the strength of a thousand storms inside of us; we’ve seen it when we’re angry. Let’s use it to keep the fight to live going, OK?

I love you, always and forever,


A version of this post originally appeared on survivalscars.

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

The Crisis Text Line is looking for volunteers! If you’re interesting in becoming a Crisis Counselor, you can learn more information here.

Originally published: April 20, 2016
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